24th February 2021
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the lifting of restrictions on education from 8th March, I write with a brief update regarding our plans for the safe return to school for all students. I ask for your patience and your understanding at the brevity of this update – I am sure you can appreciate that with a large organisation such as ours, careful planning and robust risk assessment is required to ensure a safe and effective transition from remote, to face-to-face learning, for all our students. With this in mind, there will be a phased return to school from 8th March with the goal of having all year groups back to school by Friday 12th.
I want to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our school community, within our local context, is at the heart of all that we do. When students return, all previous safety measures will be in place to ensure their safety, including regular hand sanitising, social distancing and year group bubbles. In accordance with government guidance, we will also be extending the mandatory wearing of masks for students and staff in indoor communal areas, to all indoor environments, including classrooms, until Easter.
We are currently formulating our plans for rapid testing upon the students’ return. The school have purchased the Schoolscreener programme to aid with the testing process for students. Can I ask parents / carers to use the link below to indicate whether they do/do not give permission for their child to be tested; students cannot be tested without explicit consent. Consent must be given by Tuesday, 2nd March.
Parents /carers only have to register once for the Schoolscreener system; however, each sibling will have to be registered individually. Further information will be emailed to parents about the mass testing programme. The Privacy notice is displayed on our website - https://www.stbedes.durham.sch.uk/gdpr Meanwhile, our routines and timetable of live online lessons remain the same until students return to school. It is crucial that students continue to attend and engage in all lessons so that their transition back into the classroom is a smooth one. I have been delighted with attendance and the progress they are making and I know that I can rely upon your support as we prepare to welcome them back into school. I will write to you again next week with further details outlining how our phased return will operate.