It is with regret that I have to inform you that I am in a position where I am forced to close the school from 3.35pm tonight on a temporary basis.
Last night’s updated guidance from the Prime Minister has resulted in a significant proportion of my workforce now falling into one of the at risk groups. As the smallest secondary school in the local area, our smaller workforce meant this was always going to be a challenge for us. Significantly this impacts on the senior team, the welfare team, my premises team, as well as a large proportion of the teaching staff.
Our staff shortages now mean that we are unable to adequately supervise students at the required ratios. This is not a risk I am willing to take.
Fortunately our students are of an age where they can take responsibility for their own learning during time spent at home. Importantly, they have access to our online learning resources using our SharePoint sites. I want to be absolutely clear that despite the building being closed, learning continues, work is being set for every lesson taught, teaching staff are contactable during the working day via email or through the SharePoint conversation tab. Student managers, mentors and the welfare team are also available if guidance or support is needed.
Your child’s mentor will be in contact on a daily basis, this way we can continue to provide pastoral support to all our students. Can I ask that you please inform your child’s mentor immediately if your child is self-isolating or ill, as when we are able to re-open, it’s important we know who is able to return.
You will receive separate communication about how to access the online learning platform, this will also be posted on the website.
With regards to students preparing for their exams, we are taking advice from Ofqual (the governments exam regulatory body), their guidance is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal. The full statement can be found here:
At present, the length of the closure is unknown as we continue to take advice and watch the national picture. We will of course keep you updated on a regular basis via ParentMail and our social media sites.
We are available via email if you require any further information. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience caused, but I hope you understand the impossible position last night’s updated guidance puts us in as an organisation.
As always, thank you for your support.
Mr David Bisley