Changes to arrangements for before and after the Christmas holidays

Date: 10 December 2020
Our Ref: EHT211/SKG

Dear Parents/Carers

Changes to arrangements for before and after the Christmas holidays

The Department for Education (DfE) has contacted us, asking that we look to change our end-of-term arrangements in order to support Public Health England with contact tracing for a six-day period in the lead-up to Christmas; a member of the senior leadership team will be on-hand to remain contactable so we can assist with this, where necessary. This means we have been asked to finish this term a day earlier than planned to allow enough time for positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases to be identified and confirmed by a test and for relevant close contacts in school to be traced. We are also very keen to support our families who wish to meet with their elderly relatives over the festive period. Therefore, having consulted very closely with the Local Authority and other secondary head teacher colleagues and I can confirm that the term will now end on Thursday 17 December 2020 at lunchtime, with the same staggered departure times that we had previously shared:

  • Year 11: 11.55am
  • Year 10: 12 noon
  • Year 9: 12.05pm
  • Year 8: 12.10pm
  • Year 7: 12.15pm
  • Sixth Form: 12.20pm

Scholars’ buses will still be available. As the students are now finishing a day earlier before Christmas, and in order for them not to lose any more days in school than is absolutely necessary, they will return one day earlier after the holidays.

All students will now start the new Spring Term on Monday 4 January 2021 at their usual staggered times. We are fortunate that we are able to change the staff INSET day on the 4 January 2021 to the 18 December 2020.

Once again, we are being as agile as possible in our responses to last-minute DfE guidelines and have only made this decision after very careful consideration.

Please note, should your child receive a positive test for COVID-19, we only need to be notified ( if their symptoms started within 48 hours of the last day they were in school. For example, if they were last in school at lunchtime on 17 December, you do not need to inform us of their positive test if their symptoms started after lunchtime on 19 December.

I would like to make you aware, too, that we will be in touch separately with those families whose children are in receipt of free school meals (FSM), in order to explain how they will benefit from their child’s FSM entitlement over Christmas.

In closing, please accept our very best wishes to you and your loved ones for a very peaceful Christmas and once again thank you for your huge support over these past few months.

Yours sincerely

Sir Ken Gibson
Executive Head Teacher

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