Wider Opening of Schools Confirmed, CEO Message, 5th June 2020

Dear Parent and Carers

We have made the decision to open all of our schools more widely. This decision has been made by myself with the support of the school headteacher. They will let you know precise details of when and to whom their school will open more widely.

I want to briefly explain the process we have undertaken so that you can have the assurance needed to know that this decision making process has been well considered.

On May 18th Beckfoot Trust Board of Trustees agreed five tests should be met before the schools could more widely open:

Is there a satisfactory and agreed risk assessment in place for the school?
The plans in place to ensure the safety of pupils?
The plans in place to ensure the safety of staff?
The readiness of the site to welcome back pupils and staff?
Confidence that the plan is sustainable?

Following a Board of Trustees meeting held on 4th June 2020, the Trustees, the Trust CEO and each school headteacher are satisfied these tests have been met for each of our schools and that they can all open more widely. They will begin to do so from the week beginning 15th June.

The decision to open more widely has been made based on the Government’s guidance about the wider opening of schools that can be read here. We have also taken account of more local advice from Mark Douglas, Strategic Director of Children’s Services and Sara Muckle, Director of Public Health at City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and their advice dated 4th June 2020 can be read here.

Of course, each school’s circumstances are unique and in particular their buildings differ. For this reason we completed a specific Risk Assessment for each school. Risk Assessments are technical, health and safety based exercises that identify any risks of harm (Coronavirus) we can foresee and plan as many ways as possible to reduce that risk. They are compiled by staff and we have consulted widely about their content and specifically with teaching and support staff Union colleagues. Everyone is satisfied that the new procedures we have developed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in school have been well thought through and we will develop them as we find out how parents, staff and pupils get on with the new way of enjoying the school day. It is important to understand that some risks will always remain high. Risk assessments for secondary and special schools will be shared on their websites over the next few days. The risk assessments for primary schools will be shared on their websites today.

Whilst acknowledging that school will still feel far from normal for the foreseeable future we are very excited to begin to welcome back pupils.

Our schools will continue to provide high quality remote learning provision for pupils unable to attend school. We are planning collectively the next phase in our remote learning strategy given the likelihood that existing arrangements may stretch well into the autumn term.

Secondary Headteachers will also be in contact with parents about exam result arrangements and transition arrangements into Year 7, 6th Form, Higher Education and other career pathways.

For further information, please contact the school in the usual way or Beckfoot Trust by emailing BeckfootTrust@beckfoot.org

Yours sincerely

David Horn

CEO Beckfoot Trust

BMDC letter -wider opening 040620

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