Parent Update re. Schools and Coronavirus

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope this letter finds you well following the half term break. I wish to thank you again for your continued efforts ensuring that our family of learners throughout the Cheddar Valley community continues to receive quality education -whilst studying remotely. I applaud you all for the fantastic job that you are doing.

I am aware that the schools across the Trust have been efficient in communicating their individual plans to you. However I am acutely aware that you are no doubt anxious to receive further information regarding the return of students across the Wessex Learning Trust schools. I thank you for your patience awaiting my correspondence. This has allowed me, the Trust Headteachers, school staff and the Central Trust Team to collaborate and plan meticulously, ensuring that no stone has gone unturned in the arrangements we have made. I now write to clarify some key areas for you.

The Government has issued strict guidelines regarding the return of specific year groups to their educational settings. The current guidance states that schools should be reopening for children in nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6. From 15 June, the reintroduction of Year 10 and Year 12 students will begin. The reopening of our schools is based strictly upon Government guidance. Schools across the Trust are also continuing to provide provision for the children of key workers, and those who may be considered vulnerable. I wish to assure you that we are considering what provisions can be put in place for our other year groups to enrich their virtual education and ensure that no learner within the Wessex Learning Trust is disadvantaged.

Given the current parameters of the Government guidelines, ‘transition’ will currently not be able to take place in the traditional manner for our Year 4 and Year 8 learners.  However, we promise to continue to work with you to ensure that your child is fully supported with their start at school in September. A multitude of transition resources are being prepared and made available to students, parents and carers alike, to ensure that all questions are answered, any worries allayed and your child excited for the next steps in their educational journey. For the parents and carers of children with EHCPs, Special Educational Needs or those who are considered high risk and vulnerable, specific arrangements will be made to their transition period.

Given the current situation and guidelines, at present the Trust do not envisage that Summer holiday provision will be available to our learners. Students need to opportunity to ‘reset’ as come September, ‘school’ and ‘education’ will look significantly different from what our learners are used to. With that in mind, I write to assure you that the Trust are and will remain available to support you. The Trust schools have been asked to continue contacting you through phone calls home. However, with the reintroduction of learners into school settings, I thank you for being mindful that these may not take place at the same capacity and frequency as they have been previously.

I appreciate that many of you will be anxious to plan for September and prepare your child with uniform, PE clothing and other equipment. We are checking with our uniform suppliers to assess what stocks are available and we will offer further guidance about the need to wear uniform before the summer holidays.   

Recently the Government have announced that a face covering is to be worn by all individuals travelling on public transport.  We expect this provision to apply to those children traveling on school transport but again, we are seeking clarification and will inform parents in due course.

It goes without saying that our plans need to remain flexible. As previously articulated, should the R rate increase, and/or the local or national situation change, we will re-evaluate and adjust our plans as necessary. We will not hesitate in making the best decisions for the safety of our students, staff, and the local community.

I thank you again for your continued patience and understanding of the current situation.

Keep safe.

Yours Sincerely,

Gavin Ball

Chief Executive