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UPDATE FROM PRINCIPAL – 13th MAY
Following my last update on Monday, some people, via social media, have been saying that Year 10s and Y12s are back on June 1st’ with the inference being that this will be a full, normal return for these ‘exam priority’ year groups.
However, I need to emphasise that this is not what I said in Monday’s update. What I said was a simple re-iteration of the official government guidance for secondary schools, which came out on Monday afternoon and which can be summarised as follows:
- From June 1st (not ‘on’ June 1st) secondary schools will be expected to begin a gradual, phased re-opening.
- Year 10 and Y12 students should be the first students to benefit and these ‘exam priority groups’ should receive some face-to face contact with their teachers before the summer holidays.
Clearly, this does not constitute a normal, full-on return for Y10s and Y12s from June 1st onwards and I wouldn’t want anyone to gain a false picture or unintentionally share false information.
We have begun planning some provision for Year 10 and Year 12s, but we are still awaiting further guidance from the DfE and unions before we finalise arrangements. Furthermore, we are steeling ourselves for the possibility that the date may be changed if the government decides that the science tells them that June 1st is too soon!
Myself and Mr. Walklate will continue to keep you informed of developments in a timely way and we will always try to be as clear and unambiguous as possible! Apologies if my update on Monday was unclear or was worded in a way which raised false hopes.
Take care and stay vigilant.
UPDATE FROM PRINCIPAL – 11th MAY
After listening to the Prime Minister’s address last night and reading The UK Government’s COVID 19 Recovery Strategy (all 50 pages of it) earlier today, I’m not sure whether we are at ‘the beginning of the end’ or at the ‘end of the beginning’. However, after reading the latest guidance for schools from the Department for Education, there are a few things that we can safely conclude about the re-opening of secondary schools:
- From the 1st June, secondary schools will be expected to begin a gradual phased, re-opening process.
2. This gradual, phased re-opening will start with those students who will be sitting exams next summer (i.e Y10 and Y12 students) The ambition of the government is for these ‘exam priority’ students to have some face-to-face contact in school with their
teachers before the summer holidays.
- It is very likely that Y7, Year 8 and Year 9 students will not return to school until September (and even then it may be a graduated, phased return.)
Therefore, based on this information, there has already been a lengthy meeting of senior leaders earlier today (which will be followed up by meetings with middle leaders in the next few days) to plan for this ’recovery.’ And, at this point, I would like to share the following information about this new phase we’re moving into:
- We will be further enhancing and improving the home-learning provision for all of our students. Mr. Walklate will communicate further details about this by the end of the week.
- We have re-written the timetable and reconfigured the teaching spaces for Year 10 and Year 12 students. Therefore, whenever we are expected to receive our ‘exam priority students’, we will be able to do so in a way which adheres to safe distancing measures and minimises pupil movement.
- We are in the process of securing appropriate PPE for relevant staff and protective equipment for key areas of the site (such as perspex screens for office spaces and the canteen and hand sanitiser dispensers for every classroom.)
- We are also thinking and planning carefully about the way in which we will have to structure the school day, modify the curriculum, establish new routines and constantly reinforce key health and safety messages throughout the day, in all areas of the school from September onwards. In essence, we are already preparing for our ‘new normal’ from September onwards, in very real and practical ways.
Regardless of what official directives we eventually receive about the phased return of students, we will be ready. Furthermore, we will strive to go ‘above and beyond’ to make the environment as safe as possible for all students and staff.
And as we begin to move into this new ‘recovery phase’ of the education sector, myself and Mr. Walklate will continue to communicate with you whenever we have important, validated information to share.
Finally, take care and thank you for your incredible understanding and support over the last seven weeks.
UPDATE FROM PRINCIPAL – 6TH MAY
As part of the Burntwood Be A Friend scheme, we are now working more proactively with community partners in order to meet the needs of families in the local area. We are consequently receiving information on a regular basis about the challenges that families are facing and we are taking action wherever we are able to. I am really proud of our staff who are going the extra mile by getting involved in different projects, such as the creation & supply of stationery packs to some of our families and the design & production of work packs for families of early-years children in the community. I am also grateful and thankful to those staff who are currently looking into the viability of producing of our own protective visors on site, which we may be able to supply to other local settings in the future.
Last night, I received information that there are many individuals and families in the Burntwood area who cannot afford to buy sufficient amounts of food to meet their daily dietary needs. However, some of these households are either not aware that there is help available in the community, or are not seeking help, for one of two reasons: They don’t want to “be a burden” or they don’t want to others to know that they are “receiving charity.”
Therefore, if you – or someone you know – is finding it difficult to afford a sufficient amount of food, then please consider or pass on the following information:
• There is the established foodbank based at Emmanuel Church, Sankey’s Corner, which is open on Tuesday 1-2pm and Thursday 12-2pm.
• There are three new community food storage points in Burntwood (including St Anne’s, Chasetown) with the purpose of getting emergency ‘same-day’ food parcels to families that need them, on any day of the week.
• In order to benefit from food assistance, you can email email@example.com at any time or ring 01543 524224 any day between 10am-12 noon. Your request will be considered with ABSOLUTE discretion and confidentiality.
Also if you click here for more support that is available in the community
Other forms of local support:
Lichfield District Council: 0333 220 3088
(For Emergency shopping scheme with Co-op)
Burntwood Live At Home: 01543 674 257
(Care, support & advice for older people)
Citizens Advice Staffordshire: 0300 330 2110
(Advice Phoneline open Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm)
Finally, I hope that all EDA staff, students and parents are continuing to remain vigilant at staying safe.