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21st May 2020
Plans for the further re-opening of Northern Star Academies Trust Schools
Dear parents, carers and families
Following a week of furious media debate about schools opening more widely, it is now timely and pertinent for me to write to you explaining the provisional approach that we are taking across all Northern Star Academies Trust schools.
As a parent of secondary aged children and a teacher of many years, I have complete empathy and understanding for the position both parents/carers and our staff have found themselves in over the last two months. On behalf of our Trust and Headteachers, I would like to thank you for the incredible efforts that you have gone to, to support your children with home-learning as well as the support you have shown our staff during this exceptionally difficult period of time.
It is important to point out that our schools have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and for some of our schools during Easter, Bank holidays and weekends. They have remained open for the children who have needed our support and our care. I am extremely grateful to all our teaching and associate staff for their hard work and commitment in support of emergency workers and our vulnerable children. Our provision for key workers and vulnerable children will remain unchanged throughout the next half term as we start to bring other groups of children back into school and expand out provision.
Which year groups are we reopening and why?
We hope to provide some part time, face-to-face provision for students in Years 10 and 12 only. This is in line with the government guidance that states: “We will ask secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are offering to priority groups.”
When will our Secondary Schools reopen?
If we receive a go ahead from the government on 28th May when certain national criteria are met, our provisional plan is as follows:
w/c 1st June - NSAT Secondary schools will only be open for vulnerable children and those from key worker families. On 1st and 2nd June all Secondary staff will be participating in a comprehensive Induction/CPD programme.
w/c 15th June - Staggered, part time, face-to-face supervision for some students in Years 10 and 12 only will begin.
We are currently awaiting further government guidance about what this means in practice. We hope to be in a position to share details of this provision with Year 10 and Year 12 families during the week beginning 1st June. At this time, we will also survey families to inform us of their intentions regarding return to school.
Please note, that the Secondary provision will be part time, and designed to support distance learning that will continue to be provided.
What about the other year groups?
For any children not attending school, we will continue to maintain our distance learning offer. And, where possible run this parallel with onsite provision. However, please understand that our revised provision will see many more Trust staff working on a daily basis onsite and there may be less capacity to create online content.
In these unprecedented times I kindly ask for parents understanding and patience. We could never imagine that we would be facing such an extraordinary experience but rest assured, your child’s safety and safeguarding are our number one priority.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school if you would like to discuss your child’s provision further or have any questions – it is critically important that you feel comfortable with your child’s safe return to education in school.
Chief Executive Officer