January Covid-19 Update

4th January 2022

RE: January Covid19 Update

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families have been able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas and New Year. As we start the new term, despite the rising Covid19 infection rates, we remain optimistic that the disruption caused to our students’ education will be kept to a minimum. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our students back over this coming week. Should you require a reminder of these arrangements, please click here.

I wanted to write and keep you informed as no doubt you will have heard concerns in the national news about staff shortages in schools and the challenges that presents. This is not a new challenge for schools, therefore we already have contingency plans in place that include extensive but balanced measures to minimise disruption to students’ learning, maximise opportunity and keep everyone safe. This letter provides a brief outline of these measures to keep you informed. In addition, you will have heard that the Government has again recommended that face-coverings are worn in classrooms, something that we already have in place at Bodmin College to safeguard our students’ education.

Measures to ensure continued educational provision include:

  • Robust Covid19 protection measures to minimise the spread of infection. For a reminder of these measures, please click here. Please continue to ensure that your child and family are self-testing at least twice a week. For guidance on what to do if your child develops symptoms or tests positive please click here.
  • Increasing the capacity of our supply bank – like many schools nationally, we are experiencing a shortage of agency staff availability. However, we are in the fortunate position of having our own bank of cover supervisors and supply staff that are loyal to Bodmin College. Despite this, there have still been times when cover has been very tight and staff have regularly given up planning time to cover lessons. Whilst this is not sustainable over a long period of time we are fortunate to have such dedicated staff committed to ensuring that the students don’t miss out on their education.
  • In rare cases, where cover is not possible, we may need to merge or rearrange classes.
  • If extreme shortages are experienced for prolonged periods of time and it is not possible to merge classes then, as an absolutely final resort we may need to move some classes to remote learning. This would only be done in extreme cases, where staff shortages impact on student safety and where no other alternative is available. Should this be required we would endeavour to implement a rota to minimise longer term impact for students and we would look to provide onsite provision for vulnerable and essential key worker children of the classes/year groups affected. We would always endeavour to provide parents/carers with as much notice as possible but as you will understand, sometimes we may only have a moment’s notice ourselves.

We all hope that this final alternative will not be required. If you or someone that you know is interested in joining our supply bank, please contact sarah.ford@bodmincollege.co.uk for an application form.

Please be reassured that we monitor our staffing levels daily and have already trained staff in a variety of roles to increase our flexibility and capacity. These measures have already been tested throughout the autumn term and we continue to review our contingency arrangements regularly.

I hope that this information is both helpful and reassuring but should you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch through the contact us section of the website or our reception desk. Whilst we may not be able to respond to every email individually, we will do our best to address any questions and concerns through our weekly parent FAQs and keep you updated through regular parent bulletins.

Kindest regards

E Seward-Adams

Mrs Emmie Seward-Adams