Dear parents and carers,
I wanted to write to you to let you know how all our academies are responding to the most recent government guidance issued to schools in England. The Prime Minister has asked all schools to try and re-open for Year 6, Year 10 and Year 12 pupils (and for those Year 11 students who attend alternative provision) from 1 June 2020.
Like all schools and academies across the country, we are working hard to translate what this government guidance will mean for you, your child and our ways of working in our academies.
I want to reassure you that at Olive Academies our priority has always been – and will always be – the safety and wellbeing of all the children and young people we support.
The impact of lockdown and isolation for our students and their families has been worrying for everyone. At Olive Academies we are determined to keep all our students engaged in their learning despite the current pandemic and will continue to do all we can to support your child as we gradually and carefully welcome more students back into our academy buildings.
Our support for you will not stop – whether your child is able to attend their academy or not. Our staff will continue to provide personalised support for each of our students who are staying at home with online learning, work packs and daily phone calls.
We will work in partnership with you to make sure your child gets the support they need. Our staff will work with you to address any concerns you have about the new government guidance – for example, around transport arrangements or the particular needs of your child/ family.
Our headteachers and their academy teams are busy adapting timetables for next term and working through detailed risk assessments for all our staff and students. Staff from your child’s academy will call you this week to talk through a detailed, individual plan for you and your child for next term.
I would like to confirm that all our academies will be closed for May half term. The last day of term will be Friday 22 May and our academies will then re-open for those students who are returning on Tuesday 2 June. During the half term break each of our academy buildings will be deep cleaned and made ready for returning students.
All our academy staff will be undertaking special health and safety training during an INSET day on Monday 1 June. Staff will still be available in the academies on Monday 1 June should you need to call or contact them.
We will ensure that all our students who qualify for free school meals continue to receive food vouchers or meals during half term. Please let any member of our academy staff know if you need any extra support during the half term break and we will do all that we can to help you and your family.
I also want to stress that support for our Year 11 students will not suddenly stop at half term. We will continue to work with our Year 11s throughout the summer to make sure they are well prepared for their next courses and apprenticeships. We will be there to help them settle into their new colleges and onto their new courses.
Our students will be receiving the grades and qualifications they have worked for and deserve – even though they won’t be able to sit exams this summer. Please contact your academy headteacher if you would like any more detailed information about how exam boards are awarding grades this year. Year 11s will receive their GCSE exam results as planned on 20 August 2020.
A great positive to have come out of this crisis has been seeing how creative and resilient so many of our students have been whilst staying at home. We will build on this over the coming months and help our students adjust to new routines. Thank you for all the messages of support we have received from so many of you. It means a huge amount to all our staff. Please don’t hesitate to ask anyone at Olive Academies for any advice or support you or your family may need. We will continue to do all that we can to support you.
Mark Vickers, Chief Executive, Olive Academies
20 May 2020