I hope that you have had a safe and happy Christmas and that you have been able to spend some good time with close family members, even if it hasn’t quite been what you would have wished or planned for.
Following the latest government information issued yesterday afternoon, Wiltshire has moved into Tier 3 and we have some families, including staff who are resident in Tier 4 areas. I want to assure you that whether you live in Tier 3 or 4, there is no restriction on travel for educational purposes; staff and children can therefore attend school.
However, whilst primary children will attend school as normal from next week, there is now no immediate return for most secondary and S6C students. The arrangements for secondary schools and S6C are as follows:
From Tuesday 5th January:
Young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan and/or a social worker or others invited to attend school or college in person should do so. Parents whose work is critical to the Covid-19 response should also send their children to school if childcare is necessary.
Students in all year groups will receive remote education including live teaching. The schools and college will run a normal timetable, which means that your son or daughter will start their day at the usual time. This will cover the curriculum in a similar way to normal face to face teaching and our aim is to ensure that all students, particularly our examination year groups, do not lose any ground with their learning
Students with a scheduled examination during the first week of term will attend to sit the examination
Students that are due to take external examinations in January are expected into college for live lessons in those subjects from the 5th January
By Friday 8th January, students in Years 11 and 13 and some Year 12s will have attended school or college to take a lateral flow Covid test in readiness for their return to face to face teaching on 11th January.
From Monday 11th January:
Remote learning continues for all year groups from 7-10
Students in Year 11 and 13 and those in Year 12 with examinations in the next couple of weeks will return to face to face teaching after a second lateral flow Covid test has been taken and results received.
Year 7-10 and most Year 12 students attend school/college at an appointed time to take a lateral flow test in readiness for return to face to face teaching
Please note that Wiltshire transport buses will be operational from Monday 11th January.
Monday 18th January
Year 7-10 and 12 students return to school after second lateral flow test
All secondary and college students receive face to face teaching as normal
After the initial return to school/college testing programme, we will continue mass testing through a responsive approach. This means that if a case is reported to us we will test the close contacts on a daily basis, allowing students to remain in live learning unless they test positive. We will also be testing staff routinely on a weekly basis.
This two week staggered return which will include testing for all students and staff will help reduce the spread of the virus by identifying those who have no symptoms and will also ensure that when we have a positive case we are able to avoid sending whole year groups home to isolate. The best place for our young people – for their education and their well-being – is in school and college. Please help us by consenting to the testing programme and ensuring that we know immediately if your child or another close family member has tested positive.
You will receive a communication from your child’s school providing you details of the testing process and asking you to sign a consent form; please read this information carefully and share it with your son or daughter. Do also feel free to contact your school or college should you have any questions.
There is no doubt that we are in worrying times across the country with regard to the spread of the virus. However, we are confident that the measures now available to us in our secondary schools and college will help us contain the spread and keep families well.
I wish you a happy and healthy new year. Here’s to a brighter 2021 and a year in which all our children really flourish.
Chief Executive Officer