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Headteacher Letter - latest Government Guidance

Dear Parent/Carer

 

As we approach the end of term you will be aware of a number of government announcements about a phased start to the spring term, and being invited to set up a mass Covid testing programme for pupils and staff.

 

I am writing to you today to explain how The Clere School intends to respond to these extremely last-minute government requests. Although disappointing that we are hearing this again via the national press we will nevertheless be digesting and planning as quickly as we can, in the same way we have successfully done before.

 

We will follow the government guidance on how to phase the start of term, which is intended to ensure effective education can continue but also reduce the spread of the virus as pupils and staff return after Christmas. This means the following:

Phased start to term

On Monday 4 January 2021, the following pupils should come in to school:

  • Vulnerable children,
  • Children of critical workers, and
  • Year 11 students

 

We will contact the parents of vulnerable students.  For ‘critical’ workers if it is unsafe for your child or children to stay at home, please watch out for the ParentMail form we will be sending out over the holidays for you to complete. 

 

During this first week of term, all other pupils should stay at home. We will be providing remote education for those pupils. More details on this will follow.

From Monday 11 January, all pupils should come into school as normal.

Mass testing programme

We are positive about the potential for the mass testing of pupils and staff in schools, as a way of reducing the spread of the virus and enabling fewer pupils and staff to have to self-isolate. You can read more about how the government expects this programme to work here.

 

Setting up this programme in schools is an incredibly complex operation. We have been sent some information about how it should work already, but more detailed guidance is expected to be produced by the government over the Christmas holiday period.

 

We will not, therefore, be in position to have this programme up and running as soon as the spring term starts. At the start of term, we will review what the expectations are, what support is available from the government or other agencies, and what we can realistically deliver.

 

We will let you know more about our plans as soon as we can in January. In the meantime, from the start of next term, we will continue to implement the safety measures we have been using in the autumn term.

 

Please accept our apologies for having to send this letter after term has already ended. We are having to respond to a vast quantity of extremely last minute and complex government guidance.  On behalf of The Clere I have written to our local MP, Kit Malthouse, to urge coherent messaging on this.

 

Thank you for your patience and continued support, and all best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas holiday.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Benjamin Bond

Headteacher

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