Beaconsfield Drive
Blurton
Stoke-on-Trent
ST3 3JD
01782 882200

Message from the Principal

Posted on: March 19, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you know, we are all facing extraordinary challenges at this time and the situation is placing pressure on all parts of society. Our staff have been doing all they can to keep our academy open since this crisis began and I would like to pay tribute to their remarkable commitment. They have been extraordinary, and we will continue to play our part over the coming weeks.

As you may be aware, the Government made several very important decisions yesterday evening (18th March) about schools. There will be further detail to follow but I wanted to ensure you had as much information as possible as early as possible.

The first is that it has advised schools in England to close, except for certain groups of children, from this Friday afternoon (20th March) onwards as a further measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. No date has been set for when schools will re-open for all students.

From Monday, the academy will continue to be open for the following groups of OSSMA students:

  • Children whose parents are frontline workers – the Government has said these would include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers. However, others will be in this category and we expect to hear more from the Government on this in the coming days.
  • Those classed as what the Secretary of State described as “vulnerable children”. These could be those who have a social worker and those with EHCPs.

 

For students in these groups, we have also been asked to remain open through the Easter holidays and we will do our best to achieve this. From Monday 23rd March and through this period, our academy will provide care for these children.

We have already taken steps to identify who these students will be and have asked parents of OSSMA students who believe they will be identified as ‘key workers’ to advise the academy as soon as possible. This can be done by calling the academy reception on 01782 882200 or completing the online form that can be found on our website www.ossma.co.uk

Children who do not fall into the groups listed above should remain at home with appropriate care.

The Academy will remain open this week for all students who are still in attendance until 3.15pm on Friday 20th March.

The second key announcement is that tests and exams will not take place this summer. For children and young people, who have worked so hard to prepare for their SATs, GCSEs or A levels, this may be upsetting, and we sympathise with them. At the same time, we understand the decision the Government has made and we understand that children’s grades in GCSEs and A levels will be awarded on the basis of moderated assessment, in conjunction with the exam boards and Ofqual. This means that the hard work students have done will be rewarded. It may not feel quite the same, and nor is it, but they will receive grades that will progress them to the next stage of their lives. But we will update you again should this change.

We will continue to provide home learning resources for your child and these can be found on our website www.ossma.co.uk/working-from-home.

In the meantime, I would once again like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for your understanding and ongoing support in helping us to manage this unprecedented situation.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Stanyer

Executive Principal