Return to school in January

Further to my email last week stating that we would be having a staggered start to the term. That is,  just year 11 in school from 4th January and being joined by the other year groups on the 11th January. Years 7,8,9 and 10 would receive remote learning during the week beginning 4th January. This has now changed with the latest Government guidance. 

Firstly, Monday 4th January is now a non-pupil day, no students (including year 11) are expected on site, this includes the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable. Remote learning will not be provided on this day. This is to allow staff in school to be trained to administer mass ‘Lateral Flow’ COVID testing. We also need to plan how this will be rolled out, for example which year groups need to attend on specific days for testing etc. 

From Tuesday 5th year 11 will re-join us for normal lessons as will the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable, online learning will commence for years 7,8,9 and 10. We will then invite specific year groups in each day for the ‘Lateral Flow’ COVID testing. The allocation of days has yet to be decided, we will let you know more after Christmas. 

The ‘Lateral Flow’ COVID testing is not mandatory and parental consent needs to be given, we will send an online form to parents before the start of term to obtain permission. Parents have the right to refuse the testing. 

All of the plans above need to be fully ironed out and are reliant on no further changes being directed from central Government and also on the prompt arrival of test kits for all students and staff. Therefore, the plans need to be fairly fluid, we will keep you informed as and when we know more. 

Thank you once again for your ongoing support, I would ask you not to contact us for further clarification at this stage as we are still in the planning stages, we will keep you informed throughout. Rest assured that our plans are based around following the National guidance, students educational and pastoral welfare but above all stakeholder safety. 

Our next update will probably come between Christmas and the New Year. 

Can I now take this opportunity to wish you a happy and safe Christmas from all the staff and Governors at SMCC. 

Mr DJ Lewis, Principal