• Step 1 – We temporarily close a specific class because of a confirmed COVID case in that class or due to staff shortages that mean we are not able to safely operate that class. In either case we will inform families of the reason and whether children need to self-isolate or not.
  • Step 2 – We temporarily close more than one class because of a confirmed case in a single or multiple classes, or due to staff shortages that mean we are not able to safely operate those classes. In some cases, the reason for closure could be a combination of positive cases and staff shortages so, again, we will inform parents of the situation so they know whether to isolate their children.
  • Step 3 – We temporarily close a bubble/phase due to COVID case/s or significant staffing issues. Closing a bubble/phase will only be done if it is not safe to keep it open and again parents will be informed of the reason and the duration in writing.
  • Step 4 – We temporarily close more than one bubble/phase due to an outbreak in multiple areas and/or significant staffing issues. As at previous steps, we will ensure parents are fully informed of the situation.
  • Step 5 – Whole Academy ClosureIf we have a significant outbreak or severe staffing issues that mean we are unable to open any part of the academy, we will liaise with Public Health England and the Local authority to decide if we should as a final resort close the whole academy, including our four satellites (Milestone@Wilmington, Milestone@Leigh, Milestone@DPA and Stepping Stones). In this situation we would of course write to all families and explain the reasoning for the decision.

Should we need to follow any of these steps, the pupils who are affected by the closure will then receive remote learning.

Advisory regarding the Step Process

It would be ideal if we could apply these steps in a linear, one step after the other manner. However, my experience as Principal since March 2020 tells me that COVID-related events may well conspire against us both in terms of speed and complexity, so that we may be applying one of the steps in one area of Milestone and in parallel a different step or indeed school continuing as usual in another area of Milestone Academy – be that on the main site or at one of our Satellites.

As with all COVID response plans, I have to say that our step plan may need to be amended / updated as we move through the rest of this academic year.