Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you for your continued support.  I think we have done an amazing job in our community at keeping safe and I really appreciate your help.  I am also really proud and appreciative of our staff and children for doing so well over this term, working hard and trying their best during a time that’s been understandably and extremely difficult.

You may have seen in the news this week that the Department for Education has now permitted schools to bring forward one of next year’s Inset Days.  This is not a day off for school staff as some media outlets have reported it, but a training day.  For those with children at the Academy, they aren’t governed by the same regulations as Maintained Schools and can change the number of days that children attend school.

It seems that the majority of schools in Devon and the UK have decided that this is just too late for parents to organise childcare, staff training days can’t always be moved that quickly and it doesn’t provide a resolution to having to make contact over the Christmas break as staff would have been in school.

After discussions with staff, Headteachers from the Braunton Learning Cooperative Trust, Chairs of Governors and Headteacher groups in Devon and further afield, we have decided not to take this action, and not to close.

Therefore, our school WILL be open on Friday 18th December – as planned.

I hope you also received my letter last week (-link-) explaining about Contact Tracing over the Christmas period.  This is something that schools have been anxious about for several weeks as we will need to provide a point of contact for at least the first week of the break (up to and including Christmas Day) in order to inform the class bubble of a positive case.

To summarise that letter, if symptoms start, a test is booked and a positive result is returned, it is vital that you email me personally and I will inform the bubble anonymously that they need to take the necessary precautions.

In order for us all to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas with our families, it’s incredibly important for everyone to continue to be extra vigilant over the short time we have until Christmas.  With this in mind, I only have two further requests…

  • …to be extra vigilant in what you do as we get closer to the Christmas Break, and
  • …for all parents, not just those of our Early Years’ children, to wear a face covering (mask) at the end of day pick-ups.
    (Our newsletter tomorrow will also ask that parents NOT wait on the road outside, but to come on to the school playground and garden, socially distanced.  This is purely for safety and safeguarding reasons – again, keeping our children and community safe.)

Thanks again for your continued support.  If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Thomas