21 October 2020
As you will know we have had four confirmed cases of Coronavirus this term resulting in a small number of students and staff requiring to self-isolate each time. We have consistently followed government guidance and on all occasions we have been able to track and trace identified students very quickly and our systems for providing remote education for individuals or small bubbles seem to have worked well. There is currently no evidence of any internal transmission at the College. Spread appears to have occurred outside College at social gatherings or through family connections.
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify procedures on classroom ventilation during cold weather and on the wearing of face coverings both now and in the future if government restrictions change:
Classroom Ventilation During Cold Weather
One measure in place at the College to help manage the risks associated with Coronavirus is opening windows and doors to aid classroom ventilation. As the weather gets colder staff may therefore keep windows open longer than would usually be the case. To ensure students remain comfortable, they will be permitted to wear outdoor coats during lessons in classrooms if they are feeling cold. We will, however, continue with our policy of no hoods up in class or inside buildings.
We continue to follow government guidance that face coverings are strongly recommended in corridors, communal areas and on transport. It is obvious that many students are not wearing face coverings, which is obviously their choice, but there does seem to be an element of peer pressure about this. Staff are trying to set an example, and many are wearing face coverings in corridors and as they move around the site. I would ask that parents and carers again speak to sons and daughters to encourage them to wear face coverings where appropriate.
I should point out that if government restrictions increase in the local area to Covid alert level high or very high, then the guidance would change to the mandatory wearing of face coverings in corridors, communal areas and on College transport and I would ask that students are prepared for such a change and have face coverings available to wear.
Every year I write to all parents/carers regarding our site improvement programme and the significant improvements which are made to the campus and facilities of the College. The College continues to be ambitious in our plans for Collingwood and will continue to invest in the building and outdoor areas for the benefit of our students and staff.
I am aware of the current very difficult financial circumstances that many of our families are currently experiencing so I will be writing to you shortly, after the half term break, in the knowledge that there may be some parents and carers who will not be able to support us this year however much they might wish to do so. I do know, however, that there are many of you who will be able to contribute to our plans and I want to give you an opportunity to do this. My sincere thanks in advance for any support you can give us with our fundraising.
I would like to thank all parents and carers for their continued support over this very unusual half term. I can confidently say it has not been easy for staff or students but as always the Collingwood community has pulled together and the changes made, including the one-way system, separate social areas, the staggered breaks and lunches and the new cleaning regimes, have been fully taken onboard by everyone and have proved very successful. From talking to Head Teacher colleagues, I know that our number of confirmed Coronavirus cases are quite low but I’m sure we are all concerned about the national figures and worries about how this pandemic may progress in the near future…
For now, my thanks again for your support and I wish everyone a healthy and relaxing half term break.
Mr Tanner - Principal