Principal's Update 21st December 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am sorry to send you information after the end of term. However, I just wanted to update you on the latest information from the Government.
Late last Friday the Government confirmed that schools would be able to take an additional training day at the start of next term ("a logistics day") to enable them to help prepare for the roll out of mass testing that week.
We are very much committed to rolling out mass testing as soon as possible. This is because it will:
1. enable students to stay connected to their learning,
2. allow staff to remain in school to support students and
3. equally importantly, to help us to keep our families and community safe by picking up asymptomatic cases which would otherwise go unnoticed until further transmission of the virus, thereby potentially reaching older and more vulnerable people.
Therefore, we intend to take the additional logistics day on Tuesday 5th January. Remember, on Monday 4th January students are still on holiday.
This will mean we will NOT be providing remote learning on that Tuesday, however, we will remain open for the children of Critical Workers and Vulnerable children and Post-16 mock examinations will go ahead as normal since these were planned before this additional day was made available. From Wednesday 6th - Friday 8th January, we will only have year 11 and year 13 onsite. All other years will access remote learning for that week. Please see the remote learning page of our website for more retails on this - we are updating it as and when we hear more from the Department of Education.
In terms of the test centre, we have made really good progress since the announcement last week and I am increasingly confident that we will have testing in place to start that first week back. Thank you so much to the small army of volunteers (with both medical and administrative backgrounds) who have stepped up to help us and the community out. Given their experience we will be able to make sure the tests are conducted in a safe environment for everyone.
We have identified an initial location on site, however, this needs some refurbishment including a new non-porous floor which we obtained quotes for today with the work being carried out in the first week back.
The extra day on Tuesday will give us time to get these works done and the room set up but to also get all the consent forms for students and staff ready and sent out, as well as putting in place training for our volunteers and ensuring all our new procedures are correctly put in place.
Other College staff will be engaged in further preparations for our remote learning offer, since I think we all sense that with this new strain of the virus that makes it easier to catch, it is now far more likely that over the next few weeks schools will come under increasing pressure to rotate year groups or close to all students apart from older students on a more regular basis to prevent outbreaks.
Many thanks for your continued support and I hope you all have a great Christmas.
Exmouth Community College