Important update from Miss Mason, Principal
You will have heard this week that the Government has advised that secondary schools in England should fully re-open to all students and staff from March 8th 2021, with flexibility to manage this return around the need to administer a lateral flow test to all (consenting) children and adults before returning to the classroom.
I’m sure you can appreciate that bringing 1300 children and over 150 staff back safely is a mammoth logistical undertaking, complicated by the requirement to test children 3 times within the first fortnight, induct returning staff and children in new routines and the one-way system, teach lessons to those on site from the 8th and continue to provide a remote learning offer to those year groups returning later than the 8th! However, the great Team Hele’s spirit will see we meet the challenge head on and do this pragmatically and safely, with the well-being of our school community firmly at the heart. We are genuinely so excited about having our school community physically back in the building in just a couple of weeks’ time!
Please be assured that my team and I, along with other leaders in the Westcountry Schools Trust, have been busy unpicking the guidance and planning a model since receiving the reopening guidance earlier this week. I will be in a position to confirm the timeline and the arrangements for testing and return in my weekly update to Parents and Carers tomorrow afternoon, so please do look out for this important information.
Please also be advised that in light of this morning’s media coverage of arrangements for awarding grades for the Year 11s and Year 13s this summer, we will ensure families of exam groups are sent a detailed update later this morning to keep parents, carers and students abreast of the key developments and planned next steps. The full guidance to schools from Ofqual and the DfE will not be published to schools until later this afternoon, but we will read and digest the implications of the guidance quickly and ensure you are kept informed – we appreciate what a worrying time this is for our students and families, but rest assured that we will do everything in our power to ensure no child is disadvantaged.
In a week when education has dominated the media with headlines of school return, lateral flow testing, teacher assessed grades and the like, you could be forgiven for having some degree of anxiety about the weeks ahead. However, please try not to worry about any aspect return – we are in this together and we’ve got this! We will work tirelessly to make sure the transition back is as seamless as can be.
Thank you for your continued support.
Hele’s School, Seymour Road,