Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you well. It is very welcome to see the days are getting lighter and longer!
It is perhaps good news that I have not written recently, as we do seem to be emerging from the real challenges of Covid in December and January. We had significant staffing issues in the majority of our schools, with staff contracting Covid or isolating as their children had Covid and then inevitably caught in themselves. Staffing levels have now begun to improve across all our schools as has the number of cases in our children with less having to isolate. I am very optimistic that we will see far less disruption as spring approaches! The cases in Telford and Shropshire are dropping, they have been very high in Telford for quite a long time and again this supports what we are seeing in schools. It seems very likely that the legal rule to self-isolate will be removed earlier than the 24th March but that depends on the national data over the next few weeks.
All our secondary students have been offered their second vaccine and if your child has not been able to be vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to do so as it really does stop the spread of infections and prevents them becoming unwell.
Our attendance in schools continues to be well above the national figures published every few weeks, so a massive thank you for making sure your child is in school each day. The Government has recently announced a significant focus on school attendance as we emerge from the pandemic, as there are too many children nationally not in school. Our LCT Attendance and Welfare Team continue to do an amazing job supporting our families. Please follow this link for further information on vaccinations for 12+ year olds to get 1st/2nd or booster vaccines https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/
We are absolutely focussed on GCSE and SATs preparation so our children and young people are as well prepared as possible for exams and tests in May and June. We received more information from exam boards this week on the areas being examined this summer, some of it is fairly basic but everything helps. We also know that grade boundaries will be reviewed to give all Y11 the best possible chance of gaining the qualifications they are capable of and deserve, after such disruption to their education. They will still need to work hard, go to interventions and revise!
It is that time of year when we receive information on Reception and Y7 for September and we know all our schools will be full, which is great news, and shows parents are happy to send their children to an LCT school. Queensway and Severndale have a different process, and they are currently reviewing children for places with Telford or Shropshire depending which area they live in. The Secondary school offer day is 1st March and for Reception it is the 19th April.
I am delighted to announce that LCT was awarded the sponsorship of a brand new Primary school in Allscott where there are around 450 new homes being built. This was a competitive bidding process and we had to bid, have a formal interview with the DfE and Telford Council, then await confirmation
from the Department of Education. We were told the good news just as we broke up for Christmas. This means we will now be working with the developer (S J Roberts) as they build the school, then we will appoint staff and do everything needed to successfully open in September 2023. It is a very exciting project for us and the community; we have lots of experience on the team to deliver this project and the developers are really keen to work with us and build a fantastic school. Allscott will open in September 2023 with space for 150 children but it is designed for additional classrooms as places are needed in the area.
We are fast approaching half-term, we break up on Friday 18th February. As always, the weeks fly by but it is great to see all of us getting back to near normal as restrictions are lifted. I find it almost impossible to believe that we have all been dealing with this for nearly two years, but it does seem finally the end is in sight!
My best wishes to you and your family.
Dr. Gill Eatough