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Update from the Headteacher: Friday 15 May

Update for parents and carers (Friday 15 May):

Dear Parents and Carers

On Sunday 10 May, the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap for removing lockdown restrictions.

Schools were mentioned as part of his address and of particular significance were his plans to re-open primary schools at a date no earlier than 01 June. He prioritised specific year groups for a return to school, including Year 6 students. We fully appreciate the value of inducting new students who are due to arrive here in September, and we are currently in discussions with primary colleagues. Any induction before the summer would obviously have to be delivered in a very different format to previous years, and may not involve an on-site visit. We continue to explore all options, and are now planning a virtual tour of Lady Manners using our latest technology.

In the Prime Minister’s recent speech, he indicated that secondary schools will also be asked to offer some face-to-face support for our Year 10 and Year 12 students before the summer holidays, to supplement their remote learning. We await further guidance regarding the practical implementation of this offer. Existing arrangements for our most vulnerable children and the children of key workers will continue.

Teaching and wider unions have expressed concern regarding an early return to school and discussions are ongoing. As you would expect, the safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance, and we will work closely with a range of partners to ensure key principles are met before the school re-opens. Government guidance, as always, will be followed.

Thank you to all the parents and carers who have supported the school throughout this difficult period and for showing patience and understanding as we adapt to this new way of learning. Our senior team continues to hold twice-weekly "Zoom" meetings to discuss a range of issues, including plans to ensure we continue to have a safe and secure school site. We are also reviewing different methods of delivering remote learning to our students, taking account of a number of accessibility, equality and safeguarding considerations.

Senior staff, curriculum leaders and wider colleagues regularly discuss how work is set on our learning platform. Teaching materials will continue to be updated on a weekly basis across all year groups and in all subjects. Activities are continually monitored and overseen centrally by the senior team to ensure quality and consistency. We are now working hard to ensure our feedback mechanisms are effective and accessible for students across all age groups. 

I will continue to update parents and carers of all developments. Thank you again for working co-operatively with the school during this challenging time. Your support is appreciated.

Yours faithfully

Gary Peat