Immediate academy closure – coronavirus

This page will have all the latest information on the academy’s closure. Keep checking back to find out more.

Updated 19 March 2020

Update on academy closures and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Following the government’s latest guidance on school closures, we would like to take this opportunity to update you on the current position.

As you can appreciate, this is a fast-evolving situation and we currently do not yet have detailed responses to all questions parents and carers may have, but are working swiftly to alleviate concerns and keep you updated as quickly as we can.

Free School Meals (FSM)
Today, we will be writing to all of our parents/carers in receipt of free school meals to assess the demand for this service and to develop an action plan to offer meals to our most vulnerable students. We expect this to be in place for Monday, 23 March.

Childcare for key workers
We are exploring arrangements to enable us to offer essential childcare to children of key workers. A definitive list of those who are classified as key workers will be published by the government today. We will be contacting all parents/carers separately, requesting you to self-identify as part of this identified group. You will be sent a link to an online form to complete, in order to request this childcare provision where it is needed. We expect a childcare provision to be in place for Monday, 23 March.

Re-opening academies for specific groups
It may not be necessary to re-open all academies within the Diverse Academies Trust. This means that some children may be offered childcare or access to a packed lunch collection service in a different academy to the one where your child normally attends. Demand and locality will be a key factor in this decision making. We will update you on the locations as soon as possible.

Summer examinations
For our parents/carers of those students who were expecting to sit their examinations this summer, we share your concerns. We are expecting further government information to follow tomorrow, Friday 20 March, and will update all parents/carers as soon as we have clarity.

Help prevent the spread of coronavirus

Public Health England’s advice on protecting yourself and your family from the virus can be found by visiting www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-for-households-with-possible-covid-19-infection

If you suspect a member of your family has contracted the virus, please follow guidance from the NHS here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

The education and welfare of our children remains our top priority. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work to respond to the government’s latest advice for schools.

Kimberley Willmot, Principal and Caroline Saxelby, Senior Principal

17 March 2020

Across the Diverse Academies Trust, of which our academy is a member, we have collectively taken the decision to close Queen Elizabeth’s Academy with immediate effect, alongside all other academies within our Trust.

I want to assure you that this is not a decision we have taken lightly, but a decision we have been left with no other option to take in the interests of the health and wellbeing of all students and staff.

Due to significantly low levels of staffing available, following the government’s change in advice for self-isolation – and the ongoing unpredictability of this position – we are no longer able to continue to operate safely.

We are facing an unprecedented situation, and we will be monitoring this position closely. We will keep parents and carers regularly updated about the closure and all updates will be posted to this page.

This closure will be up to and including the 3 April and will continue throughout the Easter break. We will continue to review the situation, but our current expectation is that we will re-open on Monday 20 April.

General academy information on the coronavirus outbreak, including links to important government information, can also be found here:

www.queenelizabeths-ac.org.uk/coronavirus_updates

Access to student learning resources

Our main priority is to ensure that during the closure period, the impact on the education of our students is minimised as much as possible. In preparation for this, all students across all year groups will have access to learning resources and homework for each of their subjects.

At Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, all students have school email addresses that can be accessed by opening the academy website and clicking on the ‘log in’ icon at the very top of the page.  There is then a section for Microsoft 365 for students. Students should log in using their academy username and password.  This is usually the year they started at QEA followed by the first letter of their first name and their surname.

Once students have logged into their email they have access to One Drive.  This is an online area to share documents.  Staff will be uploading and sharing work to these areas during the academy closure and students will be able to save their work and email it to staff for feedback.

Additional learning resources for students can be found by visiting: www.queenelizabeths-ac.org.uk/students/academy-closure-resources

Students without access to the internet or a home computer must contact info@queenelizabeths-ac.org.uk or call us on 01623 623559 and we will endeavour to support with providing paper-based learning resources where possible.

All students should aim to follow their normal timetable as closely as possible to ensure they remain on track with their learning. This is particularly important for students who are approaching formal summer examinations.

Summer examinations

For those preparing for their summer examinations, Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) have advised that we should continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal. We will keep you up to date with any changes and will be following the advice given by the government and relevant bodies.

Contacting the academy

During the closure period, should you have any questions about student work or if for any reason you cannot login or access resources, please contact the academy by email at info@queenelizabeths-ac.org.uk or call us on 01623 623559

For emergencies and urgent enquiries, our main academy phone lines will be diverted to an off-site member of staff. We will aim to answer these as soon as possible, but please be advised that our normal response time may be affected.

Parental support in ensuring students remain on track during this difficult period is much appreciated, and I trust that you will understand the very difficult decision we have made.

Yours faithfully,

Kimberley Willmot (Principal) and Caroline Saxelby (Senior Principal) 

!GCSE, AS and A Level awarding of grades for summer 2020 Click for more information
!Academy closures – important information Click for more information
Queen Elizabeth’s Academy