Dear parents and guardians,
From everyone at National Church of England Academy, we hope you had a good Christmas and wish all of you a very Happy New Year.
At the end of 2020 the country saw a huge rise in the number of Covid cases. As a result, on the 30th December, Nottinghamshire along with many other parts of the country were moved into Tier 4.
We now prepare to begin 2021 in Tier 4 with the associated added restrictions. In addition, you will have no doubt heard the announcement from Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education with regard to students return to school after the Christmas Holidays. This is clearly a change to earlier plans communicated to you before the holidays.
The revised plan for the return to school in January 2021 is:
This is subject to further change depending upon government announcements. Reminders on how to access remote learning will be sent out early next week.
Key Worker and Vulnerable Children Provision
We will be providing onsite provision for students of key workers and vulnerable students from Tuesday 5th January 2021. If you are a key worker and would like to book a space for your child then we have had an online form to register open for a while now and the deadline for the first week has closed. A new form for the week beginning the 11th will be available to sign up for from Monday for years 7 - 10.
If you are unsure as to whether you qualify as a key worker (critical worker) then the list published by the government is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-forschools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#critical-workers
Families of vulnerable students have been contacted but if you do have any queries then please contact the school on Monday 4th January 2021 after 8.30am.
The delayed start of the school term is to allow schools to prepare to carry out Covid-19 testing using lateral flow devices. Our understanding at present is that this involves mass testing and serial testing. Mass testing involves the testing of as many students as possible in years 7-13 as they return to school and we are planning for this to commence from 11th January. Serial testing involves the testing of close contacts and the weekly testing of staff on an ongoing basis.
Further details about testing can be found later in this letter and we will send an easy-read guide during next week. However, for now the most urgent matter is for us to obtain consent for testing and your child’s participation in the scheme. Again, details of how you can give consent are in the later section on testing. Participation in testing is not compulsory but it will help our school community to be a safer place and also help the community and minimise wider transmission of the virus.
Staffing of the Test Centre and volunteers
In order to provide testing on such a scale and in particular for the initial mass testing, we are looking for volunteers from the community to help support the process. These volunteers would help with the testing process and support the governments’ initiatives to help curb the virus.
At this stage we are seeking general expressions of interest. The most important role needed is that of processor: setting up the tests, analysing them and obtaining results. We may also need help with recording and administration and, if there are appropriate volunteers, for more significant team leader roles overseeing the test process.
We anticipate you would need to attend online NHS training during the week commencing 4th January and have availability, particularly in the mornings, for the weeks of 11th and 18th January, although this may not need to be every day. We will also likely need some ongoing help on a smaller scale into the future.
I am hopeful that with your community support, a group of volunteers will help us to make sure students return to the classroom as soon as they can. If you are able to support, or know of others that can, then please complete the form below as soon as possible:
Please be assured that we are doing our best to navigate through these uncertain times. Please be aware that we do not have prior notice of the announcements that are being made and are responding to these demands as rapidly and effectively as possible.
We all want the students at National learning in a safe environment. By supporting this programme, we hope to be in a position to do this as soon as possible. A series of additional communications will be sent in the coming days to keep you updated. In the meantime, I thank you for your support and ask for a quick response to the consent request and plea for volunteers.
Wishing you a Happy New Year
Mr M Brailsford