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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Headteacher's Update as at 13 May 2020

I know that many of you will be trying to work out what the various announcements made in the last few days will mean for us all. A lot of guidance was published for the first time on Monday evening. A link for parents and carers was published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

Now that we have had guidance, we can take this opportunity to consult as widely as we can, with the local authority, our independent advisor, other schools and yourselves. There is much to do and we will be:

  • Conducting a detailed review of our site. The state of our hygiene facilities had declined a little recently, with the promise of our total refit starting in May. These works will not now be starting on time. However, we have already had toilets and showers deep cleaned, by Rentokill. Further, we need to plan for the changes we need to make to support hygiene and social distancing measures as we open to more pupils.
  • Working with our staff to understand their views and concerns to ensure that we have a very clear picture of who can be in school and who will need to work from home.
  • Working with you as parents and carers to understand your concerns and views. We will issue a survey once we have detailed plans to share with you so that we can take your feedback into careful consideration to inform our next steps.

These initial actions will then enable us to consider in detail how we can to support the Government’s plans for the remainder of the summer term:

  • All schools and colleges are now planning so that all Year 10 and Year 12 pupils have some face to face contact with their teachers. We will ensure that pupils who have key exams next year have an understanding of how teachers will support them to stay on track with a blend of online study, virtual teaching and attendance for some in-school sessions.
  • It is now clear that pupils in all other year groups who have not attended school since the closures in March are not likely to return until September.
  • The Government have changed their guidance for children of critical workers attending school. It is no longer the case that you need to keep your child at home if you can; you are now encouraged to use the small school provision in place. If we know you are a critical worker, we will be contacting you to understand whether you want your child to attend school so that we can plan carefully for any increase in pupil numbers.

We are also already committed to:

  • Continuing to run our small school provision for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. 
  • Continuing to provide vouchers to support our families eligible for free school meals.
  • Submitting the required information to Examination Boards by the given deadlines.
  • Ensuring that current Year 11 and Year 13 pupils are supported with the plans they have in place to transition to their next provision.
  • Working closely with our primary partner schools to plan how we can support the experience for children transitioning to our School in September – this is well underway.
  • Ensuring our distance learning resources and delivery continues to improve for all year groups.

We will also need to think about how we develop the flexibilities that may be required if partial closures remain in place for a long time.

We understand there is a need for us to plan to re-open the School to more pupils. Our priority will always be the health and welfare of our pupils and our staff and so we will take as much time as we need to work out what we think is best for everyone. We are committed to consulting with you, keeping you informed and seeking advice and guidance as we develop our thoughts.

Thank you for continuing to support your children and us and thank you for the thoughtful messages we continue to receive; we are confident that we will find a way through that works best for this community.

With my best wishes
Mr A McGinnes, Headteacher aallen@buckinghamschool.org

to view/download a copy of the letter, click here.