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Coronavirus parent/carer update 17 March 15:30hrs

Dear Parents/Carers

Coronavirus update – 17 March 15:30hrs

As you might have expected, we have had some students presenting with symptoms today who have been collected by parents and reports of many more self-isolating.  In addition, we have had more staff absent as a consequence of the recent change in Government guidance around self-isolation for whole households or for those with underlying medical conditions.

I am keen to keep the school running safely and, crucially, as an educational operation not just a supervision facility.    As such, when staff numbers fall I am faced with the need to increase the size of classes in rooms designed for small numbers or reduce student numbers in line with declining numbers of staff.   The latter option seems far more sensible to me.

The decision then becomes one of which year group to send home first.  Year 12 was an obvious starting point as those students are independent young adults, over a year away from external exams and not in need of childcare.

I write now to inform you that Year 10 lessons will be cancelled from tomorrow (Wednesday 18 March), in the knowledge that at least 17 members of staff will be absent.   This is a pragmatic decision based around staff and student numbers and not one of protecting certain year groups and not others. 

This message has been communicated to students in Year 10 and shared on social media and the school’s website.

I am confident that the remaining children will continue to have a productive learning experience facilitated by a smaller number of highly professional and dedicated staff.

Best wishes and thanks for your ongoing understanding and support.

Mr G M Watson