‘We are responding to demand’ - Schools trust head on summer holiday lessons for year 10 pupils
PUBLISHED: 17:51 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:53 02 July 2020
A school trust says it has seen overwhelming backing from parents and pupils over its decision to restart some lessons in August.
Year 10 students at nine secondary schools across Norfolk and Waveney will be returning early from their summer holidays, to make up for lessons lost during lockdown.
Dame Rachel de Souza, chief executive of the Inspiration Trust of academies, which has made the decision, said: “For me our year 10s are an absolute priority so they can really get back to work towards getting some great grades at the end of year 11.
“They are in the first year of their CGSEs and they have had more than 12 weeks of remote learning, which is good but it’s not as good as being with a teacher, so we as a trust we talked with principals and parents about how we can help them.”
MORE: Parents not sending children back to school in September could be fined
Year 10s will be able to return to school full time on August 17, two weeks ahead of the September restart, though it will be voluntary.
Dame Rachel said the response had been overwhelmingly enthusiastic from parents and pupils and since the government allowed 25pc of year 10s back, more than 90pc were now coming in each day.
She said: “It’s responding to what parents and pupils are telling us and the demand we are seeing. Of course there will be some who won’t want to come, but pupils are voting with their feet and coming in.”
Both school principals and teachers have volunteered to staff the summer lessons and are being paid an extra hourly rate.
The trust has also started Saturday catch-up classes at Cromer Academy, Thetford Academy, Hethersett Academy, East Point Academy in Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, Wayland Academy in Watton and the Hewett Academy, Jane Austen College and Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich.
The government is expected to announce new guidelines this week to ensure all children can return to the classroom in September.
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Dame Rachel said: “We have done a lot of work on how we might do that. We have had the measuring rulers out.
“The likely scenarios we have heard about are year-group ‘bubbles’ and that good sense will prevail on social distancing.
We have put in place really robust risk assessments aimed at reassuring parents who want to know that their child is going to be safe.
“Getting that safety right is paramount but I think for pupils wellbeing getting back to school is so important.
“Seeing their peers, being able to get on with their learning and have a structure and routine is really important and they respond really well to it.”
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