Dear Parent/Guardian

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, I am writing to update you with respect to our ongoing plans to manage these issues.

School Closure

At the moment, the intention seems to be to keep schools open for as long as possible. We are conscious, however, that this may change quickly. In the event of school closure, we will do our best to provide work for our students using Google Classroom. We will also prioritise supporting Y11 and Y13 during this critical period.

Partial School Closure

It seems inevitable that staff absence levels will increase in the weeks ahead as colleagues are instructed to self-isolate, either because they are ill themselves or because someone in their household has become poorly. While wehave processes in place to cover such scenarios, it is likely that our resources in this respect will become overstretched quite quickly. In these circumstances, we may choose to instruct one of our year groups to stay at home for a period of time. This will then free up a number of our teaching staff to be redeployed to cover other staff absences. If these actions become necessary, we will probably choose to ask Year 9 to stay at home first as they are the oldest non-examination cohort. Further escalation of these issues may cause us to ask Year 8 or Year 7 to stay at home.

In the event that such actions become necessary, we may need to act very quickly. We may only be able to communicate such decisions to parents on the day itself and will use email and our website for this purpose.If at all possible, we will try to provide such information the day before any school closures decisions are applied.

Student Illness/Absences

The current guidance states that self-isolation is appropriate if someone has a new persistent cough and/or a high temperature. If you need further advice in this respect, please contact medical professionals as school staff are not able to offer guidance in this area.

If you decide to isolate your child at home, please let us know by contacting the absence line on 627229.

If we notice students in school with a persistent cough and/or a high temperature, we have set aside a separate room for them to wait while their parents are contacted and asked to take them home.It is our intention to authorise absences for students who need to self-isolate. Please provide a note to this effect on their return to school.

Provision of Work

If we need to partially or fully close the school, every effort will be made to provide work and ongoing support for our students, with particular priority being given to our examination cohorts.

If students need to self-isolate while the school remains open,they will need to monitor the assignments and lesson materials being posted on Google Classroom and do their best to keep up in this way.Regrettably, it will not be possible for our staff to set work for individual students who are absent from school for these reasons.

School Hygiene

We have been working with our school cleaners to prioritise the regular cleaning of ‘touch surfaces’. We are also monitoring the toilets on a daily basis to ensure that soap, hot water and hand dryers are all provided and working properly. Unfortunately, this is being made more difficult by a small minority of our students who wilfully overuse or even abuse these facilities. While this can be very frustrating in normal times, it is particularly so in the current climate. We would consequently ask all our parents to speak to their children about these matters and to let us know if they see or hear of any students who behave in such a socially irresponsible manner. We would also encourage parents to provide their son/daughter with tissues that they can use during the school day.

Dining Hall

In the event that our catering staff are unable to come into school, we may be unable to provide hot meals during the school day. We may consequently need to switch to a cold service and/or packed lunches for all students. Again, this might be necessary at very short notice.

We will continue to monitor these circumstances very carefully, particularly with respect to government advice regarding expected school actions.

Yours faithfully,