Coronavirus Information Updates for Parents/Carers

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11th January

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you and your families are safe and well.

My aspiration for this communication is to provide updates and clarity around expectations of our Trust schools and how we can support your child at this time.

Our staff continue to work hard to ensure that we can provide high quality remote learning provision. We understand that this can never be quite as effective for the academic and social development of our pupils as face-to-face onsite learning. We are nevertheless committed to providing a blend of activities which includes ‘live interaction’ with our teachers for pupils working from home in Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as appropriate activities for our youngest pupils. It is therefore very important that we continue to remind you that, should your child face challenges with accessing a laptop and/or Wi-Fi, that you contact your school to let us know. May we also ask that you encourage your child to actively engage with the work that is available to them and they attempt the work to the best of their ability.

With regards to pupils attending school, this provision is only for children of critical workers where there is no parent or carer at home during the school day to take care of them, or pupils who have been identified by the school as requiring onsite education. If you are unsure as to whether your child should be on site, please do not hesitate to contact your school. Please be assured that our pastoral teams are contacting families for pupils who should be attending and are not currently doing so.

Many of our schools have started the onsite Mass Lateral Flow Device COVID-19 Testing for staff and pupils. To support the national drive to reduce COVID-19 transmission and protect the NHS, may we please encourage you to provide consent for your child to be part of this programme. Your schools will provide you with further information, a Consent Form and Privacy Notice so that you have all the information you need to make that decision.

We very much value communication with our parents and carers, and the current situation continues to present challenges as to how we deliver our formal parental engagement activities e.g. Parents/Progress Evenings, Parent Presentations etc. Some of you would have already experienced our very successful Remote Parent Evenings last term and we will use that model going forward whilst being in the midst of this pandemic. Your child’s school will keep you updated about these arrangements.

You will no doubt be aware that Key Stage 2 (Year 6 Primary) SATS have been cancelled without any plans currently for any replacement. For end of Key Stage 4 and 5 exams (Year 11 and Year 13), they have also been cancelled with a Government announcement that Teacher Assessment will be incorporated within the process that replaces them. We understand that Ofqual, the body that oversees examinations, will be consulting trusts, schools and stakeholders about what will replace exams. Please be assured that we will participate in this consultation so that we can ensure that our pupils achieve the grades that they deserve. Please do not contact your school about the awarding of grades for GCSE, Vocational and A-level examinations as we will keep you updated.

Finally, and very importantly, for our pupils who qualify for Free School Meals, your school will be informing you of arrangements. If you have any concerns on this matter please do not hesitate to contact your school.

Thank you as always for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Tarun Kapur CBE

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