Dear parents, carers and families
RE: Possible Update to point Number 1: delayed return to school in my letter of 31st December 2020 – covering all of Milestone Academy INCLUDING all of our satellites
I am sincerely sorry to interrupt our carers and families on a Saturday. I wanted to contact you all again due to a fast-moving set of circumstances beyond the immediate control of Milestone Academy that you might be following in today’s media. These may unfortunately cause me to alter the offer I am able to make to parents and families when we open Milestone Academy to pupils from Tuesday the 5th of January.
What is becoming apparent since my letter – sent I can assure you all in good faith and based on the information known to myself and the Trust at that point – is that we have, in no particular order, a combination of the following occurring:
- new DfE SEN guidance issued during the evening of New Year’s Eve;
- revised political decisions being made and potentially being made at a regional/national level regarding schools being open and on what terms;
- unions for both teachers and headteachers naturally and understandably having emergency meetings today with regards to the advice they will be giving to their members in terms of schools reopening;
- further information coming into the public domain regarding the prevalence, impact and method of transfer of the new strain and the impact this has had locally; and
- the extent to which our local NHS services are being placed under increasing strain due to the rising Covid levels.
To consider these matters in-depth, I have conferred this afternoon with the Trust CEO, Simon Beamish. As such, I wish to alert families that it may be that once I have had a chance to evaluate matters further with my leadership team on Monday morning, I will have no choice but to move to offering places at Milestone from Tuesday only to those families who are deemed to be critical workers, plus other key pupils who we deem to be most vulnerable.
If this turns out to be the case then all other pupils’ learning will be delivered remotely from Tuesday and until they return to Milestone, which we hope will be no later than Monday 11th January. Simon Beamish and I have agreed that I will send an update letter by 1:00pm on Monday at the very latest to inform all parents and families of our opening arrangements for Tuesday.
To that end I would ask that parents and families who consider themselves to be critical workers complete the attached Google form and send this back to us by Monday the 4th at 9:00am. If we are forced due to developments beyond our control to move to a partial opening approach your feedback will enable us to plan our staffing around the numbers of pupils we will have on-site.
Finally, whilst I know this letter will cause some unhappiness for families hoping to send their child back on Tuesday, I have at all times the safety of our pupils and staff at the foremost of my thoughts. Thus, I felt that I would rather alert parents/families as soon as I could to the possible re-shaping of my well-intentioned plans. This is in light of a very fast-moving and rather confusing situation that we are all facing. Rest assured, we will do all that we can to get as many pupils back to Milestone as soon as we can. Whilst we grapple with the unprecedented challenges we face, as ever, we appreciate your support.
Nigel Jones |Principal