School Closures Update – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

LATEST UPDATE: 22nd March 2020 at 15:23pm

As you may be aware, the Government made several very important decisions on the 18th March about schools.

The first is that it has advised schools in England to close, except for certain groups of children, from this Friday afternoon (20th March) onwards as a further measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We have therefore taken the decision to act upon the government’s advice and will be closing all schools this Friday afternoon.   No date has been set for when schools will re-open for all students.  Our schools will however keep you up-to-date as and when they become aware of new developments.

From Monday, all schools will cease ‘normal’ operations.  However, Hub Schools will be established for the following groups of students:

  • Children whose parents are front-line workers:
    • Health and social care
    • Education of childcare
    • Key public services
    • Local or National Government
    • Food and other necessary goods
    • Public safety and national security
    • Transport
    • Utilities, communication and financial services
  • Those classed as what the Secretary of State described as “vulnerable children”. These could be those who have a social worker and those with EHCPs.

For students in these groups, the schools have also been asked to remain open through the Easter holidays and so the schools and Trust will do its best to achieve this. From Monday 24th March and through this period, schools will provide care for these children.

The Hub Schools will provide ‘childcare’ facilities that will be supervised by support staff and overseen by school leadership.  The childcare will allow children to access the home learning offer.

Children who do not fall into the groups listed above should remain at home with appropriate care.

All Free School Meal (FSM) children will be provided with a food voucher if not in school and those FSM children whose parents and carers are front-line workers will receive the same food offer while in school and we are working with the school caterer to enable meals to be available for students during the school day.

All teachers at primary and secondary schools will focus on the delivery of a blended home learning provision through the use of school websites, online learning platforms and printed educational material to minimise interruption and to continue the provision of providing students with the education they deserve. Information regarding accessing online learning platforms will be provided to parents and students before they leave school Friday 20th March.

The Hub Schools and those schools they will be sharing their provision with are:

Hub School(s) Provision for
All Faiths Children’s Academy All Faiths Children’s Academy

The Gordon Children’s Academy

Cedar Children’s Academy

New Horizons Children’s Academy New Horizons Children’s Academy

Holcombe Grammar School

The Victory Academy

The Rochester Grammar School

Meon Infant School/Meon Junior School Meon Infant School

Meon Junior School

Moorings Way Infant School

Penhale Infant School Penhale Infant School

Newbridge Junior School

Meredith Infant School Isambard Brunel Junior School

Meredith Infant School

The Portsmouth Academy The Portsmouth Academy
Goodwin Academy Goodwin Academy

 

We take our duty of care extremely seriously and every decision is made with the best interests of your children in mind.

The health and safety of our students, staff and the wider school community is, as always, our number one priority. As you know, we have been closely following all government guidance relating to the virus. We have also taken all the necessary precautions since the outbreak to prevent it from impacting schools and to keep your children safe.

Whilst we understand that this may cause disruption for you and your family, the schools have robust plans in place so that your child can continue their education during this time. As always, we are committed to ensuring that our students receive the best possible education and will be working hard to minimise the impact of the closure on your child’s education.

All schools will be sending out letters to parents and carers providing information as to the Hub School that will be providing education to those children that fall within the categories described above.

The reason that we are working with other local schools through this period is to enable us to ensure education provision remains open for these children whilst staff are unable to attend due to illness or because they are self-isolating when a family member may be showing symptoms of the Coronavirus.

Staff will aim to provide as complete an education for students through this period but the Government has also been clear that we will not be expected to provide more than care and supervision if, because of staff absence, we are not able to. I hope you can understand that. We will, of course, continue to do our very best for you and your children.

The second key announcement is that tests and exams will not take place this summer. For children and young people, who have worked so hard to prepare for their SATs, GCSEs or A levels, this may be upsetting, and we sympathise with them. At the same time, we understand the decision the Government has made and we are reassured that children’s grades in GCSEs and A levels will be awarded on the basis of moderated assessment, in conjunction with the exam boards and Ofqual. This means that the hard work students have done will be rewarded. It may not feel quite the same, and nor is it, but they will receive grades that will progress them to the next stage of their lives.

We realise this is a very challenging time for everyone and appreciate your continued support – we are only able to continue to operate because of your ongoing co-operation and help, and we are very proud of the way everyone is rallying around. We would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the staff across our schools who have shown, and continue to show, remarkable fortitude and commitment.

 

Further information relevant to each school would have been provided on its website:

 

School status (Monday 23rd March):