Principal’s Update – 22nd January 2021

22nd January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Principal’s Update

At the end of another busy week of remote and in-school provision, I want to extend my thanks again for all your support and for taking the time to message us with feedback.

Remote Learning

Yesterday, we sent surveys to all of our students, parents, and staff to gain feedback on our remote learning provision. We will collate and read every one of those over the coming days. If you missed the original link to the parent survey, please find it here

Our remote learning handbook for students, parents, and staff is on our website and can be found here. It contains lots of important information about how remote education is structured, including key points about conduct and staying safe online. As always, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at walkden.info@coopacademies.co.uk

Next Thursday, we are having an external review of our remote learning provision. I will share the finding of this and information from the surveys at the earliest possible time.

Year 9 Parents’ Evening

Last night was our Year 9 Parents’ Evening. Sadly, we had trouble with our provider, SchoolCloud, which caused some disruption. We’re sorry for the inconvenience to those who were affected.

We put out a Google Form to fill in to make appointments with teachers you could not communicate with. All of this information has now been circulated to the relevant staff members, who will be in touch over the next few working days. Please do drop us an email at walkden.info@coopacademies.co.uk if you do not get contacted to ensure you get the chance to speak with the teacher.

We’re hoping that SchoolCloud will have resolved any technical barriers before the Year 10

Parents’ Evening next Thursday, and as always, we will keep you informed of any developments.

We appreciate the positive feedback about the system because we believe it provides a good model for the future. We think it will make all parents’ evenings more efficient.

GCSE Qualifications 2021

We have written to all Year 11 parents and carers separately, explaining the current situation and proposals to award grades in 2021. However, I thought it might interest some parents of children in other year groups to see the consultation. You can find and respond to it here. The consultation closes on 29th January 2021.

Lateral Flow Tests

I have written previously to explain how we have implemented the lateral flow tests for Covid-19. We have now successfully completed 100’s of tests on staff an students on-site. However, as of yesterday, there is a fundamental change to the way lateral flow tests can be used. The aim was to avoid any students or staff having to isolate as a result of being a close contact of a positive case. The idea was that close contacts could continue to attend school if they had a lateral flow test every day for 7 days. The Government has now been advised that using the tests in this way would be unsafe.

As a consequence, if we have any positive cases, we will now need to contact trace and ask close contacts to isolate for 10 days. For students and staff currently in the Academy every day, this means that the class bubble of up to 13 students would need to isolate, as they are in the same classroom, with the same students and staff all of the time. This week, the lateral flow tests have produced 2 positive results, one of which was confirmed as positive by a subsequent PCR test.

This is very frustrating, however the decision has been made with the safety of all staff and students in mind.

My very best wishes to you all for a good weekend ahead.

Matt Hacker

(Principal)