Academy Trust schools reopen to a wider group of pupils | 01-06-2020

Our schools have remained open since 23 March to the children of key workers and those from families eligible for support. This has included Bank Holidays and school holidays. In addition to this we have been providing regular contact with our pupils' families and ensuring learning continues by providing all our children and students with work to do at home. The Trust is very proud of the hard work, commitment and ingenuity our Headteachers and their staff have shown over this period. 

As the Prime Minister announced on the 28th May, we are working to open our schools to Nursery, Reception, Y1, Y6 from the 1st June and Y10 from the 15th June, as well as continuing provision for the children of key workers and families eligible for support. 

Our plans for re-opening are clear and phased and will ensure our children return to schools as safely as possible and with a strong curriculum designed to ensure their personal wellbeing is taken into account and they can continue to learn swiftly. We have developed a very detailed Risk Assessment procedure for each school and will open to each year group as soon as the school is able to do this, with strong routines to encourage all to stay alert and with strong infection control measures in place to control the spread of the virus. Eligible year groups will be invited to return to school one at a time and only when the previous year group has established appropriate routines. A risk assessment will be undertaken before the next group is welcomed back into school. This careful and phased opening will give each year group and their teachers time to re-orientate themselves to a new way of working within our schools and for the school to ensure that they can operate as safely as possible before the next year group returns. Given the unique nature of each of our schools, the government guidelines on the size of groups, the staffing and the space available, it is possible that some target year groups in some schools will not be able to be accommodated initially. We are following government guidelines to prioritise the youngest children first. The school decisions about the pace of the return are guided entirely by the ongoing risk assessment and their duty of care for their children and for the staff. The headteachers will keep the parents fully informed. 

I would like to thank our fantastic staff who have worked throughout the pandemic to support our critical workers and continue to provide a high quality motivating learning experience for children, whether they are in the agreed target groups and return to the school site or whether they continue with their home learning programme. I would also like to thank our parents and children who have engaged so enthusiastically with the home learning programmes devised by their schools.

Sue Samson

Chief Executive Officer

University of Chichester Academy Trust