Before I start properly today, a quick note to say that over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a new online communication system called EduLink. Over the coming months EduLink will merge together several other school systems making life easier for parents, students and staff. You may well receive a letter either today or in the next week or so.
Ok – Covid concerns continue to dominate the education world at the moment – the radio chat on my morning commute these last two days has focussed on the rise in the number of students self-isolating across the country, largely due to being identified as close contacts in schools. You may well be aware of the debate as to whether this is still necessary as more and more of the country are double vaccinated, but the process at the moment is clear in that self-isolation for school aged children who are close contacts is essential.
Once again though I hold my breath and say that at the moment, MHS has escaped the worst of it. We have had two confirmed cases in the last three weeks that have led to groups isolating, which is fewer than many local schools have experienced in the last three days. We don’t take this for granted though and we know that things can change very quickly, and so I hope you’ll forgive me reinforcing three key messages in this blog before addressing another matter at the end.
1) Please can parents/carers ensure that students conduct lateral flow tests twice a week and report them on the government website. The tests can (and have) stopped cases coming into school, and the reporting may help us remove the risk that the government will ask us to reinstate mass testing in school. Mass testing would have a massive disruptive impact on teaching and learning at a time when our low cases means it isn’t necessary. You can read more on this here.
2) A reminder to check the guidance in the here if you’re not sure what to do regarding symptoms, lateral flow tests, PCR tests or isolating as a family. I appreciate that it’s complicated and we’re more than happy to answer any questions that families may have.
3) Although the list of students isolating is falling, here’s a reminder about the educational provision on offer when they do need to stay at home. I walk past many lessons a day and see numerous hybrid lessons going on, and percentage attendance at hybrid lessons has been increasing week on week.
Before the May half term it was tempting to think that Covid in school was a thing of the past. It wasn’t…but equally we’re not letting it dominate daily life either. I’m aware that my blogs are often Covid themed but it’s best for me to address these issues whilst the rest of the school gets on with the job of education.
Speaking of which, one thing that hit the headlines around Easter time were the reports of widespread peer on peer sexual harassment and abuse in some private schools in London. As you may have seen, it soon became clear that this is an issue in schools up and down the country. Harmful Sexual Behaviours (HSB) is something that we take very seriously at MHS, and I wanted to flag up a statement that the Chair of Governors and I have written recently on this important issue. You can access the statement on the main school website under the following tabs:
Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB
Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker