13th October 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
As you know, last night Cheshire East was designated a High Alert area with effect from tomorrow, 14th October.
One immediate implication of this is that we need to bring forward the point at which face coverings become mandatory for staff and students in communal areas around the Academy. As a result:
With effect from Wednesday 14th October 2020, all staff and students (except those for whom exceptions will be made on the grounds of disability or wellbeing) will be required to wear face coverings in the indoor communal areas of the Academy.
There are three important implications of this change to our Academy rules.
1. All students must have a sealable plastic bag with them in school.
2. Because students will need to clean their hands before and after taking the covering on or off (eg at the start of every lesson). This means that they must have hand sanitiser with them in school at all times.
3. There are some staff and students for whom wearing of face coverings would cause added difficulties and may not be appropriate. These may include:
i) Those who suffer from asthma
ii) Those who are on the autistic spectrum
iii) Those with heightened levels of anxiety
iv) Those with a physical disability which makes it hard to take the masks on and off
v) Those who provide support for a student or a member of staff who depends on lip reading
If your son or daughter falls into any of these categories and you would like them to be excused from wearing a face mask in the communal areas of the Academy, please contact their pastoral coordinator explaining the reason for your request:
|Year group||Pastoral Coordinator|
|10||Mr Davis and
The World Health Organisation has produced a useful short animation on how to use face coverings safely. We will be using this in school with students and would encourage you as parents to look at it with your son or daughter so that we can be are sure we are giving them the same messages about the steps they will need to take to ensure their safety and that of other members of the Academy community.
On a different point, as you already know, one of our Year 7 students has tested positive for coronavirus. Our Year 7 students were initially asked to self-isolate for 48 hours. Following consultations with Public Health advisors, both locally and nationally, I have decided that we will need to ask the whole bubble to self-isolate until the half term break. I am well aware of the challenges this poses for some of our families and this was not a decision I took lightly. Our remote learning programme began today and we have been delighted with the way the majority of students have already engaged well with online lessons via Microsoft Teams. Year 7 parents have been keeping in touch using the Class Dojo app and the feedback at this stage is very encouraging.
Although, for reasons I entirely understand (and for which I have some sympathy) one or two Year 7 parents have been unhappy with my decision isolate the whole year 7 “bubble”, the overwhelming response has been positive including my favourite comment below:
In these times I feel it is more important than ever to give credit where it is due. After what I imagine to be a very stressful day for you and The Academy staff, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for trying so hard to keep our children safe and for going that extra mile to continue to provide an educational program.
Through this global pandemic your communication with parents has not only been informative, but honest and encouraging. I am happy to say that I have the upmost confidence in your ability to lead The Academy through this awful time and appreciate your transparent approach.
With that said, I’ll be ordering some extra gin to get me through the next two weeks of home schooling whilst on night shifts!
Another development this week has been the government announcement about arrangements for GCSE exams. If all goes to plan, I will write separately to parents in Years 10 and 11 about the implications of this later in the week.
In the meantime, please rest assured we will continue to do all that we can to promote the safety and education of all of our students whether in
school or at home.
Take care and stay safe
The Macclesfield Academy