I would like to remind you of the current process we have in place in Sandwell for dealing with students who take weapons onto educational premises. We take the safety of our young people very seriously and we want to do all that we can to ensure they are as safe as possible at all times.
Please see updated guidance from Public Health below in relation to COVID-19. We ask that everyone continues to remain vigilant; you must not attend the Academy if showing any symptoms of COVID-19, and book a PCR test immediately. We will distribute further home testing kits to students for whom we have consent, in accordance with guidance. If you did not initially provide consent for COVID-19 testing, but you require home testing kits, these are available from local pharmacies.
Last academic year, owing to a rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, we made the difficult decision to postpone the Rewards Days trips. Our incredible students had worked so relentlessly hard that we felt it only right to defer the trips until the new academic year, so that students did not miss out on the opportunity due to self-isolation. We haven’t forgotten, and will be working with our Academy Council Student Representatives to put together plans to honour our promise, and hope to be able to share these plans in the next few weeks.
A very large proportion of students are continuing to self-test at home twice a week. We are hugely grateful for this, and on multiple occasions it has helped to identify asymptomatic cases and limit the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic has caused an unfortunate and frustrating amount of disruption this year, but it could have been much worse without so many people taking this public-spirited approach to regular testing. When we return in September, the Department for Education has asked us to invite all students in for another two onsite COVID-19 tests. This remains voluntary, but we strongly encourage everyone to take part. While most adults are now vaccinated, we continue to have a social responsibility to protect the long-term health of our young people.
We’ve shared some important safety tips with students and parents/carers ahead of the summer break, but things don’t always go to plan. If students are worried about their online safety, or the way that someone has been communicating with them online, then they can seek help and speak to a child protection adviser here.
I have taken the unusual decision to write a public letter to the Academy community. Life in the pandemic has been difficult for us all and tragic for those that have lost family members, and all those personally affected have my sincere sympathy for the upheaval the pandemic has brought to work and family life.
We have been advised of two students in Year 9 that have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result we have asked a number of students to self-isolate as a precaution. You will have already been contacted by the Academy if your child is affected. The Academy will remain open for other students, and providing your child remains well they may attend as normal unless directed otherwise. Students working from home may access their home learning here.
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