What fantastic news we have received from the Prime Minister. All children in England will be returning to school from the 8th March. We cannot wait to see them!
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
'I know this is a moment that students and parents up and down the country have been waiting for, and I would like to take this opportunity to give my thanks to all education and childcare staff and parents who have worked so hard to make sure students have continued to receive a high-quality education throughout this lockdown.
The testing of staff and students ahead of their return to secondary schools and colleges, alongside strengthened safety measures, should reassure families and education staff that extra measures are in place alongside the existing bubble system, enhanced hygiene and COVID secure precautions.
We are all well aware that being back in school or college brings huge benefits to young people’s education, development and wellbeing. The classroom is the very best place for education and the return of face-to-face teaching for all pupils will be a welcome move for pupils and parents across the country.’
However, we would like to make you aware that we will need to put in place the most appropriate plans to ensure it is safe for both staff and students to return to school and the school testing site is ready to support mass numbers.
Mass Testing – The government are expecting schools to:
1. Provide ALL students with three COVID-19 tests (3 to 5 days apart) as they return to the classroom from the 8 March at existing school testing facilities. After the initial programme of three tests in school, students will be provided with 2 rapid tests to use each week at home.
2. Provide ALL secondary school staff with 2 tests to use each week at home
PLEASE NOTE: Schools and colleges will have discretion on how to test students over that week to enable their return to the classroom. More information to follow.
Staff and students in secondary schools and colleges are advised to wear face coverings in all areas, including classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained and as a temporary extra measure. Please see the link (below) to the consent form. On behalf of your son/daughter, you can give consent to the testing programme.
The deadline for this is Friday 26th February at 3pm.
This is voluntary however, if not part of the programme it negates the safety measures we are trying to put in place. I have said it before, they are your son/daughters and it is your decision to make. We have a team of staff whom have been testing staff since we returned to school in January. They have undertaken training, and have had a series of quality assurance checks by the Trust, Testing managers and the Local Authority. Your son/daughter are in good hands.
I have written to you on a variety of occasions informing you that we have needed to compile a ‘bank of evidence’ for your son/daughter, due to the fact we did not know what the examination series would look like. Most recently, I wrote to you to provide an update on the current examination situation for year 11 and your son/daughters recent mock assessments. We shared with you your child’s position in terms of current grading. I informed you we did not complete a full set of mock papers due to COVID disruption, and that the grades received should be treated with caution. I also informed you that staff used a combination of assessment tools to determine your child’s current grade:
Mock Paper results
Assessments completed in class, including performance in green zones
Classwork and remote learning
Engagement in class and level of understanding demonstrated
Engagement and production of work when attending after school revision sessions and Saturday sessions
As we are still unsure how students work will be graded, we would like to continue to gather as much evidence of their work as we possibly can. The week beginning 15th/22nd March, we have always had another set of mock/assessments scheduled. We would like to continue with this. This is why we are giving notice to you and your son/daughter. As soon as plans are in place, we will share with you. Alongside the preparation that will be available in remote and live lessons, please support your son/daughter with their revision.