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Letter to Parents 01/01/21

Dear Parents and Carers,

Happy New Year to all our KNBS Community.  Let's hope that 2021 is better than 2020.

You will probably have seen or read the news stories about schools and colleges being asked to implement a phased start to the spring term and being invited to set up a mass Covid testing programme for students and staff.  This page will help you understand how we intend to respond to these requests and help our students to remain in school much more this term.

We will follow the Government guidance on how to phase the start of term, which is intended to ensure that effective education can continue while also reducing the spread of the virus as students return after Christmas. This means the following:

Phased start to term

Week beginning 4th January

  • We remain closed to everyone on the 4th January. Our Inset day will focus on remote learning and rapid testing preparations.
  • From 5th January, vulnerable children and children of critical workers are able to attend school to access their remote learning.  We will be in touch with those families registered with us on the 4th to organise this and set up the rapid testing needed for these students.
  • We will make sure that any students due to sit external exams during this week will be able to do so.
  • Remote learning will be available to all our students not permitted to attend school from the 5th January.  Remote learning is never perfect, and it is difficult for it to meet the needs of all students’ circumstances, however, our staff are doing their very best to provide all students with equal access to learning opportunities.  Please also note that there may be a little disruption to remote learning if staff are involved in the planning, logistics and preparation for mass and serial testing.

Week beginning 11th January

  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers are able to attend school to access their remote learning.
  • Year 11 will be allowed to return for face-to-face teaching.
  • All other year groups will receive remote learning (we are waiting for confirmation that year 10 may also be able to return during this week).

Week beginning 18th January

  • It is expected that all students will be returning to school for face-to-face teaching.

Mass testing programme

We are positive about the potential for the mass testing of students and staff in schools as a way of reducing the spread of the virus and enabling fewer students and staff to have to self-isolate. You can read more about how the government expects this programme to work here.

Setting up this programme, in addition to our core purpose, is proving to be a complex operation.  We have been sent some information about how it will work, but as more detailed guidance is provided, we will be able to plan more thoroughly.  We remain resolute to offer mass testing to our school community and we hope to be in a position to have this programme up and running as soon as is humanly possible.  As the term begins, we are expecting to offer testing to our students so that they can return to school with confidence.

How can you prepare/find out more?

We hope that the majority, if not all families, will engage with the mass testing programme.  In order for your son to take part, we will require you to register and provide your consent; no tests will be administered without registration and consent.

To see what lateral flow testing means for your son and help to prepare him, please click these links to view a video and leaflet:

To see more about how lateral flow testing can support students' attendance at school, follow these links:

To register your son for this and to provide your consent for lateral flow testing, please follow the link below.  There is further information on this registration form and a detailed explanation of exactly what you are consenting to.  If there are questions that you want to ask before providing consent, please email us at enquiry@knbs.co.uk with RE: TESTING QUESTION as the Subject line.  As always, we will publish these as part of our FAQs.  Though please be patient with us as although we support the roll out of asymptomatic testing it is new to us too:

We are currently working on a testing schedule which supports the phased return as outlined by the Government. We will be in touch again on the 4th January to update you further and let you know more about our plans for testing.  In the meantime, we will continue to provide remote learning and make the necessary preparations for our students’ return.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr D Clayton

Headteacher