HUET statement on Hanley Castle High School provision expansion during June 2020
Please click here for a letter to parents of Year 10 students, emailed on 21st May
Parents will be aware of the debate which is currently taking place in the media regarding welcoming more students back to school after half term. This applies particularly to those children of primary age, but there has also been discussion about students from Years 10 and 12.
The HUET believes that this debate is unnecessary. It is in agreement with the Government that it is in student's best interests to return to school as soon as it is safe to do so. All HUET schools have been planning for this for some time, and Hanley Castle has a phased plan which involves both Year 10 and Year 12, perhaps commencing around mid-June.
All HUET schools will, of course, continue their in-school provision for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, as well as on-line work for students at home. However, we also agree with the Government that any expansion of this provision must be dependent on further progress towards meeting the Government's five tests:
1. That the NHS has the capacity to provide critical care right across the UK
2. That there is a sustained and consistent fall in daily death rates from coronavirus
3. That the rate of infection has decreased to manageable levels
4. That operational challenges including testing and PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand
5. That any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak in infections that would overwhelm the NHS
Obviously, it is not possible to predict how much progress will have been made in terms of each test by early June, which is still some time away. The situation is changing daily, and there is currently much uncertainty about the actual level of transmission of the coronavirus, how much this varies regionally, and whether the recent relaxation in lockdown regulations will lead to a rise in cases, or even to a second wave. In addition, testing arrangements are not yet providing prompt results, whilst a 'test and trace' system has yet to be rolled out. The Government will review the latest science on 28th May before issuing its assessment of the national situation.
For all of these reasons, HUET schools, including Hanley Castle, will wait until June before deciding locally whether they should begin to implement their plans to expand their provision. At this point the decision might be to go ahead with these plans, or to postpone a decision to allow for a further improvement in the situation. We will, of course, keep parents informed. I am sure that you will understand that this cautious and sensible approach is designed not only to protect children and staff, but also to protect the households to which they will return each day, many of which include vulnerable members.
Headteacher, Hanley Castle High School
Click here for a letter from Worcestershire Director of Children's Services and the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. This is consistent with the HCHS message above.