Launceston College Update
Dear Parents and Carers,
As tighter COVID restrictions are announced across parts the UK, the Department of Education have announced that Secondary schools and colleges in England will be asked to operate a staggered return to college after the Christmas holidays (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/staggered-rollout-of-coronavirus-testing-for-secondary-schools-and-colleges). (press release 17/12/20)
This staggered return is to facilitate the roll out of rapid testing for COVID-19 in schools and colleges for asymptomatic students and staff – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges (DfE Guidance 15/12/20)
Although we are still awaiting further details of this arrangement, early indications suggest that this will see students in Years 13 and 11 attend college as planned from Tuesday 5th January. We hope to be able to extend this to students in other year groups – namely Year 12 and Year 10, who have exams this academic year, however, at the time of writing the guidance on this remains unhelpfully unclear. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january-2021/schools-and-childcare-settings-return-in-january-2021 (DfE Guidance 17/12/20)
Students in any Year group whose parents are critical workers and a number of students identified by the government as ‘vulnerable’ (including those with social workers or EHCPs) should attend College for face-to-face provision from Tuesday 5 January. Unless current government guidance changes, the College is including all students in receipt of free school meals in its definition of students able to attend College from Tuesday 5 January. Critical workers are identified as people whose work is essential for the COVID 19 response. Further details about students defined as vulnerable and parents defined as critical workers can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. (DfE Guidance updated 3/12/20)
In order for staff to prepare lessons for Tuesday 5 January please can parents who are critical workers complete this short Google Form https://forms.gle/BLyHj2Ds6Z6tP2nc6 so we can ensure that we are adequately prepared to deliver lessons to students in College and at home.
At present it is expected that the return date of all other students will be the week commencing Monday 11th January 2021, however, this may be subject to change depending on the logistics involved with the setup of regular testing on site. At the time of writing all the government have said is ‘Guidance will shortly be provided to schools and colleges on how to set up and staff the testing sites.‘ I will, of course, write to you with the details of how this will operate nearer the time. I am sorry that I can not provide you with more specific information at this time and I fully appreciate the difficulties that a lack of clarity over return dates for some students will cause for some of our families.
The curriculum for any students not attending College due to a staggered return will operate remotely from Tuesday 5th January until their confirmed return date. Students working from home are expected to engage daily with the remote learning work on Google Classroom, and there will be curriculum materials available for each lesson of the normal timetable. If you have not already informed us that you need a laptop and/or internet access to engage with remote learning please email email@example.com . If you need any support with remote learning please refer to the guidance and contact details on the college website http://www.launceston-college.cornwall.sch.uk/learning-home/
Thank you to all of the parents and staff who have contacted me personally in the past 24 hours to offer support over the holidays in preparation for the new term. Your support and kind words for all the staff at College are very much appreciated. Please keep an eye on the website over the holidays for any updates regarding arrangements for students from Tuesday 5 January.
Mrs Jenn Burn