Partial Closure – Update

As you will be aware, last evening the UK Government amended the definitions of those who are considered to be members of ‘vulnerable groups’. At the same time, the number of staff who are available to attend school has declined, as more people have had to take the decision to self-isolate.
Whole school pupil attendance was at its lowest point in a decade today at 67% with a number of those being sent home.
As of tomorrow morning, school will be OPEN for pupils in Years 10 and 11, and by arrangement for those pupils whose parents work in essential services e.g. NHS, pharmacies, emergency services etc… This allows us to prioritise our work with those who have forthcoming external and public examinations. Equally, I have taken telephone calls from planning managers from the NHS and HMP Berwyn to ensure that the decision to close does not have a detrimental impact on their vital work.
Pupils who are unable to attend (either because they are in Years 7 – 9 or because they are self-isolating) should visit the school website and navigate the ‘Set Work’ menu item on the homepage. This will provide pupils’ and their parents / carers educational activities to be completed whilst not in school. In many cases, this will also include links to ‘Google classrooms’ and further activities.  In addition to this online material, pupils in Years 7 – 9 left school today with numerous paper-based activities for completion.
I am grateful to those of you who have shown your support regarding this matter. I hope that you understand that the decision was not taken lightly, was risk assessed, and that we remain committed to ensuring that we can remain open (even if only partially) for as long as necessary.
I know that you will want to join me in thanking the hard-working and diligent staff at St. Joseph’s, and extend your prayers for those members of the school community who are currently ill.
Yours sincerely,

Mr C J Wilkinson