Dear parents and carers,
I hope you are well and managed to have a break over the half term.
While I am glad that our students have had the opportunity to stop and take a breath after a very busy half term, the news over the weekend will understandably set the agenda for many of our conversations over the coming weeks.
As you will be aware, the national lockdown will start on Thursday and is expected to last a month. While for many people this will mean a return to being furloughed and home working; schools, colleges and universities are going to continue to educate people face-to-face.
This decision to keep our educational establishments open is one that I suspect will cause a great deal of debate and discussion. That is something that we let other people lead on. We are simply focused on the areas that we can control and take ownership of – namely keeping our community safe and giving our students the best possible learning experience.
That being said, we also know that many of our staff and students have their own health issues and family worries. Saturday’s news will weigh heavily on them and I wanted to write to provide some reassurance.
Given our experiences of the last lockdown, I expect there to be a raft of documents, guidance and clarifications coming from the Department for Education over the next few days. We will review all of these closely and keep you informed of what this means for us.
As critical as following guidance and health safety measures are, however, I just want to reiterate that if you or your child have any concerns or worries, then please do speak to their tutors in the first instance. The Government has made it clear that they expect us to stay open to provide face-to-face education, and we respect that. We can, however, work with you to put into place as much support as possible on an individual level as and when required.
I would also like to offer you the reassurance that over the last half-term there was no evidence to suggest that the virus had been spread within our college. This is largely down to the impressive efforts of our staff and students.
The issue we faced, and highlighted by our track and trace system, was community transmission. My hope is, therefore, that if we continue to do what we are doing, and the national lockdown works, our communities will be safer this half-term.
So please keep communicating, like always, we will work through this systematically and together. While the mechanics have changed since the last lockdown, the importance of what we do has never been more vital. I am immensely proud to be part of this community.
Dr Nikos Savvas
Principal, Sixth Form Provision