Following the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday, we have been awaiting further guidance on what the government intends schools to do in the immediate to medium term. Further guidance was published yesterday evening. This guidance states: ‘We will ask secondary schools to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.’ However, the guidance makes clear that whilst schools should plan for phased opening from June, this is conditional on various factors. It explains: ‘As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased. We therefore anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June 2020 to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings. We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the Roadmap are operating effectively. As a result we are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met.’ As a result of this guidance, we will spend the next few weeks planning if and how we can open the school to Year 10 students. I am not in a position to provide any more detail as to what this might look like at this stage. We will need to consider carefully how we can implement government guidance on protective measures in school. In all our considerations, the safety of staff and students will be paramount and we will only open if our risk assessments indicate that it is appropriate to do so. It seems unlikely, however, that Years 7 to 9 will return to school this academic year. One consideration, therefore, will be to ensure that any partial opening does not prevent us from supporting the learning of all year groups at home. We will very soon be posting out additional work to support all learners and we urge you to ensure your child completes this work to the best of his/her ability.
Mr Kal G Hodgson Principal – Cedar Mount Academy