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Buxton Community School

Buxton Community School

Update from Mr Yates - 17/12/2020

Please see below details of new information from the government which has been emailed to parents.

Dear Parent/Carer
Following a very late announcement by government this afternoon, we have been instructed to put in place a staggered return for students in our school following the Christmas break.
I have outlined below how it will impact on the different year groups and how we will make sure that those students who are working at home throughout the week of January 4th will continue to be provided with high quality education.
•    Year 11 and year 13 students - students in both these year groups are unaffected. They should return to school on January the 4th as planned where they will follow the normal week one timetable which will be delivered by their teachers as planned. Apart from the absence of other students their experience of school should feel the same as any other week.
•    Students in year 7, year 8, year 9, year 10 and year 12 will remain at home for the whole of the week beginning the 4th of January and will return to school the following week on the 11th of January.  During this time students in these year groups will be provided with substantial remote work. Please support us by encouraging your child to engage with the work that has been set and complete as much as possible. They will also be able to access the school teacher by the email system if they have any specific questions or require support.
•    Your child’s class teachers will provide a rich mix of pre-recorded lessons and other learning materials which will be delivered through class charts. Please make sure they can access the system and have the correct username and password. If they need support with this then please email  
•    There may be a small number of occasions when a class teacher does not set work for a specific group. This may be because of staff absence; it may also be because that staff member has been allocated a period of teaching a group of students in school from our key worker families.

•   We anticipate there will be access to school throughout the week to provide learning provision to the children from key worker families. The link below will take you to a form where you can declare if you feel you meet the criteria for key worker and where you can request the place in school for your child for the week of the 4th of January. You do not need to do this if your child is in year 11 or year 13. You must complete the form by Monday the 21st December at the latest if you meet the requirements as a key worker. Please make sure you have read the criteria (there is a link at the top of the form) before you complete the form.
•    Key worker places will be at an absolute premium, please do not request a place if you have any other reasonable option that would allow your child to work safely at home for the week the 4th of January. The governments reasons for imposing this delayed return for students are based around reducing potential contacts and infections of others. Wherever possible your child should remain at home for that week.  We may also contact you directly if we wish to offer a specific place to your child for other reasons.

Link to Form:

I am aware that a small number of year 10 and year 12 students are expecting to sit some external examinations in January. I can confirm that the January examinations in vocational subjects are expected to go ahead as planned. Your child should attend school for the exam sessions only at the time of the examination on their timetable, which is unchanged. Unfortunately, I do not currently anticipate that they will be able to attend lessons before the exam takes place, so it is extremely important that they participate in any online work that has been set.
This has been a very late change in policy by government but I am confident that we have put a strong and robust learning plan in place for all students including those whose return to school will be delayed.

You may also be aware that this week we have been informed we are to set up as a rapid testing centre for staff and students. This facility will not be open to our wider families or the general public. Although I am hopeful that in the long run it will significantly reduce periods of absence for students with COVID-19 symptoms.  Again this has been the decision we have been informed of very late in the term. There is a significant amount of work to be done in terms of organisation, training staff, organising resources, obtaining parental consent and a myriad of other elements that need to be put in place before testing in school can begin. This is a facility that the school is expected to deliver. We are waiting for our first training materials to arrive and we do not yet know when we should expect the testing equipment to be in school. I would like to have this in place as rapidly as possible but as you can imagine it is not particularly straight forward. I am confident that it is something that will benefit the school and your children once it is up and running and I will write to you as soon as possible with more information about how this will work in schools once it has been shared with us.
In the meantime, please do all you can to remain safe over Christmas. I am very grateful to those of you taking the time to write to school and express your support for the school or to thank different staff for work that they have done with your child. It has been a particularly challenging few months and I am very proud of the way the students and staff have responded in meeting every single challenge that they hve faced. I believe that your children, despite all the changes, have had the best education we could possibly offer.
Can you please also make sure that you reference our previous email (relevant section repeated below) if you have any specific concerns around COVID-19 and particularly if you need to report a positive test result to school. There are specific protocols for between the 18th and the 23rd of December. Please also remember that if your child tests positive after the 23rd of December you do not need to contact us or has COVID-19 symptoms during the Christmas break please make sure that you follow the self-isolation rules fully before your child returns to school in January.
Finally, I really would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. In whatever form it takes for you and your family, I hope you have the best of times.
Take care
Craig Yates - Headeacher


What to do if my child becomes unwell with COVID or tests positive after the 17th December? The following information has been issued by the Government and Public Health England.

  1. Where a pupil tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  2. If your child becomes unwell from the 20th December onwards, you do not need to contact us and can let us know on the 4th January as it will not have affected other students in school.
  3. Between 18th December and 23rd December, if a pupil tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, please contact the school by following the instructions in 4a below, and we will assist in identifying and contacting close contacts to advise self-isolation for those affected, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
  4. For the first 6 days after the end of term (until the 23rd), we have followed government guidance and allocated a dedicated contact number and for a limited period to receive notification of positive cases and advise close contacts to self-isolate.
    1. If you need to notify us of a positive case between December 18th and December 23rd, please call 07534689585 between 10.00am and 11.30 am. This number has been set up specifically for COVID 19 confirmed cases only. Do not call it for any other reason. If for any reason I am unable to take the call, please leave a voicemail and I will contact you as soon as possible.
  5. If your child is affected by contact tracing and required to self-isolate after the 17th December, school staff will contact you by TEXT MESSAGE. Please make sure your main mobile contact number is up to date.
  6. There should be no contact from school beyond Wednesday 23rd December as PHE have confirmed that this is the latest point in time when contact within school could theoretically affect your child needing to self isolate

Please use the contact email for any other general enquiries.