22 June 2020 Update

Dear Parents, Carers and Students


I hope you all had a good weekend and remain safe and well.


I said on Friday that we would be receiving further details about the government’s ‘great big plan’ for education moving forward. As many questions as answers probably still remain, as I am sure your own following of the media also indicates, but here are my current thoughts.


Obviously any additional funding announcements are welcome. What we do know is:


  • There will be a one-off grant of £650 million will be shared across state primary and secondary schools over the next academic year

  • An additional £350 million will be spent on a national tutoring programme in 2020/21, aimed specifically at ‘up to two million of England’s most disadvantaged children’


What we don’t yet know and/or remains unclear:


  • How much discretion individual schools will actually have to decide how this money is best spent

  • While ‘head teachers will decide how the money is spent’ the government also ‘expects this to be spent on small group tuition for whoever needs it’

  • How the £650 million will be allocated, including whether it will be weighted for disadvantage

  • What provision may be expected or provided over the summer


Two observations follow.


Firstly, we still await clarification on the really key question of what is the broader plan for bringing all students back into school in September.


In terms of our own thinking this is what we are currently planning for. Dr Davis has produced a ‘normal’ timetable and we are scenario planning around social distancing measures of either 1m or 2m being in place to determine how this will work for year groups as they would then come into school in different combinations and rotas. These models will then be considered by the Trust Board and we will aim to share the agreed version with you as soon as we can be as certain as we can about the rules that will apply.


Secondly, and to reassure you, let’s move the focus away from just catch-up. Given the great virtual curriculum that’s now in place, the way you’ve engaged with it as families and the on-going ‘real time’ advice and guidance on offer, I genuinely believe we are in as good a place as we can be for a return in September. You already know that there will be a warm, safe and supportive Park House welcome when we bring the community physically back together again. And so, with a well-thought out, broad and balanced curriculum for September, clear routines and great support structures, our young people will soon be thriving again in the way that they always have at our school.


At least about that, we can all be clear.


Separately, please follow this link to a wellbeing survey for parents/carers of Year 9 students>>>

Please complete and submit this by Midday on Friday 26 June.


Finally, the latest In-House challenge can be found here>>>


Thank you for your on-going support.


Very best wishes

Derek Peaple