Friday 3rd July 2020
I hope you and your families are safe and well. We do know that a small number of our families have suffered bereavements over the last few weeks and I am sure you will join with me in offering our sincere condolences to those families, it is always incredibly hard to lose a loved one but at this time it is even more difficult.
We continue to make great progress with more children and young people attending school, meeting all the government guidance on numbers and year groups. I have had really good feedback from Headteachers, staff, parents and children as everyone has adjusted to how school works at the moment. The children have behaved brilliantly and enjoyed being with their teachers and friends.
As we approach the final part of the term we are making some changes, particularly focussed around our primary aged children. Our Y6 children will finish on Friday 3rd July with some celebration events to mark the end of their time in primary. This allows us to invite in Reception through to Y5 in half classes over two weeks, to be with their new teacher in their new classroom, so that they are settled, happy and ready for September. Our Y2, Y3, Y4, and Y5 students have not be able to attend school, but we are now allowed to be more flexible and bring in children as long as we operate the bubbles of 15 with all the other safety measures, which are currently in place. You will have received the relevant information on these arrangements from your child’s school.
In order to provide capacity in our primary schools to bring in more children, our secondary schools have agreed to provide space for Y6 children from HLC Primary and Wrekin View Primary on Monday 13th/Tuesday 14th July. This will be carefully managed by each school to ensure we meet Government guidelines. We are only offering this to our Y6 children in our Trust schools as we have to keep numbers low and maintain small groups.
We have taken the decision that we will have Y7 students only in Charlton, Ercall Wood and HLC on the first day of term, Wednesday 2nd September, so they have a proper induction day, in their new secondary school, before the other year groups attend.
In order to support our current Y7, Y8, and Y9 students prepare for school in September then each child will be contacted over the next three weeks for a chat with a member of staff, this we hope will happen through Teams, as a video call or if not by telephone. This, we hope will ease anxieties and prepare them for next term. We will continue to support Home Learning for these year groups until the end of term.
Queensway will continue with its current offer with students attending part-time until the end of term.
The government have informed us that there is no requirement for schools to open to key worker children or vulnerable children over the summer holidays and therefore this provision will finish on Wednesday 15th July when we break up for the summer holiday. We have building work, maintenance and redecoration planned in most schools over the summer as well as returning the sites to more normal operation.
I hope you can gather from all of this information that we are focussing on getting all children prepared, as well as we can, for September and at this stage we are planning for all our schools being open to all children full-time from September. This is the current Government directive and one I completely support, too many children have been out of school for too long because of the pandemic. It will be hard for some of them but we will provide all the support they need to get them back into the routine and enjoy school.
My best wishes to you and your family.
Dr. Gill Eatough
Statement by Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer
Friday 22nd May 2020
In accordance with the decisions of the Board of Trustees on Monday 18 May 2020, the CEO and Chair reviewed the position for Academies/Schools in the Trust on Friday 22 May 2020 and determined:
- the provision for children of key workers and for vulnerable children, will continue
- extended opening will be delayed until week commencing 8thJune for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils.
- extended opening for secondary Year 10 students will be delayed until detailed DfE guidance is received
- extended opening for our special school will be delayed until detailed DfE guidance is received
This difficult decision has been made in the light of a number of concerns about readiness (including availability of PPE and signage), completion of risk assessments (considering the updated guidance from DfE), the evidence (indicators from the publication of The Independent SAGE Report 2 and the evidence from SAGE) uncertainty (about the 5 tests) and delayed receipt of guidance from DfE.
All Members, Trustees, Local Governing Bodies, Heads/Principals, Staff and parents have been notified accordingly.
It is disappointing to have to make this decision as we want our children to be in school learning together. The next set of decisions will be made week beginning 1st June 2020
Learning Community Trust – Extended opening of our Schools – COVID-19
Monday 18th May 2020
At the meeting of the Board of Trustees on 18 May 2020, Trustees APPROVED the position of the Trust on extended opening of our schools, following Government announcements and guidance, detailed local work and assessment of risk:
To maintain the provision for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, those children will join their class group if this class is in school, so they access the same learning.
Primary – HLC Primary and Wrekin View Primary
To bring Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 into school on a full-time basis from the 1st June 2020 IF the government decides it is safe to do so because infection rates in the UK are significantly lower and the trajectory is for this to continue to decline, and subject to our own risk assessments.
Subject to the same conditions and due to significant site and capacity restrictions, to bring Nursery into school from 1st June 2020 on a part-time rota basis (Nursery provision to be reviewed after 2 weeks of operation).
Home Learning will continue to be provided for children in Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 as packs so these children, who may return later in the term or in September, are still supported at home but we will not be able to support at the same level as we have been as all our staff will need to be teaching the children in school.
Secondary – HLC Secondary, Ercall Wood Academy, Charlton
Subject to the same conditions, to provide for all Y10 students to begin to attend school from 1st June 2020 working in small groups with very personalised timetables of when they need to be in school during the second half of the summer term.
Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will continue with Home Learning and will not be back in school until September.
Special – Queensway
Subject to the same conditions, the provision at our Special School will also be different, any children in school will be on part-time timetables from 1st June 2020, priority will be to Y6 and Y10 students, but other children will be invited into school to work with staff.
Local modifications to provision:
The Board of Trustees NOTED the necessity to modify and make alternative arrangements for local settings and learners should circumstances dictate. This can include the implications of non- attendance or changing patterns for staff, reduced or changing patterns of pupil attendance and any circumstance where the Executive or local leader (in consultation with the Chair of the Trust or of the Local Governing Body) determine necessary in respect of safety for learners and/or staff.
Approval and review:
The Board of Trustees recognised that it will necessary to modify and make alternative arrangements for all settings and learners should circumstances, revised National guidance or instruction dictate.
The Board of Trustees APPROVED that full-delegated authority to modify the position of the Trust is given to the Chair, CEO and Trustees holding the roles of HR Director and Finance Director to act as they believe is necessary (such decisions may be made jointly and/or severally).
The Board of Trustees will REVIEW the position of the Trust on extended opening of our schools in June 2020.
Our priority at all times remains the safety of our learners, staff and our wider community. We reserve the right to SUSPEND provision and to NOT increase provision if we consider it necessary.