Important notices

Hi all, 

Thank you for your ongoing patience in this extremely challenging time. I have included some key information below before explaining our decisions in regard to the timetable planned for next week:


What does this mean for schools, colleges and early years providers?

The government has indicated that, after this week, it is asking schools to open to provide care for children of key workers and vulnerable children. Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.


This is a very different type of provision than schools usually provide; for these pupils, it will be about care, not education. This is about keeping children safe and allowing key workers (such as NHS staff) to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving. All expectations regarding educational provision have been lifted. Schools that provide this care will be free to determine what the provision looks like and what they deem to be best for the pupils they are supporting. This is not a statutory requirement – schools are being asked to help as part of a national response.


Critically, it is schools that are responsible for offering places to pupils who may be eligible to attend this provision. This will require immediate action from the school to identify who is eligible and, in some cases, prioritise offers to families according to capacity, need and health advice from Public Health England.


Can a school still decide they need to close?

It’s important to reiterate that school leaders will still need to make individual decisions about whether it is safe to open their school. And that applies from now onwards. It remains the case that if a school does not have enough staff to care for pupils safely (even based on the new ‘reduced provision’ approach’) then, subject to a risk assessment and consultation with the chair of governors, a full or partial closure may be necessary. Schools will need to keep this decision under daily review.


It is likely that special schools simply can’t take all pupils on Monday if they can open at all. Special schools should contact parents now to ask who would like a place if they can offer it and then prioritise offers to the most vulnerable pupils when they reopen for those pupils. This may mean taking a phased approach and gradually increasing the numbers based on a dynamic risk assessment.


Once again, we reiterate that schools can only open, even on a partial basis, if it is safe to do so.


I do hope that this advice goes someway in explaining the challenges we have faced over the last few days. We have been working tirelessly in identifying ways in which we can operate safely, whilst taking into consideration the complex needs of our individual setting. I have outlined below the plan for the week beginning 23rd March and the rationale behind our decisions:


  1. All pupils who have not been affected by Covid 19 will have an opportunity to attend. (Please can I reiterate that you must follow the governments advice as you could inadvertently contribute to whole school closures if you do not).
  2. The timetable design ‘will be about care, not education’.
  3. Any pupils who abscond, cause disruption or show signs of physical aggression will not be able to attend thereafter, until staffing levels and expertise is safe to do so.
  4. In order to reduce the spread of the virus the school will be implementing a rigorous cleaning regime.
  5. Online learning packages are available on our website for all pupils. /2401/home-learning
  6. On Monday and Friday key staff will be making ‘welfare’ calls either by phone or via email. Please expect contact on Monday 23rd March.
  7. Year 11 pupils will not be required to attend school, however, any request by parents will be considered by your designated contact.
  8. To ensure provision is in place to support pupils in receipt of a free school meal.


Therefore the timetable for next week is as follows:





Communication/ other educational opportunities


Deep clean of school.

School closed to pupils.

Staff to contact all parents & Distance learning


Years 4 - 8 + Keyworker pupils

9am – 1pm

Distance learning


Years 4 - 8 + Keyworker pupils

9am – 1pm

Distance learning


Years 9 -10 + Keyworker pupils

9am – 1pm

Distance learning


Deep clean of catering department.

School closed to pupils

Staff to contact all parents & Distance learning


Finally, apologies for having to reiterate some ‘draconian’ messages. However, please understand that these are unprecedented times and with our combined efforts we can ensure that the welfare of our community remains the priority. I would also like to thank you for your amazing support and acknowledging the lengths that staff are going to in these most difficult times.


I will continue to update you throughout the coming days and weeks, but no matter how big or small please do not hesitate in contacting any member of the team if we can offer any support.





Dear Parents/Carers,


In an effort to further improve standards in teaching and learning we have been working collaboratively with all members of the community in devising our new ‘St Mary’s Standards’ policy. Attached is an example of the posters which are now displayed across the school. Please can you take the time to go through these expectations with your child so that we are all able to provide the learners with a consistent approach in helping them manage their behaviour. It will also allow us all to become familiar with the subtle changes in language relating to the tiered support structure. Further information and guidance in relation to our behaviour policy can also be found on our website.


I am extremely confident that this fresh approach, curriculum changes and new pastoral system will further improve the positive learning experience for all our pupils.


Yours sincerely,


Mr Murphy

Sms standards converted to curves

Sms behaviour converted to curves


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