The Government have recently announced that Secondary schools in England will have a delayed start to term in order to help break the chain of transmission currently being experienced across the UK. As part of this delayed return to school, the Government have asked schools to ensure they are fully able to carry out mass testing of all pupils and staff, using the lateral flow testing system. This is voluntary testing; however, I would encourage you to give your consent for your child to take the test before returning to school. Trials have been carried out by Public Health England to ensure its safety and effectiveness. This delayed return to school will give us time to train the staff, seek parental consent and carry out the testing before students return to school in January.
It is hoped that once this has been achieved, we will be able to keep staff and students in school-based learning instead of them having periods of self-isolation. We know how vital it is that students are in class with a teacher for their learning to continue.
Due to this announcement, we have made the following changes to our previous plans:
Week Commencing 4th January 2021
Monday 4th January
- INSET day for all students, no remote learning will take place.
Tuesday 5th January – Friday 8th January 2021
- Only students who are classified as vulnerable or whose parents are critical workers will attend the school site to access the remote learning set by their teachers. These children will work in school between 8:45 – 3pm. If you feel your child should be accessing school during this week, please complete the survey at the following link: Key Worker Form. Please ensure this has been completed by Sunday 3rd January at 12noon. We will then send further information to you in time for Tuesday 5th January.
- All students in all year groups will have the vast majority of their learning delivered live via Teams. Students should follow their live lesson timetables and look at their Teams page for further instructions form their teachers. Attendance is compulsory and non-attendance will be followed up.
- During the week, we will be in touch with information about the testing process and supply the consent form that is required before a test can be carried out.
- If you were due to take BTEC/OCR exams in January these will still happen on the timetabled time and date, please refer to your exam timetable that you were given at the end of last term. We will communicate, via student email, the exact times to arrive at school and the gate to use for each exam next week.
Week Commencing 11th January 2021
- Students in Year 11 and Year 13 will return to normal school-based learning.
- Students classified as Vulnerable or children of Critical workers will return to school. These students will access the same remote learning as children in their year groups but will do so from within school with school resources and under school supervision.
- Students in Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 12 will access learning remotely from home.
- We will hopefully begin to roll out lateral flow testing of students that will help us identify any students who are asymptomatic and enable us to direct them to a comprehensive test to get confirmation of the presence of the virus. This will hopefully reduce the risk of widespread transmission in school on students’ return.
Week Commencing 18th January 2021
- All children will return to face-face teaching on site.
The testing process is a massive undertaking for schools and requires a lot of people to carry it out effectively. To sustain this process over the coming weeks/months we are looking for any volunteers amongst our parents/wider community who are able to give of their time and assist us by becoming part of our testing team.
There are a number of roles that are required including:
- Registering details of the test onto a computer system
- Labelling and checking information
- Cleaning test areas
- Preparing the equipment to be used
- Administering the testing process (ideal for anyone with prior medical experience or a scientific background)
Full training will be provided prior to any involvement and all roles will be overseen by senior staff at the school. We can be flexible on the hours you can give, between 8.30am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. If you are interested in getting involved in any way you can, or wish to know more information, please email the headteacher on BTA@moseley.bham.sch.uk
While the current circumstances continue to be really difficult, we are committed to working together with our families to ensure our children get the best possible education. We recognise that further challenges lie ahead but are determined that you continue to receive the best level of care, support and education. We will continue to update you as we receive information from the DfE and our plans continue to develop.
Wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Mr A Bate