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A High Performing Specialist Academy for Technology & Applied Learning

Coronavirus Update from the Principal

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Friday update

Further details about the arrangements for continuing care arrangements for limited groups of children during the period of nationwide school closures commencing on Monday was released by the Department for Education last night and can be found here:

I appreciate that many parents for whom this information is particularly important will be under a tremendous amount of pressure at the moment and thank you for the valuable work that you are doing to protect and support others in our community. The College is committed to providing you and your children with the support that you need during these extraordinarily difficult times.

The students who will be offered care at the College during the closure period fall into two broad categories; those that are vulnerable and those whose parents play a critical role in the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. We are working to ensure that provision for those children is in place for Monday and central to our planning is establishing the number of students that will be attending College. We will do that in the following ways:

Vulnerable Students

We will today contact directly the parents or carers of any students that fall into this group to offer education provision at College throughout the closure period. Parents and carers will be asked to confirm whether their child(ren) will be attending.

Children of Key Workers

If you believe you may be a key worker, I urge you to read the government guidance carefully and to check that your profession is included in the list of critical sectors. If it is and you are not able to make alternative childcare arrangements, please email providing the full name and Tutor Group of any students who will be attending. It would assist our planning if replies could be sent by 2pm this afternoon but we will of course exercise flexibility when it comes to responses received after this time.

I must stress that if it is at all possible for students in these categories to safely be at home, they should be, so I ask that families only send their children to College if it is absolutely necessary. This principle is a critical component of the government’s social distancing strategy and is strongly emphasised in the guidance above. As I have outlined in previous communications, work will be provided for all students who are based at home during this closure period.

College will be open between 8.30am and 3.05pm on Monday for those students attending and a hot lunch will be provided (students should use their usual method of payment). Normal bus services are not currently running but we will look to arrange replacement transport if there is demand for this service. Previous guidelines relating to self-isolation still apply and any students who develop symptoms in College will be sent home. Further details about ongoing provision will be communicated in due course to the parents of those attending on a regular basis.

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