15th May 2020
Dear Staff, Parents and Carers and the Local Academy Committee
We hope that you, your families and friends are continuing to remain safe and well.
As you will be aware the Prime Minister announced, on Sunday evening, the initial steps of the plan for relaxing the existing Covid19 Lock Down measures. To date, as a school we have been open to children of Key Workers as well as providing home learning. We thank all of our staff who have been working extremely hard during this time and our supportive parents/ carers who have encouraged children during the recent months to access home learning. Everyone across our school community has been incredible!
As part of the plan, it was announced that schools could potentially start to reopen from 1 June (at the very earliest) prioritising Year 10 and 12 with face to face contact alongside remote learning initially. The guidance for this to begin is as soon as it is safe, but this is only if certain conditions are met (e.g. concerning health data and the current “R” value). The government will be reviewing the data and will also be issuing schools with further guidance.
First and foremost, for staff, pupils, parents/ carers we are very mindful of wellbeing and mental health. We continue to focus on this as a priority for our school communities. We are very aware that for some members, the Prime Minister’s announcement might cause great anxiety, but for others it will provide hope of beginning to return to some kind of normality. There will certainly be a range of mixed emotions and opinions. At this time, we are working very hard, with the Local Authority, to plan how we might be able to follow this guidance to welcome back more children, whilst ensuring safety is the top priority.
We are also aware, that in our families we have experienced sadness, loss and grief during this time. At the heart of all we do, is promoting well being and an awareness of mental health. A useful link is here: https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/covid-19-and-your-mental-health/ or our own website www.romeromac.com/wellbeing . This is being updated by HR and our Shared Services Team.
Within the Romero Catholic Academy, we have worked closely as a group of Principals to look at how we would get ready to grow the numbers of pupils in our schools. Beyond our MAC, we are also working with our neighbouring schools in Coventry so in partnership we are collaborating on how we reopen to the children in the city so they are safe. We continue to take guidance from our Local Authority who are working with the Department for Education and Trade Unions this week to ensure that schools receive absolute clarity.
As a Board of Directors, in partnership with the Academy Committee and our leadership team, we are working on what these plans might look like for our school specifically. We are not yet ready to issue any information on our arrangements. We can assure you that our school will not be in a position to open until we know we have coherent plans in place so we can minimise any risks to our staff or pupils. Until further notice, arrangements remain the same as in previous weeks and all schools continue to be closed except for children of key workers (including any new children who have parents identified in the DfE Key Worker guidance returning to work) and vulnerable children. We will continue to provide remote learning to the appropriate year groups.
If you have any other queries please contact us via our designated COVID 19 email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you so much for your continued support and understanding, it is very much appreciated. We will provide further information in the forthcoming days but in the meantime, stay safe, stay well.
Mr Tom Leverage, Executive Principal
Mr Brendan McGurran, Chair of the Academy Committee
Mrs Helen Quinn, Catholic Senior Executive Leader
Mr Brendan Fawcett, Chair of the Board of Directors