Letter re. Easter Arrangements
3rd April 2020
As we approach the ‘Easter holidays’ I think I should brief you on the current position in school.
The government’s FAQs state: “Where possible, we would encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.” I have therefore decided that we will remain open to key worker families over the holiday. We will provide a skeleton staff rota to cover this.
Free School Meals
We will adopt the government’s national voucher scheme for children eligible for free school meals (FSM), along with guidance on how this should be implemented. We will continue to provide meal options for staff and children who are in school, and free school meals for all eligible pupils in attendance. The new voucher scheme is to help children who are eligible for benefits-related FSM and are not currently in school. The national scheme is based on arrangements with a number of major supermarkets and the vouchers are for £15 per week per eligible child.
There is a big logistical job here to verify email addresses and identify any families without email but we should have this up and running just after Easter.
Following an announcement today from OfQUAL, schools have now been given guidance on how the government intend to award grades for students who were to sit exams this summer. Schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. These should be fair, objective and carefully considered judgements of the grades schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams.
The government has addressed an important question for year 11 students, “do I need to complete any new work for my school/college to submit a grade?’ The response is very clear: ’Your school or college is not required to set additional mock exams or homework for your centre assessment grade, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you were not set, or were unable to complete, any work given out after schools were closed.’
However it is important to remember that we most probably will engage with year 11 students after Easter with a view to them doing some further study in their chosen subjects in the sixth form. I think that is enough to say on that at this stage but please be mindful that further guidance on this and its implications for year 11 students will come after the holiday period.
Should you wish to read about these arrangements in more detail, you can find detailed guidance in the following links:
For students, parents and carers:
Emotional and mental health
This is a pressurised time for all of us and we all need to be mindful of our own emotional mental health. Public Health England has published advice on this and I am including the link to this advice here. Advice from Public Health England to support mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
I will be in touch again after the holidays. Please remember that school will remain closed until further notice.
Take good care of yourselves, your family and your loved ones.