This academy, like the rest of the UK, is in a fast-moving environment with regards COVID-19.
Unfortunately, we have had three students in different year groups test positive in the last three days.
My first thoughts are with those students and family members who may also be affected. We wish them well.
I received notice from Public Health England yesterday afternoon that a Year 8 student had become the latest to test positive.
Over the weekend, one student in each of Years 11 and 9 had the same result.
All we can do is act swiftly on the guidance provided.
We have, therefore, three different bubbles self-isolating.
Parents / carers of all students needing to do so have been written to, outlining when they should return to school.
All other students must attend school unless they are ill.
Rest assured, we have taken advice from Public Health England on the numbers and timescales of those who need to self-isolate due to being identified as contacts in the academy.
The national Test and Trace system should identify any contacts due to social mixing outside of the academy.
Only students who are close contacts are affected.
The way the bubbles have been established – restricting year group areas and students’ time with others – has limited numbers self-isolating.
We expect all students studying from home to be logging on to Google Classroom daily.
If they do not, with time in school increasingly limited, there is a real danger they will fall behind and not catch up.
The three-week delay to GCSEs announced yesterday by the Secretary of State provides some clarity and is welcome.
However, it is not a great amount of additional time, particularly when students are missing from the classroom because of self-isolation.
We may find the Department for Education needing to review its stance on exams and we must be prepared for this eventuality.
One thing is certain: The Prime Minister and Government are determined to keep schools open and we are focused on providing the best possible education we can.
For the first time last week, average attendance fell below 90%.
While I understand the reasons behind this, we need parental support to ensure students who should be attending are in school.
They can be assured our bubbles are working.
Our risk assessment is sound and we will continue to do our best to minimise risk to students and staff.
As always, I hope you stay well.