Head Teacher Statement to Parents 25th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now in to our third day of school closure and I hope you and your children remain in good health.

We are currently operating with a skeleton staff in school. However, we continue to review our online learning offer for all year groups so that our students can engage with education, albeit in a limited way.

Our teachers are working from home and are creating resources and researching suitable online learning platforms to support this provision. Our plan is to refresh these resources every few days. Please keep checking our website for updates.

I am sure that you understand that it is not possible to deliver our full curriculum in these circumstances. Please be assured that our staff will continue to work hard to offer accessible learning during the closure, provided that they too remain in good health.

We also understand that our Year 10 students will becoming concerned about what this means for them when they return to school. Although Ofqual have not made any announcements about the Year 10 cohort I think that it is sensible to believe that the school closure will be taken into consideration when these young people eventually sit their exams. Therefore, there is no need for any Year 10 student to become anxious about this situation now. I will of course update you when I have information from Ofqual but I do not believe that this will be any time soon.

I attach a link from Ofqual for the parents of our Year 11 students, which contains information about how GCSE grades will be awarded this summer.

Wishing you all safety and good health,

Mr M. McCluskie



New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

·         if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

·         if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

·         for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

·         A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

·         A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

Temporary suspension of Ofsted inspections

Ofsted is to temporarily suspend routine inspections of schools, colleges, early years settings, children’s social care providers and local authorities to reduce the burden on staff who are providing vital services to the nation in response to coronavirus.

The current medical and scientific advice is for schools and other educational establishments to stay open. If this changes and the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser say closing schools, colleges, and early years settings is in the best interests of children and teachers the Department will take that step.

The full announcement made by Gavin Williamson can be viewed here:

·         https://youtu.be/UkW7QcTsBcY

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/news/routine-ofsted-inspections-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

·         https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·         https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·         https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

Mr M McCluskie

Head Teacher