In March the government announced the closure of all schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we closed our doors to all but the children of key workers and vulnerable students. On 30th March, due to limited numbers of students attending Sir Thomas Boughey Academy, provision for eligible students was provided at Clayton Hall Academy. We re-opened Sir Thomas Boughey Academy on June 1st for the children of key workers and vulnerable students.

We are now planning to begin to open more widely, with a face-to face provision for our Year 10 students from 15th June 2020 (at the earliest). This will take the form of one day per week, with Week One focusing on core subjects, and Week Two on option subjects.  In order to protect the safety of our students and in line with government direction, we will not plan to have more than 25% of the Year 10 cohort on site at any time.  Students will be taught in small groups (ranging from 3 to 11) and they will remain in those groups throughout the day.

We are very conscious of the challenge and concern around wider opening and, as you would expect, have invested considerable time and effort in preparing for this. We have sought health and safety advice from experts and from guidance issued by the government, NHS and the unions which support our staff. All documentation and procedures have been checked by union representatives and have been confirmed as adhering to all guidance. In order to help alleviate any staff anxiety about wider reopening to Year 10, staff have been offered the opportunity of visiting the academy prior to reopening for a tour of the site.

The safety of our students and staff is our absolute priority.  We have firmly followed all government guidance and have also introduced additional measures to manage social distancing, including:

  • A one-way system.
  • Colour-coded entrances and routes to allocated classrooms to limit traffic on corridors.
  • A range of outdoor space to ensure that each group is allocated their own area at break / lunch times.
  • Clearly marked 2m distancing in corridors.
  • A revised Behaviour Policy, which has an emphasis on the importance of social distancing and hygiene.
  • Desks have been placed 2m apart.
  • There will be a one in, one out toilet system in operation supervised by staff.
  • The school day has been amended to allow for staggered start times, end times, break and lunch times.

We are very much looking forward to seeing our Year 10 students at Sir Thomas Boughey again.  However, in accordance with the guidance that remote education should remain the predominant mode of education, are also working to ensure that the remote learning opportunities and resources that we are offering to our students learning from home, are of an increasingly strong standard. We have taken a huge steps forwards in using IT as a major vehicle of communication and resource and we are beginning to offer video lessons through Teams, which take place in-line with student timetables.

Not only have United Endeavour Trust developed a central planning framework for responding to COVID-19, but we also have an Academy-specific version of this document which we work to constantly and which is robust and detailed. You can find copies of our Risk Assessment documentation and Equality Impact Assessment documents attached, for your reference and reassurance.

We take very seriously our civic duties and our responsibilities to our students, parents, staff and wider community. As public servants, we want our contribution to meeting the challenges of the current educational situation to be well considered, substantial and optimistic, and we are very proud of the hard work and commitment of our staff and school community in rising to the challenges of these unprecedented times.

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