Dear Parents, Carers and Families,
I trust this letter finds all as safe as possible in the current Covid circumstances.
First of all, thank you very much to the large number of parents, families and carers who so promptly responded to our survey sent out last Friday. We have now collated and analysed the almost 250 responses we received and, without a doubt, there are now a significant number of respondents that are seeking a place for their son / daughter.
However, the challenge that I and my senior colleagues have faced in establishing a way forward from the 18th January is how I and we have sought to meet these markedly increased requests for places (in comparison to last May when we did such a survey during a similar lockdown), whilst at the same time doing our very best to secure the ongoing and increased Covid safety thresholds for pupils and staff. This is at the very time when we are all aware that the new variant of the virus has unfortunately become more transmissible as the numbers in our area have continued to sadly prove.
Therefore, moving forward and scaling up Milestone from how we are currently operating has become a delicate and challenging balancing act of:
- Ensuring our current offer to critical workers and pupils who we have felt are most vulnerable continues so that they can attend as they currently are between now and the end of term
- Increasing the amount of pupils and staff we welcome in
- Increasing the space we have available in each classroom compared to normal
- Ensuring we do not overpopulate our outside/inside play areas
- Keeping some classrooms free in each phase so we can have a contingency space to move into should we need that to suddenly occur
In parallel, I am pleased to say that with the support of the Government and LAT we now have our Covid lateral flow testing centre (aka asymptomatic testing) set up and working at our main site for all staff (main site or satellite). However, the reality of this testing is that we may discover we have a colleague(s) who, unbeknown to themselves, is Covid positive and as a result I would then revert to what we now know as established Covid practice and be asking pupils who have worked/are working with this staff member to self-isolate. In the meantime, we are actively assessing how some of our pupils (with consent) can also be tested safely as we move forward.
From the 18th January, with the full support of the Leigh Academies Trust, we will operate in the following manner:
- All those currently attending, i.e. critical workers’ children and those we deem most vulnerable, will be able to continue to attend as they currently are between Monday 18th January and end of Term Wednesday 10th February
- We will draw on a rota approach to deliver a set number of days each week for pupils not in the critical worker/most vulnerable group who requested access to school, so they can have face to face learning whilst still having remote learning on those days they are at home
- Whilst it is our intention for this to be the way we progress until the end of term (Wednesday 10th February), we will nonetheless review how our Term 3 provision is working by the end of the week ending Friday 29th January and any update needed will then be sent out to parents, carers and families.
Following my letter being sent out this morning we will then write to / text parents, families and carers of those who will be placed on a rota of face to face learning, listing the days to attend. We also send this information to KCC transport.
Finally, experience in this pandemic tells me that all of the above may be subject to change as events may occur beyond my and our control but, in the meantime, we wish to thank you for your support and we will now move forward as per our plans above.