This page will have 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.
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.
Will Teece, 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 Walton 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: https://bit.ly/39XceCj
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 Walton, we will be using email, text and elements of Office 365, such as OneNote, and Microsoft Teams to distribute learning resources and work that students can do from home. These resources can be accessed from www.office.com or www.walton-ac.org.uk/login using the student’s normal academy log-in details, which are typically printed on the back of their ID card.
Should you not have these details for any reason please email: email@example.com
Additional resources for students can be accessed by visiting: www.walton-ac.org.uk/students/academy-closure-resources
Students without access to the internet or a home computer must contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01476 563251 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.
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 email@example.com or call us on 01476 563251.
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.
Will Teece (Principal) and Caroline Saxelby (Senior Principal)