Lutterworth College update
17 April 2020
Dear Parents & Carers
Summer term 2020, examination results & other updates
I hope you have had a lovely Easter. As we look forward to commencing our new school term on Monday you may have recently seen much speculation in the media about when schools will reopen. The truth is that we do not know. We know after yesterday’s announcement the current situation will continue for at least another three weeks. Much depends on how the virus behaves in the next little while and how much testing capacity we have as a nation. I know people are feeling anxious, fearful and frustrated as the lock-down continues. Our teachers and staff continue to work alongside other colleagues essential to the COVID-19 response. Our school has continued to be open over Easter with staffing coming from a small group of Leadership personnel.
There is a conundrum for schools: people want to know that there will be an end to this – and yet are also nervous by the thought of a return to more normality if this comes too quickly. So, we need to do two things; firstly, reassure you, the community of Lutterworth College, that this will pass, but for now we need to keep going with the current arrangements. And secondly, we need to start to think about the recovery phase – the carefully planned re-opening of our school in the safest way possible – without knowing when this might come. Lutterworth College has already started some initial work on planning for recovery. We’ll be working closely with other local schools, transport services, the Local Authority, and taking advice and support from the DfE and Public Health England. What is clear is that there will not be one date when everything just returns to as it was before. Moreover, schools are definitely not the place to trial social distancing first. Anyone that has worked or been into a school on a normal working day will appreciate that I am sure. It’s difficult enough to keep my own children apart sometimes; let alone 1600 children and 250 staff all in the confined spaces of corridors and classrooms.
In the meantime, I hope this letter provides some useful updates.
School arrangements from Monday 20th April 2020
For Years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 12 the current arrangements of teachers setting work on Show My Homework will continue as before the Easter break for at least the next 3 weeks of lockdown. We will then review it in line with announcements from central government.
For Years 11 & 13 the arrangements around the awarding of examination grades are shown below.
For Year 6 coming to the school in September 2020 we will be publishing information on our website shortly.
For children of Key workers and vulnerable children as defined in the government’s guidance - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing - the school is open and these students should report to the school library/ ELC not before 08.15am but no later than 08.35am daily. Collection arrangements at the end of the school day should be made for no later than 3.15pm with school gates closing very shortly after. If you have any questions about accessing this provision, please email our Student Services Manager, Mrs Clive, email@example.com
Please note in particular that the government guidance states that there is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend this provision, so long as they do not have an underlying health condition that puts them at severe risk. The guidance does further provide information that the school and the social worker will explore together with the parent the reasons behind non-attendance. This is something we will need to address over the coming weeks. Again, any questions can be directed to our SENDCO, Mrs Thornton – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofqual arrangements for awarding examination results this Summer 2020
I fully appreciate the worry and concern the arrangements for awarding grades to students for all their courses must be causing. There is an inordinate amount of information and opinion about this process out there. Rather than having the exhaustive process, which is likely to be amended and updated anyway, repeated to you verbatim I feel it’s far better to direct you to the blog that Ofqual have published on arrangements for summer 2020. If that link does not work on your device, you can use this: https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/09/arrangements-for-summer-2020/ . They’ve also published a short film for students to help everyone understand the process better.
A letter to all students explaining the process can be found by following this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878854/Letter_to_students_-_Summer_2020_grading.pdf
Can I please remind all parents and students not to contact individual subject teachers at the school about this process. Two of the school’s leadership team, Mrs Hadley email@example.com and Mr Keller firstname.lastname@example.org will handle all enquiries or issues in relation to this process. If you are unhappy with any of the process being applied you should contact our Senior Deputy Head, Mr Lane email@example.com
Free School Meals
The process for delivering Free School Meals has now changed from the BACS transfer to the Government Voucher scheme run by Edenred. Any difficulties here should go to our School Business Leader, Mrs Kendrick firstname.lastname@example.org
School closures – updated guidance
The DfE has published on updated guidance on school closures. Again, if that link doesn’t work try this - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing
Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines, and seeking to use digital and virtual channels, to continue delivering support during the pandemic.
Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine are important protective factors for mental health. Resources to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources DfE has published to help children to learn at home. Public Health England has also published guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health. I have also included some Key Numbers at the bottom of this letter beneath my signature.
Digital support includes:
· Minded educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health, which is relevant for teachers, other professionals working with children, volunteers, parents and carers
· the Every Mind Matters platform, from Public Health England, about looking after your mental health
· Rise Above, targeted at young people, which also has schools-facing lesson plans
If your child has an EHCP or requires additional support then our pastoral and support teams should be speaking with you at least twice weekly to ensure that you have everything in place to support your child’s learning. The lead for this process is Mrs Thornton email@example.com – please contact her if these regular calls are not being made or you feel there is a particular learning challenge that is not being met for your child in these unprecedented times.
Reasons to be cheerful
During the current pandemic, you will be pleased to know that we have not been less busy here with capital restoration projects; some of the planned developments being:
- • Long overdue refurbishment of all student, staff and visitor toilets
- • Refurbishment of all four changing rooms at the school – there has been comment that these have not been refurbished in over 40 years with many parents sharing that they look the same as when they were here at the school
- • Complete refurbishment of the ATP and associated lighting for both school and community usage
- • Upgrading all computers in offices and classrooms so that they support the latest software updates
These works are planned for this summer / Autumn terms with a view to be finished by Christmas (earlier if possible) but all subject, of course to the current crises ending and the availability of contractors. This will mean when the school reopens there will be some disruption around site and some restricted access to facilities but it will be worth it in the end!
The last word
Finally from me, the Government have recently launched the Looking out for each other campaign. The campaign communicates how people can safely help friends, family and neighbours in isolation with further information available at gov.uk/safehelp.
In this time of crisis, it is also important that we look out for each other. You will each have your own networks which will undoubtedly be supporting you in these uncertain times. May I encourage you today to take a moment to think of a friend, neighbour or family member who may be finding things particularly hard and perhaps reach out to them in some way? None of us are invincible – and as we get through this crisis, we will all need a little love and kindness.
All the best
Headteacher – Lutterworth College
Childline 0800 1111
Streetwise 0191 230 5533
Samaritans 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline 0808 2000 247
Mind 0300 123 3393
Age UK 0800 169 6565