Dear Parents and Carers,
As we approach the end of the academic year, we are faced with increased COVID-19 infections which are now affecting the operational running of the school.
I now find myself in a position where I need to isolate due to having close contact. Unfortunately, our Assistant Head Emma is in a similar position and also needs to isolate. It is very frustrating for this to occur so close to the end of the year, and has put enormous pressure on everyone to make sure the school runs smoothly. We have been proactive, myself and Emma have already taken a full PCR test and are hopeful we will be back in school as soon as possible.
Thankfully, Claire Kings, our Strategic Pastoral Manager and Leadership Team member has deputised today, running the school to our usual high standard. Claire has the experience and knowledge to do this well, and has done so many times in the past.
However, even with this succession planning and crisis management in place, we still find ourselves in a position where we have significant issues with the running of the school tomorrow, Friday 16th July. Currently there will be no SLT from Cherry Oak in a position to lead the school and without a member of the leadership team on site the school would not be able to open.
However, we have been in discussions with leadership members from across the federation to arrange emergency leadership support in case myself and Emma’s results do not come back in time or come back positive. Clare Scattergood, Headteacher within the federation for Victoria College, has agreed to stand in tomorrow as acting headteacher to make sure we can continue to open. Ellee Vance, middle management will also be stepping up into a more senior role tomorrow to assist the running of the school.
Even with all these measures in place, we still have a lack of staff to run at full capacity. Classes where staff numbers are low due to isolating have been asked to keep their children at home on Friday – these parents/carers have been contacted via phone today. I am also asking other parents now for your continued support, if you are able to keep your child at home tomorrow please could you do so. I understand it is late notice, but we are in an impossible situation and are doing everything we can to avoid a school closure. If you do decide to keep your child off school this absence would of course be authorised.
The planned transition into new classes tomorrow will now be postponed until next week.
Cherry Oak has managed to control cases and work within restrictions for a long time, with limited bubble closures throughout this period. Hopefully you understand this is a very rare situation we find ourselves in which could not have been avoided. We have all hands-on deck to make sure we are open and ready to receive your children in our normal, caring and nurturing manner as soon as possible.
Thank you again for your continued support.
Ross Ashcroft - Head Teacher