18th December 2020
Important Changes to our Return in January 2021
As the end of term draws to a close, I write today to let you know the latest information I have about our return in January.
The DfE issued guidance for schools on returning in January, yesterday on the 17th December.
Therefore, Monday 4th January 2021 will be a training day for staff with no students in school.
For the remainder of the first week, the Government have announced that from Tuesday 5th until Friday 8th January, only students from Year 11, children of critical workers and vulnerable students will be educated in school. All other students will not attend school but will learn remotely, through Google Classroom.
Further guidance has stated that schools will be allowed to set up a Covid testing scheme. The announcement states that “guidance will shortly be provided to schools and colleges on how to set up and staff the testing sites”. The announcement also states that “those students attending face-to-face education in the first week of term will be offered the first testing dates.” We will examine this and once we are provided with more information, I will share this with you. I’m sure you will have many questions, as do I and I will send out more detail once we understand how this will work.
Agreements for week beginning 4th January are as follows;
|Monday 4th January
||Training Day for staff – no students in school
||All Year 11 students in school from Tuesday 5th January following normal timetable
|Children of Critical Workers
||Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to inform us if you are a critical worker and you need to send your child into school during the first week back from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th January.
||We will be in touch should your child be invited to attend school between Tuesday 5th and Friday 8th January.
|All other students Years
7 – 10
|• Students will follow their usual timetable
• Lessons will be accessed via Google Classroom
• Some of the lessons will have a live element
• Please email email@example.com if there are any issues or questions
Everything in this letter is accurate at the time of writing and I will update you should plans change again as new guidance is issued.
It has been quite a term. Students and staff have adapted so well to the changes and we continue to be proud of their achievements. Please view our weekly blog which outlines the wonderful moments which remind us what it’s really about. http://www.blaconhighschool.net/blog/
Track and Trace
Please notify the school if:
- Your child was in school 48 hours before the start of symptoms. There may be a delay in receiving test results but you must still inform us if your child was in school in the 48 hour period before developing symptoms.
- Your child develops symptoms or is asymptomatically tested (tested when they don’t have symptoms) before 1pm on Sunday 20th December 2020.
Parents will still be expected to notify the school of any student who tests positive for Covid, up to 6 days after we finish up until 12 noon on Christmas Eve. Please complete the short form here https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=70bgJyRMHkq7OpF-8w3afjMloiDccOBLtHeBZZzaNABUNFAzOThMTDBYM05VQjdMU1NYMDg2WkY5Qy4u or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the date that your child tested positive and the day they developed symptoms. As guided by Public Health, this is to allow us to track and trace for any students who have tested positive and been in school during the 48 hours before developing symptoms. Our usual communication will be used through letter, email and text should we need to contact anyone with the instruction to self-isolate.
You do not need to notify the school if:
- Your child has not been in school in the 48hrs prior to the symptom on-set (or test if they have been tested but don’t have symptoms)
- Your child develops symptoms or is asymptomatically tested (tested when they don’t have symptoms) after 1pm on Sunday 20th December 2020
The national test and trace service will contact you to complete the contact tracing.
Food in the Holiday Period
Blacon Community Store based at Western Avenue Medical Centre will remain open for free food every Monday to Saturday (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) from approximately 9.30 each day. Families are invited to go along if needed, food is limited and so is allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Please find below details about further support and financial payments which may be available to you; these have been provided by Cheshire West and Chester.
Thank you for your continued support. May I wish you all the best for Christmas and the forthcoming break.
Mrs Rachel Hudson
Information to support families from Cheshire West and Chester
Headline: Support payments for the winter period
After the Government announced £170 million in funding would be available for local authorities through its COVID Winter Grant Scheme, Cheshire West and Chester Council will receive £925,000 in total to support residents.
This funding will help families struggling to pay for food, fuel or water rates throughout the winter period.
Who will qualify?
- Families with children receiving free school meals on 1 December 2020.
- Families receiving either a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction on 1 December 2020 AND with children below the age of four, or children between the ages of 16 and 18 inclusive.
- Individuals who have left the care of Cheshire West and Chester Council and are below the age of 25 on 1 December 2020.
Details of the award
Applications must be made online as bank details are required to make payments. An award of £65 per eligible person will be paid into the nominated bank account, subject to checks against records held by the Council. An automated notification will be sent out to confirm that an application has been received.
Apply online here- https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/news-and-views/incidents/coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-get-help/winter-grant-scheme.aspx
When payments will be made
Payments will start in December, but volumes are likely to be high. The Council is asking that, once an application form is completed, time is given to send the awards out as repeat contacts are likely to delay any awards made.
Other help available
Citizens Advice Cheshire West, which runs a winter fuel bank to help people who are struggling to meet their fuel bills, will also receive £25,000 from this fund to support residents.
- Visit the Citizens Advice website
Disability Positive has also been awarded £15,000 to support children and adults it works with who have long-term health conditions, helping them access food, energy or water bill support.
The Welcome Network is commissioned by the Council to coordinate food offers across the borough. Details of local food offers in Cheshire West and Chester over the Christmas are being compiled on the Welcome Network website.
- Visit the Welcome Network website