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Message from the principal 20th March 2020

See a video message from Mr Spencer

Closing Ely College is something I hoped I would never need to do. However, our community needs us to be of service in a different way from Monday. I want to reiterate the key message about the closure plans: Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. I hope you were able to read my letter earlier today. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey we shared yesterday. If you were unable to complete the form last night because both parents were not key workers, please can you return to the form and complete it on the basis of the changed guidance. Please only submit one form per family. No child care will be provided without the completion of this form. The link to the survey can be found below. Link to the key worker survey – click here If you have completed the survey, then please assume that you will be able to access to school from 8am, and the provision from 8.30am – 3.30pm on Monday, and we will expect all children to have left the site by 4pm. We regret we won’t be able to send confirmation ahead of time. If you think you may need to access the provision in the future, but are not yet sure, then please contact the college at that time. All students should report to main reception between 8am and 8.30am. Please note that the provision we provide will not be like school. There will be no timetable or lessons. It will be childcare-centred, with planned activities alongside some opportunities for supported self-study. The precise nature of the provision will develop and evolve over the coming days. Students attending will not be expected to wear uniform on Monday. We expect there to be a basic canteen service providing a hot meal. Students do not need to bring food. Staff will be available in school throughout our opening hours on Monday to answer emails or phone calls. For other students, whilst we were initially planning for remote learning opportunities, it is looking increasingly unlikely that this will be possible to consistently deliver. It will certainly not be realistic for individual teachers to be ‘online’ offering lessons to their classes at the normal time. This will be for three main reasons. Staff will either be in school providing a safe space for vulnerable students and the children of key workers, at home caring for their own sick family or unwell themselves. This will mean maintaining individual timetables will be impossible. We are, however, working very hard to ensure students will have appropriate work to provide their days with structure and purpose while schools are shut. We will update you with more on this in the coming days. Attached to this letter is some guidance on the many different ways students can ensure their health and well-being are maintained during this period of closure. There is also a dedicated email address that we have set up to allow students who may feel particularly anxious, worried or unsafe during this time to reach us at. We will continue to contact you regularly though this time with updates and communications. Staff will be on hand and keen to provide support where we can. Let us all hope this period of closure will be as short as possible, and that the fight against this ugly virus can be won soon. I am confident that we will come back stronger and more ready than ever to succeed. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the messages of support we have received from many of you in recent days. I’d also like to thank my staff for their outstanding efforts, and the students for their exemplary conduct at this time. Yours faithfully Richard Spencer Principal