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Return to Schools Following Covid-19 Closures
School News
Thursday 14th May 2020

Return to schools following COVID19 Closure

Schools closed to the vast majority of students on Friday the 20th March and we are all so very proud of how we have supported one another through this challenging time. The school has been charged by the DfE, from the week commencing 1st June 2020, to welcome back more children to school. The Government will only do this providing the five key tests they have set are met, including a decline in the rate of infection and that the programmes set out in the Roadmap are operational. As a result, we must plan on the basis that these tests will be met.

With that in mind, on 1st of June, if the infection rates continue to fall and the Government’s five tests are met, schools will begin a phased reopening. This will initially focus on providing some face to face sessions for students sitting exams at the end of next academic year: Year 10 and Year 12.

As a Trust, we will aim to implement the government strategy to the best of our ability whilst adapting it to the needs of the school community (pupils, parents and staff). Whilst we understand this is a very worrying time for everybody, we will continue to follow government and scientific advice and guidance when making decisions.  However, in this unprecedented time, as with all decisions we have made, the safety and well-being of our community are our first priority. You have my word that we will keep our plans under constant review and always act with in the best interests of students and their families.

This letter will provide all our Wickersley Partnership Trust parents and students with the steps we are taking to ensure we safeguard everyone on site without compromising learning, and whilst mitigating the risk of any spread of infection.

Which year groups and when?

We intend to continue onsite learning for those pupils who have accessed the emergency provision so far, regardless of the year group they are in.

We intend to follow the government guidance on which groups of students will be our priority.

This will initially be:

We aim to phase the introduction of the above strategies between the 1st June and the summer holidays. This will allow us to adapt our practice based on how the students respond.

Current guidance indicates classrooms should accommodate no more than 15 students at any one time. We evidently do not have enough room across school to accommodate all of our 2150 students in this way. As a result, we are implementing the following steps to ensure the safety of all our students and staff without compromising learning and development:

Timetabling and zoning:

Social Distancing Measures:

Reducing Mixing within school settings:

corridors and outdoors.

Use of Outside Space:

Reduce the use of shared resources:

Transport to and from school:

Personal Protective equipment:

Catering:

Expectations regarding hygiene:

All schools within WPT will follow the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance

All adults and children will be expected to:

Attendance:

We will indicate to all parents which students are expected to attend school as our provision expands. No student should attend school unless scheduled to do so by the school as part of our key work provision or phased re-opening. School registers will be taken in line with statutory guidance and contact with home will be made as normal regarding student absence. Current advice and guidance is that no action will be taken against either parents or school regarding pupil attendance.

Provision for those children not scheduled to attend school:

Our online learning provision will continue as normal and all students are expected to engage with it. As stated previously, we know that some parents will choose not to send their children to school. Where this is the case, we expect these students to continue to engage with their online learning.

Managing potential and confirmed cases of COVID-19:

Staff and students in all settings will be eligible for testing if they become ill with coronavirus symptoms.

As you are aware this is an ever-evolving situation. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and should we get any new advice from the Government, the Department for Education or Rotherham Local Authority, we will inform you immediately. We will continue to communicate with you through parent text service and keep you updated through social media and the school website.

This has been a very challenging time for us all. However, the commitment, support and understanding we have shown one another within our community has been overwhelming. We have all -parents, staff and students – done our utmost to ensure our children are safe, well and continue to thrive with their learning.

The government has stated that the phased re-opening of schools will go ahead if the 5 key tests are met. As a result, all our best laid plans are subject to change. That said, our commitment remains second to none and we will continue to ensure the well-being of our students and the school community is at the heart of all our decision making. We will endeavour to give you timely notice of any changes.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

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