UPDATE: 11:00AM, Friday 27TH MARCH 2020

Dear Parents,

I do hope you and your families are well and keeping safe. I just wanted to send you a message as we complete our first week in this strange new world we are all living in.

I do believe if we maintain the social distancing, stay at home as much as possible and follow the “rules” the UK has a real chance of slowing down the virus and reducing the risk to life. We need to keep going and stay positive that all of our actions are contributing to the immense efforts of the NHS at this time.

We have all our schools open with staff in place to support the children of key workers, our more vulnerable children and those with an EHCP. The reaction from parents has been fantastic and many of you have kept children safely at home which reduces the risks to our staff.

We will continue to provide support, in school, for key workers over the weeks to come as required by the Government until schools can reopen. Our staff have done a fantastic job getting Home Learning up and running and it is going very well. Many of you are doing a brilliant job with your children looking at all the posts on social media. We will continue to support this, and staff are uploading work on a weekly basis.

Our teachers tell me they have seen some great work coming in from children and students. Please stay safe and I will write again next week with an update.

Yours sincerely,

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Dr. Gill Eatough
CEO LCT



UPDATE: 10:00AM, THURSDAY 19TH MARCH 2020 – IMPORTANT – SCHOOL CLOSURE from Monday 23rd March 2020

I am sure you will have heard the announcement that all schools will be closing at the end of the school day on Friday.

I know this will prove a challenge for many of you, but this is a requirement, by the Government, in order to slow down the progress of the coronavirus in the population.

In line with Government guidance, we are meeting this morning to explore the possibility of providing a very limited offer to support key workers. We do not yet have a definitive list of key workers and what we will be expected to provide as we have a very reduced workforce because many of our staff have childcare issues and underlying medical conditions that require them to self-isolate.

As soon as we have direction from the Department of Education, we will be sending out further information.

Yours sincerely,

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Dr. Gill Eatough
CEO LCT



UPDATE: 15:00PM, WEDNESDAY 18TH MARCH 2020

Unfortunately, we are still experiencing staffing shortages with further staff self-isolating because of the illness of a family member, childcare issues, or because they have an underlying medical condition which places them in a highly vulnerable position.

We are continuing to have more children and students absent, as parents decide to self-isolate due to either COVID -19 symptoms or the risk to a vulnerable family member.
We have taken the decision this afternoon to close tomorrow (19.03.20) to ALL YEAR 8 STUDENTS, AS WELL AS YEAR 9 STUDENTS AT CHARLTON, ERCALL WOOD ACADEMY AND HLC SECONDARY for the remainder of this week, and we will decide on Friday the position for next week. As I said in my previous communications, we want to keep Y11 students in school for as long as possible. At this stage we believe we can remain open to all other year groups, however we are constantly reviewing that position and will give you as much warning as possible from late afternoon/early evening the day before. This information will be sent out by email/social media and our school websites so please check these regularly.

Both our Primary Schools, HLC Primary and Wrekin View Primary, will remain open tomorrow for all classes.

Queensway School will be making individual decisions as they have a very different school population and will contact parents directly.

We now have set up online learning systems to support secondary students at home via our websites, and we will keep updating these over the next few days and obviously longer if the Government announces school closures. Primary children will receive a pack of work and materials to bring home with them, and again information and guidance for parents will be on their websites.

As you are aware, the Government is updating its guidance daily and we are responding to this, the link for this information is https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Thank you once again for your continued support, in unprecedented circumstances for us all. I hope your family is well and we will continue to do the utmost to support our community across the Trust.

I will keep you updated as the week progresses.

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Dr. Gill Eatough
CEO LCT



UPDATE: 15:00PM, TUESDAY 17TH MARCH 2020

We are still operating our schools as instructed by the Government and our staff have been absolutely fantastic supporting us to do that. We are experiencing staffing issues where staff are self-isolating because of the illness of a family member or because they have an underlying medical condition which places them in a highly vulnerable position.

In addition, we are experiencing rising numbers of children and students being sent home feeling unwell or parents contacting us as they are self-isolating due to COVID -19 symptoms.

We have taken the decision this afternoon to close tomorrow (18.03.20) to YEAR 9 STUDENTS ONLY AT CHARLTON, ERCALL WOOD ACADEMY AND HLC SECONDARY for the remainder of this week and we will decide on Friday position for next week. As I said in my previous communications we want to keep Y6 and Y11 students in school for as long as possible. At this stage we believe we can remain open to all other year groups but we are constantly reviewing that position and will give you as much warning as possible from late afternoon/early evening the day before. This information will be sent out by email/ social media and our school websites so please check these regularly.

Both our Primary Schools, HLC Primary and Wrekin View Primary will remain open tomorrow for all classes.

Queensway School will be making individual decisions as they have a very different school population and will contact parents directly.

We took significant action yesterday to prevent the spread of the virus by stopping all trips/visits/fixtures and preventing any visitors into our schools which has helped and we are maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene as an absolute priority.

Staff are currently preparing work for home study when required and this information will be sent out to you through our normal communications systems.

As you are aware the Government is updating its guidance regularly and we are responding to this, the link for this information is https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you for your continued support, in difficult and challenging times for your family; we will keep you updated as the week progresses.

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Dr. Gill Eatough
CEO LCT



UPDATE: 11:00AM, MONDAY 16TH MARCH 2020

Currently we have been instructed by the Government to keep our schools open and we will continue to follow this directive.

This is only possible if our staff remain well, and we have enough staff in each school to operate. If we have a significant issue with staff illness, then it is very likely we will have to do some partial year group closures. If we have to close to certain classes or year groups, we will make the decision by 7pm the day before and post this information on school websites, send out text messages/emails to parents, as well as our usual forms of social media. We ask that you constantly check text and email messages alongside the website as this will be our most effective way of communicating.

We have cancelled all the planned school trips abroad and will today cancel children and students going out on all local visits, sports activities and trips to reduce the risk to students and staff.

We are also cancelling visitors coming into our buildings to reduce contact with others external to our organisations. Can I request please that parents do not request meetings with staff and that all discussions regarding your child are done by telephone or email, again to reduce contact.

In addition, we are not allowing staff out of the building to meetings or training in order to reduce contact and slow down the spread of the virus.

One of the key issues is our Year 11 students and their forthcoming GCSEs, as well as Year 6 who are taking their SATs in early May; if there are any partial closures we will keep Y11 and Y6 in school as a priority so they are being well prepared, as usual, for these external examinations. We are preparing materials to be put online to support home study, if required, so that students can continue with revision and exam preparation. Year 6 children will have packs of work to do if they cannot be in school. We will also provide work for other year groups at home in the event of partial or a full closure.

If your child is unwell with symptoms which are new and include a continuous cough and/ or high temperature above 37.8 they need to be at home for 7 days and parents should use the NHS 111 on-line coronavirus service or telephone your GP surgery if their symptoms are serious or they do not get better after 7 days. Please contact your child’s school if you have taken the decision to self-isolate so we know who is unwell and not expected in school.

The main focus is hygiene and keeping our buildings as clean as possible with everyone washing hands and following all the advice we have sent out to staff, children and students. We are constantly making sure we emphasise the need for good hygiene daily.

This is a very challenging time for us all and unprecedented not just in the UK but all over the world. We will do everything possible to keep you informed and to maintain a calm and safe working environment for our children and staff.

Yours sincerely,

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Dr. Gill Eatough
CEO LCT