MHS Update 25-2-2022

MHS Update 25-2-2022

I have three updates for you this week, the first two of which are closely connected together.

1) Covid precautions

As per my blog before half term, we are gradually removing or scaling back our covid precautions:

  • As of the start of this week (Monday 21st Feb) face coverings stopped being compulsory when ‘on the move’. Any member of the community is welcome to carry on wearing them if they wish.
  • From Monday 28th Feb we will remove the expectation that at least two windows and the door will be open in every classroom. Teachers will still ensure good ventilation, but the rooms will no longer be too cold.
  • From Monday 14th March we will end all guidance that states that teacing staff and learning support assistants must try to remain distant from students in classes.

Therefore by the 14th March only three elements of the covid plan will remain:

  • We will have one way staircases in Bradshaw building, but no one way system anywhere else in school.
  • Year groups will be expected to remain in their ‘zones’ before school, at break and at lunch. This is staying as a permanent arrangement as it has proven to be a very good idea.
  • People who test positive for covid will be advised to isolate as per the Government’s announcement on Monday 21st Feb.

2) Returning to normal

As we remove these precautions we can promote some of the high expectations that had, for practical reasons, had to take a back seat during the pandemic. These are all simple but important steps in getting back to normal.

  • From Monday 28th February students will no longer be able to wear coats or other non-uniform items in lessons. Rooms will not be cold, and so only proper uniform (including the optional school jumper) will be accepted.
  • ‘Full’ Hoodies (ie without a zip at the front) have always been banned in school and this remains the case. During covid, we temporarily allowed students to wear zipped hoodies as a coat in lessons if they were cold. As of Monday 28th Feb we will revert to all hoodies – zipped or not – being banned items that will be confiscated and a uniform strike issued.
  • Over the course of the next term we’ll be focussing on the different aspects of our school expectations to make sure that students (and staff!) know what is required and how to meet these expectations – uniform, punctuality, focus in lessons etc.

Underpinning all of this work is our school ethos, the Marple Hall Spirit. Between now and the end of the year we’ll be re-awakening the Marple Hall Spirit and really pushing the five values of Determination, Honesty, Readiness, Respect and Spark.

3) Data issue last week

As some of you will know, we had a data issue over half term where a message destined for one parent was sent to many. Thankfully this is rare and the amount of data shared was limited, but I do not at all underestimate the impact that events like this can have on families and I apologise to the family concerned on behalf of the school. We are taking the investigation into what went wrong very seriously. Ordinarily I wouldn’t raise such an issue in my blog, but I wanted to do so partly as the message was sent ‘on behalf of Miss Allison’. It is important to clarify in public that Miss Allison had no part in sending the initial email, despite being referenced in it.

Best wishes,

Joe Barker

Class Of 2021 – GCSE Certificate Collection

We would like to welcome the Class of 2021 students at Marple Hall School to collect their GCSE Certificates on the following dates:

Monday 28th February 3.30pm – 6pm

Monday 7th March 3.30pm – 6pm

The GCSE Certificate collection days will take place in Bradshaw Hall.

Please note that if students would like to nominate a person to collect their certificates this will have to be pre-arranged in advance, please email the exams team on: for more information regarding this option.

We look forward to seeing the Class of 2021 again!

MHS Update 11-2-2022

Firstly, a quick apology for not doing a blog last week. I’m sure that many of you were relieved, but for better or worse normal service is now resumed.

Secondly, a massive well done to all those students who have done either trial or real exams over the past three weeks. Year 9 MFL students, some Year 10 and of course every Year 11 student have had a taste of it (a big taste in the case of the latter), and their attitude has been great to see. They have shown great determination, a key element of our Marple Hall Spirit.  Our team of invigilators have been full of praise for the students and I am incredibly proud of them. It certainly bodes well for the summer.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I have a covid update for you. As we start the new half term on 21st February we are making some sensible but significant changes to covid rules. These changes will help us to restore normality and finally bring back the full school experience. Obviously there is a health warning to all of this, eg if covid cases spike again then we may review changes and bring back restrictions. 

From Monday 21st February onwards – no more compulsory masks

Masks will no longer be compulsory ‘on the move’. Individuals are welcome to wear masks if they wish, but they are no longer compulsory. Students have been generally great at wearing masks and I thank both them and parents/carers for supporting our stance on masks.

From Monday 28th February onwards – no more coats in lessons

Classroom doors and windows will be closed either completely or for most of the time. Where ventilation is required the doors/windows will be opened for a short time and then closed again. Therefore, students will no longer be able to wear coats or other items in classrooms. Our uniform expectations will resume in full, and I am looking forward to seeing lessons progress with fewer noise distractions from now on.

From Monday 14th March onwards

There will be no guidance stating that staff need to remain distanced from learners in the classroom. Until that time guidance will remain that teachers should teach ‘from the front’ and learning support assistants will keep distanced from students as much as possible. From 14th March this restriction will be formally lifted.

We will also be reviewing the last element of the one way system – the stairs in Bradshaw building – but no date has been agreed for this yet. However, we will not be reversing the rules about year groups being separate at break and lunch. This has been a very beneficial change and we plan to keep it.

The changes listed above will help us to bring the school back to something very much like it was two years ago. In doing so, we will lay the groundwork for helping all students meet all our basic expectations every day. Out of necessity covid restrictions had an impact on various aspects such as punctuality and uniform standards, through no fault of the students themselves. The vast majority of students have never let their own standards slip, but a number have done and over the next term and a half we will be reinforcing our expectations. I am confident the students will rise to the challenge.

Thanks you all for your ongoing support and, if you are off next week, have a great half term.

Best wishes

Joe Barker

Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931