At 5.15pm yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday.
He also indicated that all the GCSE, AS and A-level examinations due to take place this summer, have been suspended; and that students would be credited for their learning in some other way. this morning he announced that they plan to issue results as normal in August. At the moment we are awaiting further details and will hope to provide this tomorrow. We appreciate the impact this is having on those who were due to sit the exams this summer.
Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals. We are expecting a definition of ‘key worker’ later today from the DfE. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision and we will then be putting in steps to identify those of you who will be affected by this.
Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. Alongside this, you will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.
The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. We are planning to ensure that the work provided for those working at home will also be used to support pupils attending school.
As and when we have more information I will be contacting you further. Thank you for your support and for your patience in the meantime.
For the next two days, pupil attendance is expected to continue as normal within the COVID-19 Public Health England guidance. The Philip Morant School is open for Years 7, 11, 12 and 13 until the end of the week. Work for students in other year groups is available on google classroom.