Letter – Welcoming all students back in March
24th February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcoming all students back in March
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements on Monday, we are looking forward to welcoming all of our students back to the academy from Monday 8th March. It is great news and reassuring that the government has prioritised school students in the first steps of their ‘roadmap,’ and we really look forward to having everyone back in class, resuming face-to-face teaching
Part of the government’s strategy is to implement on-site Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) for students when they return. This presents a very significant challenge, given that the guidance suggests three tests for each child, 3-5 days apart, after which students will be able to conduct the tests for themselves at home. The guidance also states:
Pupils should return to face-to-face education following their first negative test result. Pupils not undergoing testing should attend school in line with your phased return arrangements. Schools will have discretion on how to test students over that week as they return to the classroom.
We are currently working through plans to implement this large-scale testing effectively. It seems likely that we will need to stagger the start for pupils in different year groups in the first part of the week beginning 8th March so that we can test the hundreds of students each day, as required.
To support our planning, I would be grateful if you would complete the form, ideally within the next two days, to indicate your intentions for your child to have lateral flow tests in school and to provide consent as appropriate. Testing is, of course, voluntary, but we would encourage all students to take part.
Masks in the Classroom
An additional measure introduced in the guidance is that from 8th March until at least the Easter break, all students should wear a mask at all times, including their classrooms. The only time they will be allowed to take them off is outside, when eating/drinking, or when they can be socially distanced in a classroom. I realise that you may have mixed feelings about this, and I know it’s not ideal; however, we will need to insist that this guidance is followed unless a child has an official exemption. I am sure that most of you will agree that this is a small price to pay to ensure that students can return to school safely, at the earliest possibility.
I will write again over the coming days with further details of our reopening plans, but in the meantime, please be assured that we are working towards our students returning to school in the calmest and safest possible way.
Thank you for your continued support.
With best wishes