I hope that you had a relaxing and restful festive period.
I am sorry to have to start 2021 in a similar vein to 2020 but, given the ever changing and evolving situation that we are all facing in relation to Covid, we wanted to try and provide as much clarity as possible.
Over the last week we have all been dealing with the realities of Suffolk moving into Tier 4. On top of that, the Government has also made a host of announcements about how schools and colleges should reopen after the holiday period.
There are two significant developments for our college community. These are:
1) The college, like all education establishments that support young people over the age of 11, will become a mass testing centre. This means that we will be able to provide rapid tests for staff and students to help us further support our community in containing the virus and limiting the impact on learning.
2) The reopening plans have changed to enable us to set up these testing centres.
The attachment gives details about what this means for your child’s college. I appreciate that there is an incredible amount of information flying around at the moment from lots of different sources, which I why I hope that this document will address some of the questions that are inevitably being raised.
We also understand that, while we are all working to guidelines and guidance from central Government, you may have specific questions about your own personal circumstances. This will be particularly relevant to those of you who have other health conditions. We would encourage you to contact the details on the attachment to discuss how we can appropriately support you.
Finally, while we may (thankfully) be in a new year, one thing that hasn’t changed is how much our community continues to come together to support one another. Over the break there have been a number of staff who have effectively volunteered their own much needed holiday and family time to help us plan and prepare for these changes. Creating a mass testing centre in short period of time is challenging to say the least – and their efforts have been incredible. In addition, the comments of support we have had from parents has been heartening, and it is clear that our students are eager to get back to their studies.
We collectively overcame every challenge that 2020 threw at us, and I have no doubt that we will continue to do the same while the vaccine rolls out. Please rest assured that we will continue to be working tirelessly, as one, to provide our students with the best education in the safest possible environment.
On behalf of our whole education community, I would like to wish you the warmest wishes for a happy and healthy 2021.
Dr Nikos Savvas
Chief Executive Officer
Suffolk Academies Trust and West Suffolk College Group