Update Following Government Announcement


Dear Parent / Guardian

I am writing with a brief update following the announcement by the Prime Minister last night that all schools will be closed until Monday 22nd February at the earliest. What this means is that only vulnerable children and children of critical workers will be able to attend school until this point. We have well established routines in place of online learning and are very grateful for the support parents have provided with regard to this. Students in all year groups must log in to their registration period each morning. This is a very important source of information and key messages. It also ensures that pupils are up and ready for the day ahead.

Following that, pupils should follow their normal timetable through their live lessons. Where a teacher is unwell, work will be placed on the google classroom for completion, but the vast majority of lessons will be delivered live. Homework to be done outside lessons will also be provided as per the homework timetable for KS4 and 5. I would emphasise to sixth form students in particular the need to remember that their non-contact periods are study periods and should also be used productively. More will follow from Mr Bailey with regard to this.

The government defines vulnerable children and young people include those who:

  • are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
    • children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
    • adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
    • those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
    • those living in temporary accommodation
    • those who are young carers
    • those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
    • care leavers
    • others at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils and students who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health

This list has been broadened for this most recent lockdown and if you feel that your child is included on this list then I would encourage you to contact the school so that we can provide you and them with support. I would particularly draw your attention to the third from last bullet point, ‘those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home.’ This relatively broad characteristic enables us to support those pupils struggling to access work at home for a range of reasons. Please do not hesitate to contact us with regard to this if you think this applies to your son or daughter. Contact should be through office@sjwms.org.uk.

A list of critical workers can be found by following this link. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision?utm_source=4%20January%202021%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19

We recognise that yesterday’s announcement will create questions for Year 11 and 13 in particular. We currently have no answers as to what assessment will look like in the summer, but we have communicated to students in Years 11 and 13 today that there will inevitably be some form of assessment and therefore they must continue with their focus and efforts as they have to this point. As soon as we know more we will pass it on, but in the meantime I would ask parents to reinforce this message to pupils. There are a vast number of things we cannot control at present, but they should focus on the things that they can control and continue to work hard.

Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any questions.


Yours sincerely

E Hodges | Headteacher