Firstly, thank you for the support you have shown to your children and the Academy during the latest lockdown period. Your efforts to keep children safe and to also educate them at home has been really appreciated. As you will know, the Government announced that the Academy will begin to reopen from 8 March. This will mean that it is once again mandatory for all children to attend unless they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and have been advised to stay at home.
This week, all schools and academies are preparing their plans for full reopening and some will be taking a phased approach to the return of all children. This will allow students to settle in again and, for Secondary age children, will allow for the Academy to conduct rapid testing of students without symptoms in Years 7 to 13.
Each school and academy will have a different approach to the phased return of students. The plans for Q3 Academy Great Barr are here. We know that children are very keen to get back to the Academy and their teaching staff will be equally happy to return to face to face teaching. However, they will continue to have to operate all control systems to keep children and staff as safe as possible.
If you have a Secondary age child you will know that there is a strong recommendation that they wear a face covering in class as well as in communal areas. We ask that you support this and the rapid testing programme to help reduce transmission of the virus.
All children are still required to self-isolate if they or their family have COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, temperature or changes or loss in taste and smell) or test positive.
If you are collecting or dropping off children, we would ask that you continue to follow social distancing rules and wear a face covering in areas where many people are gathered. If your child is travelling to and from the Academy on their own, please remind them of the need to maintain social distancing rules, and to be mindful that lockdown laws are still in place. This is for their own safety and wellbeing.
Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers will be patrolling in and around all schools and academies to engage with children where necessary. If your child has any fears or concerns please direct them to the www.fearless.org website.
We hope that plans to reintegrate all children go smoothly. However, if you or your children need assistance or reassurance I know that the Academy will be keen to help.
Finally, we have developed an online survey so that we can hear from parents and children about the reopening. It will help us to understand what works well for families. The online survey is now open and can be found here. The closing date for responses is Friday 5th March.
Director of Education, Skills, and Employment