Thursday, 19th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers Covid-19 (Coronavirus): Closure of academies
As I am sure you will now know, the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education announced yesterday that all academies and schools are to close from the end of the day tomorrow (Friday 20th March). This announcement has been made as part of the national effort to delay the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), and comes as the number of cases across the country rose, as of yesterday, to 2,626 and, tragically, the number of fatalities went up to 104, up from 71 the previous day.
We will all appreciate that such an announcement is first and foremost with the health and wellbeing of children, staff, families and whole communities in mind. We also know that such a measure comes with great inconvenience for you as parents and carers, as you do all you can to continue work, domestic and care commitments during these truly unprecedented times.
The closure will apply for most children, with arrangements being made for children of ‘key workers’ (e.g., police, NHS staff, other emergency services, certain delivery drivers) and vulnerable children, to be able to continue to attend. You will receive further detail on such arrangements from your academy’s leaders. Please be assured, everyone is continuing to do all they can to support you and your children, mindful of the very difficult constraints the current predicament presents.
Academies have already taken, and continue to take, steps to ensure your child/children can continue to learn at home, and we would ask that you continue to play your critical part in helping and supporting that learning to continue. Again, individual academies will make these arrangements clear as precise details may vary from academy to academy. Thank you in advance for all you are able to do amidst all the other commitments you will be working hard to maintain.
In some instances, staff from academies will establish ways in which they are able to keep in touch with you during what could be an indeterminant period, and in ways that are supportive and designed to not compromise the health and safety intentions of the announcement; at present, the government has decided the closure is, ‘..until further notice.’
Tests and exams (including primary SATs and secondary GCSEs) due to take place over May and June have been cancelled, a further indication of the seriousness of this current point in collective efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Further announcements are expected on this crucial point for all concerned and the Prime Minister has said arrangements will be made so that pupils, ‘get the qualifications they deserve.’ We will keep you informed accordingly. This does mean it is important that all pupils due to sit tests and exams continue to prepare in readiness to take them should a schedule for, say, July/August be announced.
As a multi-academy trust, the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership (KCSP) will continue to support all 24 academies in the trust to do all they can to support you as parents and carers, and support the continued learning and wellbeing of your children and the staff on whom they depend. The forthcoming weeks and months represent a challenge to which, all together, we can rise, and from which emerge stronger, guided by our shared Gospel Values and Catholic determination to act, as families, neighbours and parishes, for ‘the common good’.
If, during this period of closure, you need advice, guidance or support, your academy leaders will clarify local contact details which, in the current circumstances, should prove the most helpful. However, if necessary, you can contact the KCSP Partnership Office on the following number (01622 232662), or using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, thank you for all that you do for your children, families and for your academy.
Chief Executive, Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership