Our latest updates and advice, including home learning and on-site testing

Letter about changes to the start of term in January (18 December)

18 December 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you may be aware the Department for Education made an announcement yesterday evening asking us to implement a staggered return for students in January.

This announcement has come frustratingly late and leaves us in a position where we are now writing to you to let you know about changes to the start of term.

We will be welcoming back the following students on Monday 4th January 2021:

  • All Year 11 students
  • Some other students identified by the government (if your child has been identified you will receive a separate email invitation to access this provision after the Christmas period)
  • Critical worker students (please complete this survey only if you are a critical worker (as described below) and are not able to keep your child at home).

All other students will need to work from home and access Google Classroom remotely following their normal timetable. We hope to welcome other students in the following week but will provide more information as it becomes available.

The Department for Education has also announced that they are making mass testing available for all Secondary Schools. We are still waiting for further information about this which is due to be released later this week.

We will continue to digest all of this information and will be in touch after the Christmas period with more details about our plans (including arrangements for free school meals).

I again want to thank you for your support and hope you have a lovely festive period.

Yours faithfully

Chris Beard

Head of Academy

Critical workers, as defined by the Department for Education are:

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.

Health and social care

This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes:

  • childcare
  • support and teaching staff
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response to deliver this approach

Key public services

This includes:

  • those essential to the running of the justice system
  • religious staff
  • charities and workers delivering key frontline services
  • those responsible for the management of the deceased
  • journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government

This only includes:

  • those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
  • or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food:

  • production
  • processing
  • distribution
  • sale and delivery
  • as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

Public safety and national security

This includes:

  • police and support staff
  • Ministry of Defence civilians
  • contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak)
  • fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
  • National Crime Agency staff
  • those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas


This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes:

  • staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
  • key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
  • postal services and delivery
  • payments providers
  • waste disposal sectors