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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Parent and Carer Update 15th July 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this final parent and carer update finds you all safe and healthy.

This Update includes information on the following areas:

  1. Changes to contact tracing from 19th July 2021
  2. Final day of school on Thursday 22nd July 2021
  3. Asymptomatic testing over the Summer holiday
  4. Asymptomatic testing in September 2021
  5. Returning to school on Wednesday 8th September 2021
  6. Uniform in September 2021
  7. Awarding of GCSE grades and grades for Post-16 students

Before I go through these areas I just wanted to once again re-iterate my thanks to all of our families and students for your support during what has been the most challenging in my 15 years as a Principal.

We have only been successful during the year because our students have been overwhelmingly brilliant, our families and the community have been endlessly supportive and positive about our work and the whole staff team have done their very best throughout the year regardless of what Covid has thrown at them.

As a school community we should all be immensely proud of what we have achieved together.

Challenges we have overcome included,

  • operating as a Covid safe school for months (with all the additional staff demands this brings to supervise year groups to ensure they remain separate)
  • successfully negotiating two Ofsted visits which have both gone really well
  • redeveloping our systems around behaviour
  • completely rethinking and then rewriting our entire curriculum
  • operating a 7 day a week Test and Trace system for anyone testing positive for Covid
  • working remotely with a support staff team onsite to deliver remote learning for all students with our most vulnerable and critical worker children onsite
  • creating two Covid test centres for students and staff
  • developing a robust and fair system for the award of external grades for both Year 11 and 13 students  

At the same time, we have been doing all of the normal things we always do as a school such as providing great pastoral support for students, delivering engaging lessons and working on a huge new build on Green Close that will transform the student experience once completed.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to this success over the last 12 months!

  1. Changes to Contact Tracing from 19th July 2021

From Monday 19th July schools will no longer be responsible for contact-tracing.

Whilst you should still of course inform us if your child tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), from this date any contacts in school will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact.


The end of “bubbles”

The “bubble” system will cease, i.e., it will no longer be necessary to keep children in bubbles. This means that if your child will be taking part in any summer provision, such as summer schools or activity camps, they will not be kept in ‘bubbles’.

This also means that there will no longer be a “bubble” system when we return to school in September for the start of the new academic year, as things currently stand. From Monday 16th August, children under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children will be advised by NHS Test and Trace to take a PCR test.

Children will only need to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have had a positive COVID-19 test result.

From the start of the Autumn Term, face coverings will no longer be required to be worn by students, staff and visitors either in classrooms or communal areas.

Please note that more information about the new academic year will be emailed home next week. Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback on the measures we have had in place for Covid. The feedback given has helped inform how we shall return to a more ‘normal’ way of ECC life.


  1. The final day of school on Thursday 22nd July

We have decided, as we have done for many years, to finish school for all students at 1pm on Thursday 22nd July. As we did at Christmas, students will be able to obtain food in the morning before they leave and buses will be rearranged to arrive at 1pm. We think this is no more than students deserve after everything they have had to put up with throughout the year and is our way of saying thank you to them. To avoid having to dirty clean school uniform at the end of celebration week, this day will also be a Mufti day in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Mr Thompson and Mr Urmston will be walking up the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in 12 hours and then the National 3 peaks in 24 hours during the first week of the holidays. This will involve nearly 5000 metres of ascent and cover a distance of 47 miles of walking in 36 hours. We are hoping many of our students will support them by donating via their sQuid account to this worthy cause.

Mrs Wright and Miss Burch are also taking on the 3 Peaks Challenge with local charity RVONE.

They are regularly training which is a huge time commitment, long walks, runs and weights sessions.

The Event is at the end of July where they have to climb all 3 mountains and drive between them in 3 different Countries all in 24 hours.

If you would like to donate, all money raised will go back into supporting projects between RV-ONE and the College.

Please donate here:

Please ensure you select teamECC when donating. The money raised will go straight back to the college.





  1. Asymptomatic testing over the Summer holiday


Over the summer period, secondary students are only required to continue to test regularly if they are attending settings that remain open, such as summer schools and out of school activities based in school settings. Current guidance is also that there is no need for pupils currently in Year 6 transitioning from primary to secondary school to test over the summer period, even if they are attending settings during this time.


We have currently not received a delivery of Lateral Flow test kits to distribute to students as we have done since April. If these arrive in the final week of term we shall distribute them. If not, and you would like to keep testing, you can order test kits online through the Government website here



  1. Asymptomatic testing in September 2021

The Government have requested the reinstatement of Asymptomatic Testing for September 2021. We are currently finalising arrangements for how the testing of students in September will be administered and will confirm these with you in a further communication before the end of the term.

Please be assured that we know that for any students joining us in Year 7 in September this will be a daunting experience. We will ensure students are reassured and given extra support through the process.


  1. Returning to school on Wednesday 8th September 2021


Subject to further guidance from HM Government about testing in September we are intending that Year 7, 10 and 12 will all start on Wednesday 8th September with all other year groups working remotely on Knowledge Organisers on Teams. We are then hoping to have other year groups back onsite from Thursday 9th September, however, this is will be determined by how we roll out the mass testing to all of our students. We are still awaiting more detailed guidance from HM Government as to how this process will be administered.


Please be assured that our aim will be to get everyone back into their learning as quickly as possible.


We will confirm the exact arrangements for the start of term and the testing of all students in due course.



  1. Uniform in September 2021


Throughout this term we have been committed to supporting students and their families to ensure that our uniform is worn correctly including making sure that haircuts are not extreme. Due to Covid we have tried to avoid issuing detentions to students wherever possible for uniform breaches and the vast majority of students have responded extremely well and worn their uniform with pride.


We have recently updated our uniform expectations and so before buying uniform or having a haircut during the Summer term please refer to our website to make sure that these choices are not something that will lead to a problem in September.


 If in doubt, please contact us to check whether an item or haircut is suitable.



  1. Awarding of external grades

As many of you will be aware this year schools were asked by HM Government to develop a system for awarding grades to all of our students in Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13 who would have taken exams and certificated this Summer. This amounts to over 4000 grades which we have had to determine, moderate and enter onto the websites of different exam boards.

In the Summer grades for our Post-16 students will be released on Tuesday 10th August and then on Thursday 12th August we will release results to our GCSE students. As we did last year, we will try to make the collection of results as Covid safe as possible and so it may be worth those students keeping a Covid test in reserve to use just before they come in for their results. More details will be issued about this process in due course.

Finally it just remains for me to wish everyone a very happy and enjoyable Summer and we look forward to welcoming all our students back, safe and sound in September 2021.




Andrew Davis