Leeds West Academy

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Reassurance to Families

We appreciate this is an uncertain time for all of us and we would like to thank all our families and students for their support at this time.

Please continue to visit this page as we will provide daily updates with regards to how we are responding to the Coronavirus. 

Important Message from West Yorkshire Police

We have been contacted by West Yorkshire Police, Leeds Youth Crime Prevention Office with the following message - 

It appears a number of fake emails are circulating with a message similar to the below: 

If your child’s school is closed and your child is entitled to free school meals; then to send your bank details to the school and they will help you with funding while schools are closed. 

The police have informed us that this is clearly a simple and very effective fraudulent scam. As an academy we would like to reassure you that we would never ask anyone for their bank details to be sent to us in this manner. 

We sincerely hope no one in our community has been victim to this, but please contact us if you feel you have been victim to this message.

What have we done so far? (Friday 20th March)

 Prevention

  • We have an enhanced Cleaning Regime - this has been in place since the end of February. Within this regime, our cleaners have ensured that there is a bottle of hand sanitizer/hand rub available in each class room and office. A box of tissues has also been placed in every class room and office. 
  • Importance of Hand Washing - We have placed a poster from Public Health England in every toilet. As well as reminding students in form time/assemblies of the importance of washing their hands, we have also increased the staff presence outside our student toilets to remind students to wash their hands often.
  • Postpone Trust-wide CPD events.
  • Postpone ALL Parents' Evenings - these evenings will be rescheduled for the Summer Term. 
  • All domestic trips, activities and evening events planned for the remainder of this half term which involve our students coming into contact with students from other schools or members of the public will be cancelled or postponed.

  •  Sports fixtures against other schools will be postponed until after Easter at the earliest.

  • After school extra-curricular activities will be postponed until further notice.

  • Year 7 Extended School Day with Leeds City College has been postponed until further notice.

  • Any school productions or performances which involve wider audiences will be postponed until later in the year (this does not affect in-school examinations).

  • After school support and events which link to examinations could still go ahead (students will be informed).

Self-Isolation

  • Government guidance issued on Monday 16th March directs individuals to self-isolate for FOURTEEN days if they have a NEW continuous cough or a high temperature. This now also applies if any person in the household presents with these symptoms.
  • We have shared this guidance with all staff, students and our wider community. We have asked them to consider and follow the advice given.
  • STAFF: They need to report self-isolation to the academy as soon as possible when symptoms arise. Staff to report through the absence line if outside of academy hours. Staff to report to HR as quickly as possible if symptoms arise DURING the work day. If staff are self-isolating they need to remain off-work for FOURTEEN days, this will be paid leave and self-certified. 
  • STUDENTS: Usual reporting/absence management procedures to be followed. Welfare checks to continue by telephone for vulnerable families/students. Students will be issued with food vouchers/hampers as we desire to provide additional support to our families and community.

Shielding

  • Advice issued by Government on Monday 16th March stated:

Pregnant women and those with some underlying health conditions to avoid unnecessary social contact. Staff falling into those categories to seek advice where necessary by consulting -  https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/ 

  • The Trust will respect the decision of colleagues; staff taking the decision to self-isolate as a shielding precaution will be supported in this decision.

Contingency Planning

  • The Trust now have plans in place for the three possible outcomes - Business as usual, Partial Closure and Full School Closure. 
  • If our school does decide to close we are confident that the work that has been prepared by our Curriculum Leaders will ensure that students do not lose learning time whilst working remotely.
  • Although the academy is closed, a number of staff will remain on hand to administer welfare support where needed.
  • In the event of a closure, we will be in contact with families with regards to further support in place. 

Coronavirus Update (Friday 20th March)

Following directions from the Government, Leeds West Academy will be closing to the majority of students until further notice, effective from the close of school on Friday 20th March 2020.

School will remain open to vulnerable children. Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

School will remain open to children of parents who are classed as ‘key workers’. Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the further information section of this letter. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. The government advise that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

As stated in previous communications, we have been planning for the possible disruptions COVID 19 could bring to our school community.  In response to the direction to close for a limited time, some school staff will attend work to enable us to open as outlined above, and others will work remotely, from home.  Students will also be expected to work remotely from home.

We have been informed that GCSE examinations will not take place this summer.  We will write to students and parents of students of Year 11, once we have clarity from the government in relation to the awarding of GCSE grades this summer.  Students in all year groups, including Year 11, will be set work by their teacher through our ‘Class Charts’ application. Students have been provided with instructions on how to log-on to receive work set by their subject teachers.

A guide on how to access these remote resources is also available on our website - https://www.leedswestacademy.org.uk/Distance-Learning/  This includes information on the Class Charts application, as well as supporting sites such as Hegarty Maths, Educake and GCSEPOD. We will ask our teachers to respond to individual questions related to the work set.  Further information is available on our website.  We are confident that the work that has been prepared by our Curriculum Leaders will ensure that students maximise learning time whilst working remotely.

We hope that the work packs and additional online interactive resources which will be added to in the coming weeks, will support you in keeping students occupied and, in the case of COVID 19, enable students to socially distance themselves during self-isolation.

We will aim to keep sharing interactive resources, videos and activities for students/families to complete at home. If you have found anything useful for your family, please do not hesitate share this with us. 

During the period of closure, we will continue to provide support for our most vulnerable families. If you have any concerns about the welfare of a child/family, please email lwa-safeguarding@whiteroseacademies.org   This email address is monitored throughout the day, and periodically out of hours.

We would also like to encourage our families to reach out to their community and extend their support to neighbours, friends and extended family, however whilst doing this we cannot express the importance of social distancing during this time. If you have, any queries we would always recommend you visit https://111.nhs.uk/ for professional advice or call 111 if you think yourself or your child has symptoms.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 related to education, individuals can contact the DfE helpline as follows 0800 046 8687 or by email DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk. 

We are constantly monitoring the situation and putting plans in place to minimise disruption to learning for all our students. We will send out further updates if the advice for schools changes. We appreciate this is an uncertain time for all of us and I would like to thank you for your support in this matter.

In closing, we would like to wish you and your family well in these most challenging of times.  Please stay safe.

Closure of Educational Settings - Further Information

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

In summary:

  • Students can attend school if ONE parents is a key worker. IF REQUIRED.  This is key for our settings.

The guidance states:

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines). 

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

Previous Communications (Letters Home) 

COVID-19 Update 5 - 20th March 2020

COVID-19 Update 4 - 18th March 2020

COVID-19 Update 3 - 17th March 2020

COVID-19 Update 2 - 16th March 2020

Information about COVID-19 - 2nd March 2020

Important Links 

Government Guidance with regards to Coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Self-Isolation Guidance https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51711227

Guidance to educational settings about COVID-19 www.gov.uk/government/publications/guid ... t-covid-19

NHS 111 Professional Advice https://111.nhs.uk/