Trust Provision During The National Lockdown
In accordance with Government instruction, Anglian Learning has now closed its schools to all pupils with the exception of those attending Nursery and Early Years provision, and to those pupils who are assessed as being vulnerable, either due to educational reasons or who may be at safeguarding risk. In addition, we are supporting the national effort to defeat COVID-19 by providing school places to children of critical workers. Staff are working at home unless providing teaching and supervision to the above groups or are involved in maintaining basic school systems during this period. We have also closed our sports centres and adult learning provision.
However, Anglian Learning continues to ensure that, despite this significant disruption to education, we provide the best possible learning opportunities for our pupils. Each school will be delivering a mixture of online recorded or live lessons, together with independent learning activities, either set by teachers or via nationally created resources such as those provided by the BBC. To further support this, the Trust will be providing laptops to younger pupils who cannot access wi-fi enabled devices, while we wait for the Government to roll out its own programme to primary schools. The Trust is also providing free school meal vouchers to eligible families while we wait for the Government to develop its own scheme.
For pupils still attending school, lessons will be purposeful, structured and of high quality, taught by qualified staff or delivered by our excellent team of teaching assistants, under the direction of a teacher. Simultaneously, teachers and other staff will be making regular calls home to check on the wellbeing of pupils, especially those who may be vulnerable in some form but who are not attending school. All teachers and other staff are working hard to minimise the negative impact of this third national lockdown.
At the same time, we take our responsibilities seriously as an employer. We are keeping risk assessments under weekly review, responding swiftly to changes in DfE or PHE advice, and in some cases going further than that current guidance; if at any stage we do not believe that our academies can operate safely for pupils and staff, we will not hesitate to reduce pupil numbers in school or, as a last resort, to close a school site. We are also working with unions and others to make sure that they and their members contribute to the review of safety. The Trust is also leading on the rollout of COVID-19 testing, using lateral flow devices, and the first secondary schools should start using these during the week beginning 11 January. These tests will play a key role in keeping our pupils and staff safe and breaking the chain of transmission between home and school. However, at all times, all pupils and staff must adhere to the national controls and restrictions wherever they are – these provide the strongest method of controlling the spread of COVID-19.
These are undoubtedly difficult and challenging times for all of us, but Anglian Learning and its academies will work tirelessly to support our pupils and their families throughout the period our schools remain closed to the majority of children.