Download letter here:Letter to parents Week 2 Update
30th March 2020
I am writing to update you on where we are at with regard to the current Coronavirus situation, academisation and Enrichment week.
I trust that you are all well and your children are able to access work either through on-line learning or through individual packs that have been distributed. I know vast amounts of work are being set by staff and completed by students. I am heartened to see the number of students who are busy completing challenges and activities as part of our “Keeping Connected” initiative. We are currently in the process of trying to make individual contact with all students to ensure they are well and safe. At the time of writing I have received no notification of any of our students or staff being confirmed as having had the virus. We are open for a very small number of students of Key Workers and this is staffed on a rota basis.
A number of parents have contacted us with regard to Free School Meals. Currently our caterers are providing this service and it has been well received by those collecting them. With regard to the voucher scheme- we are intending to participate in the National Voucher scheme once it is up and running. We have had a number of emails about it but nothing clarifying how it will work or when it will start.
Our date for conversion to an Academy was April 1st– this understandably has been postponed to May 1st. All of our work from a school point of view was complete but some of the legal aspects of land transfer have been delayed through no fault of ours. Whilst this is frustrating it is a minor delay in the process.
I made the decision last week to cancel Enrichment week for this academic year regardless of whether the school gets permission to reopen by July or not. Therefore we have a number of Residential visits, which need to be cancelled and hopefully refunds secured. Below is a detailed breakdown of where we are at with each visit;
Blackpool and Manchester, Disney Paris & Kingsway – These visits are now cancelled and we are hoping to be able to ensure each child receives a complete refund on what they have paid in the coming weeks.
Malaga- This visit is NOT YET CANCELLED. In order to secure any refund we must wait until the Government issues a Foreign Office Do Not Travel notification. At the minute I am led to believe these are in place for Spain up until May 31st. Therefore, I am waiting until the Government provides further updates prior to cancellation of this visit, although I believe that it is highly unlikely it will go ahead.
Tall Ships- This visit is now cancelled but as this was a free event there are no refunds due.
Staff who have collected any monies for non-residential visits such as the Great Yorkshire Show have already begun to refund those deposits.
Ski visit 2021- staff leading the visit have contacted Interski and at the moment the visit is still scheduled for next year. If the visit has to be cancelled due to Coronavirus then Interski have assured us a full refund would be given. However, if you decide to withdraw your child from the trip then the terms and conditions still apply and you would not be eligible for a full refund. With regards to further payments, the school is unable to accept cash at present and staff leading the visit would therefore recommend that monthly payments be set aside, and brought into school once we have reopened.
I would be grateful if you could bear with us whilst we complete the process of refunds at this difficult time. We have a limited number of staff on site and whilst all staff are expected to work from home certain tasks are not always practicable from home given computer software and GDPR issues. In addition to that all refunds have to be made individually either through Parentpay or by cheque, which is complex and time consuming. For example say an individual has made two payments for Disney through Parent pay and one via cash or cheque then the two Parent pay refunds have to be made separately and a further cheque issued for the cash payment. The processing of cheques is more complex still as we have to have two authorised signatories on site and have requested further cheque books from the Bank due to the number that have to be issued.
Other issues that need resolving are the Year 8 options process, which I know Mr Langlands is working on direct with Year 8 parents and transition for the new Year 7 students arriving in September.
I am not asking staff to set work over the Easter period. I think students and staff would benefit from a proper break after the challenges of establishing new Home-Learning routines. Please watch out for our weekly Keeping Connected newsletter and if you have any issues or concerns please contact your Year Achievement Leader or individual staff via email.
Alternatively contact the school by phone or email. Please follow Government guidance and stay safe and positive in these challenging times.
Mr G Lumsdon