Sandwell Local Authority has asked the Academy to share this letter with parents/carers; we will update you with full details of our Academy specific reopening plans in due course.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for supporting your children whilst the Academy has been only open to some specific groups of students. I appreciate that you will have had to make many adjustments to your daily routines to accommodate child care and to support them with their learning at home.
As you will know, the Government has announced that all schools and academies, including special schools, will reopen in September. Our local schools/academies have been working through the latest guidance from the Department for Education to plan how they can do this. The Government have made it clear that they feel it is now safe enough to reopen to all students in September. This means that education is once again compulsory and that parents and carers will be expected to send their children to the Academy.
Q3 Academy Great Barr will write out to you shortly to explain how they will manage the reopening in September. This will differ from place to place as no two schools/academies are the same but they will tell you if they need to make any changes to normal routines in line with the Government’s guidance. This could include changing start and finish times, using different entrances, changing the number of weekly sessions they are open for, how they will operate bubbles of children, and any other special adjustments which are designed to keep children and staff safe. Please support the Academy by respecting the changes they temporarily have to make to accommodate more children on site.
If your child has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities and is currently receiving travel assistance, then the council will reinstate your usual transport arrangements. However, if you would prefer not to use the transport then it may be possible to access a personal budget which you can use to make your own transport arrangements. Please contact SEN_transportOfficer@sandwell.gov.uk and leave your name and phone number together with the name of the young person being transported, we will contact you to discuss the offer. If you would like to explore this option please contact us as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made for the start of the Autumn term.
If your child has no option but to use public transport, then national guidance should be followed which means that they should wear a face covering/mask as they travel. However, if your child has Special Educational Needs, they may be exempt from wearing a face covering on public transport. Guidance and exemption card templates can be found here.
I know that staff are really looking forward to having all of the students back in class and I am sure that children will be keen to see their friends and staff again. Initially, staff will make sure students are happy and settled in, and are ready for learning. Once this has been achieved then they will focus on the curriculum and work needed to support your child’s next steps in learning. We are hopeful that all schools/academies will be operating smoothly very quickly in September.
There are a set of frequently asked questions attached to the letter. However, if you have any further concerns about what will be happening in September then I know your schools/academies will be able to talk with you and reassure you about the plans that they have in place when they contact you about this.
On behalf of your Academy, I would like to thank you for your support during the lockdown period.
Director of Education, Skills, and Employment
This letter can be accessed in pdf format below with a list of FAQs: