A happy new year to you all.
I am sure you are all aware of the rise of the Omicron variant and I understand that many of you will be worried about the difficulties this could bring when the Academy re-opens for the Spring Term.
We all know that face-to-face education is the best way for children and young people to learn and that we have to balance this against wider public health risks brought by Covid-19. I want to reassure you that enabling face-to-face education is my absolute priority and having students working remotely is always the last option.
Together we have already done an outstanding job in implementing measures over the past 2 years that have helped to keep children in face-to-face education and you have my continued thanks and appreciation for doing all you can to support and ensure we are able to have students in the Academy and all individuals are kept safe.
Over the break staff have being working hard to ensure the Academy remains compliant with the updated guidance and we do everything possible to ensure face-to-face learning is maintained. As you are aware we have a staggered start on Wednesday to enable the testing of students on return. We will have hand sanitising stations at every student entrance and in classrooms and the regular testing programme will be maintained.
As you may be aware the Government now recommends that masks are worn in classrooms, this was already a step that we have introduced in late November and clearly will continue this term, can you please ensure that students attend the academy with a mask, unless except as this is still a key method of preventing transmission.
Can you also please ensure students are aware of the Uniform and Jewellery policy. One stud type earing per ear and no nose studs. Clear retainers are permitted and available from many outlets and online, can you please ensure students have a supply of these and nose piercings are changed and in place ready for Wednesday.
Throughout the year we gather stakeholder voice on a wide range of areas to ensure we continue to listen and improve. One of the areas identified from student voice, along with data regarding incidents and damage is the communal toilet washing areas. To support student’s perception of safety we are currently installing CCTV in the toilet areas. The installation of CCTV in such sensitive areas is governed by strict rules and we employed an external company to ensure we adhere to all requirements. These cameras only point into the communal areas for the facilities and viewing access is restricted to a small number of staff.
Viewing also needs signed consent from myself and will only be done in pairs of staff from the appropriate gender, these additional safeguarding measures are well above the recommendations but I think an appropriate balance to ensure a safe and well looked after environment for all. If you have any concerns regarding this and would like to discuss please do contact me, or attend the up and coming Parent Forum event.
Currently I intend to ensure all events run face-to-face as expected, but within the current guidance, this includes the year 11 parents evening in a few weeks’ time.
I wish you all a prosperous and safe 2022.
Head of Academy