Update from Craig Yates - Headteacher
Please see the response below from Craig Yates - Headteacher following the government annoucement earlier today,
Wednesday 18th March 20.00pm
You are by now likely to be aware of the government announcement about schools. Although we all understand and support the reasons for the decisions that have been taken, it has happened very quickly and I know you will have many questions.
Essentially, the government has decided that from Friday 20th March, all schools will close to most students. We have been preparing for this eventuality for some time and as you know, some year groups have already been working from home. We have well planned work available for all year groups and this is available on our website and through Class Charts. We will continue to provide additional materials and support as much as we possibly can.
The government has also indicated that from Monday 23rd March, schools will provide support and access for the most vulnerable students and the children of those in certain essential occupations. There is also going to be additional help for those families who access free school meals. There is currently very limited detail from government about how the different aspects will operate. For example, we are waiting for clarity over what roles are essential occupations and what mechanism will be used to support those on free school meals.
For this reason, I have decided to continue with the current partial closure for Years 8 to 10 and Year 12. We will still open to Year 7, 11 and 13 from 9.50am on Thursday & Friday this week. We are still dealing with increasing staff absence as the virus takes hold in the area and we are working hard to maintain the level of care and education we have currently in place.
I hope to be in a position to clarify each of the issues above tomorrow -Thursday 19th. The government currently intends to issue its guidance to schools at some point during the day.
I also want to talk about our Year 11 and Year 13 students who have been working so hard to be ready for their exams in the summer. The government has made it clear that the GCSE and A-level exams will not take place as planned in May or June. They have not yet shared the next steps for our 16 and 18 year olds and I am very unlikely to be able to provide a definitive answer soon on this matter.
I understand how upsetting this will be for our children and I can reassure you and them that I will be fighting with everything in my power to secure a fair outcome that reflects their efforts. Please make sure they know their work is not going to be wasted and we will do everything we can to make sure it works out fairly.
I cannot currently say exactly what will happen but the one thing I can do is personally guarantee that I will not allow this situation to affect the Sixth Form place for any Year 11 student who has applied to attend BCS Sixth Form and was on track to reach the entry requirements. We will also continue to support those seeking opportunities elsewhere in reaching their next steps. I hope the universities will soon clarify the position for those who are due to move on in the summer.
I want to thank you again for your endless support in these unprecedented times. I also want to place on record my thanks to every member of our staff who have done an astonishing job in recent weeks.
I will keep you informed of any developments as and when they happen. Please keep an eye on our website too.
Whatever we are asked to do, we wll try our very best and be as ready as we can for Monday,
Craig Yates - Headteacher