Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

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Message to all parents and carers 18/03/2020

Message to all parents and carers 18/03/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to thank you all again for your support over this challenging period. Your children have been fantastic at what may be a confusing and stressful time for them. While BACA has had a somewhat emptier feel this week, and our thoughts and best wishes are with those who cannot be here at the moment and for those otherwise affected at this difficult time, it has been a thoroughly pleasant place to be with staff and students really pulling together. We have been very grateful for the full cooperation of families and for the many positive messages in support of the efforts of the academy and its amazing team of staff.

You will be aware that a number of schools in the city have closed fully or partially and more have plans to from tomorrow. It appears that further announcements about plans at the national level are coming later this evening, but not at the most convenient time for strategic decisions to be made by schools. I therefore wanted to clarify our position as things stand.

We will remain open tomorrow for students who are able to attend. We want to continue to provide students and families with everything they need at this time and we know that remaining open gives students access to learning, routines and care while allowing parents to go to work or care for younger children or older dependants.

At the same time, a large proportion of students and quite a number of staff are not in school at the moment as they are self-isolating. We have been making plans to be able to deliver fully remote learning were the school to have to close, but we are in this interim period where teachers who are in school are teaching their lessons and covering for absent colleagues, while students at home have access to some resources via Show My Homework but not the full package of home learning that is required for them to continue to make good progress. In order to allow use to move to remote learning for all, so that teachers can focus on supporting students who are studying from home, the school really needs to be closed to all. As things stand, this will be the case from the end of the day on Friday, although it is possible we will be able to remain open to provide childcare and study support to some students with particular needs and the children of key workers. 

Full plans are in place for remote learning for the next two weeks. The expectation is that students will stay at home and study for most of the day, following a similar rhythm to the school day. Thank you in advance for supporting this. We have completed a survey of students' access to IT and the internet and we are determined to support students who may not have access to everything they need. We are targeting support at families we think needs it most, but if we haven't approached you and borrowing a school laptop would make a significant difference to your child's ability to study from home, please let me know directly and we will do our best. We will confirm details of remote learning plans over the next two days. For students at home in the interim period, they should continue to access Show My Homework and complete all of the tasks that have been placed on there for them.   

We are also devising plans so that students who receive free school meals can continue to access these in some form and we can provide additional support to families in need. If we can be of any assistance to you at this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do the best we can.

I would like to thank you again for what has been a true community effort and in advance for your ongoing support.