Dear parents and carers,

As we conclude the first week of Term 6 I write, as promised, to update you further on our plans to open our schools more widely across The Canterbury Academy Trust.

I do hope, as always, that my message will find you and all of your families well and in good spirits. I hope, also, that our weekly newsletter from Miss Wilson, Mrs Shilling and the rest of our Teaching and Learning Team, will have given you a very good feel for the excellent work that continues across our Trust, both in school and remotely.

As you will be aware, the country remains at a critical point in its battle against COVID 19 and we must all continue to proceed with caution, none more so than in our approach to opening schools across the country to more students. As I have said, it is my intention to get it as right as possible, as soon as possible and as safely as possible. There is much to consider, much guidance to read, often at the last minute, and many logistical barriers to overcome.  Your voice has been and remains crucial in this, and I should like to thank those parents and carers who have provided such invaluable feedback through our questionnaire processes. We think we are nearly there…

We have carried out thorough risk assessments and adhered to COVID compliancy guidelines. You will now be able to view the following documents on our Trust’s website, should you wish to, by clicking https://www.canterbury.kent.sch.uk/covid-documentation/

  • The Canterbury Academy Trust – COVID Secure Statement
  • The Canterbury Academy Trust – COVID Risk Assessment
  • City View – COVID Secure Statement
  • City View COVID Risk Assessment
  • COVID Risk Assessment Guidance  

As you know, all of our schools have remained open through this pandemic, however, this week, City View Pre-School and Nursery continues to expand its offer. Whilst at The Canterbury Primary School, colleagues have been in for COVID New Ways of Working training, operating within their new “bubbles.” Mrs Farrell has written to primary parents separately and I know, alongside all of the team, is looking forward to seeing more of our children from Monday, 8 June, and excited to hear classrooms, corridors and playgrounds slowly fill with smiles and laughter once again.

It remains the case across our Trust that if your child has been classified as vulnerable according to a combination of the government’s and our own definitions, we will already have contacted you privately and you will have been offered a place in our provision. However, regardless of any label, if you feel your child to be vulnerable, please contact us and we will do all we can to support.

If you are classified as a key worker it still remains that your child, in DfE terms, is also “eligible” for a place in our provision, should you wish to accept it. The government’s definition of key workers remains available via this hyperlink Key Workers for your information.

As regards attendance, the guidance from The Department for Education has changed to say;

“Now that we have made progress in reducing the transmission of coronavirus we are encouraging all eligible children to attend – it is no longer necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home if they can. In particular, as per the existing guidance on vulnerable children and young people, vulnerable children of all year groups continue to be expected and encouraged to attend educational provision where it is appropriate for them to do so.”

It does, of course, remain entirely your choice as to whether you send your child to school and, as I have said before, you will receive nothing other than our support in making the right decision for your child and your own individual family circumstance. However, if you have not already done so and wish for your eligible child to begin attending, please can you let us know by contacting:

You are also aware that we have been planning for the wider return of Year 10 and 12 students at The Canterbury Academy for some face to face learning, which will supplement that which is being done remotely in Term 6. Thank you very much to the parents of students in Year 10 and 12 for returning your questionnaires so quickly, it has really helped shape our thinking and knowing how you feel has made a very complicated task slightly less so. Moving forward, if you are a parent that we know to be a key worker and/or your child has been classified as vulnerable, you will receive a letter from Mrs Banbery on Monday, 8 June, detailing our ongoing plan.

For the week beginning 15 June, staff at The Canterbury Academy will, as their primary colleagues have, receive training on COVID New Ways of Working. More widely, students in Year 10 and 12 will be invited back to campus for some face to face learning from the week beginning 22 June.

If you are the parent of a Year 10 student you will receive a letter on Monday, 8 June, from Mr Brooke, detailing our plan to offer your child some face to face learning, including the day and time they can arrive from w/b 22 June. Likewise, on Monday, 8 June, if you are the parent of a Year 12 student, you will receive a letter from Mrs Winslow. All of these plans are entirely flexible and fluid; we remain very conscious that things are still changing regularly and rapidly, so we continue to be keen on placing ourselves in a position where our plans can adapt and adjust quickly if needed.

Many of you have highlighted, quite justifiably, your concerns around the use of public transport, and I am afraid I am still unable to advise you further on that. Stagecoach, for example, as we understand it, will not be running any dedicated school buses.  However, ordinary bus services are still running.  The number 22, for example, stops almost directly outside the campus on Knight Avenue. Students can catch this service to and from the main bus station in Canterbury. I can only continue to advise all parents and carers to check the Stagecoach website on https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-service-updates/south-east/canterbury as regularly as possible, just to make sure that the services you may require continue to run.

For parents of children at City View Pre-School and Nursery and The Canterbury Primary School, Mrs Farrell will continue to keep you regularly updated as our plans develop through Term 6. For parents of children currently in Years 7, 8 and 9 at The Canterbury Academy, it still appears that there will be no return to school until September 2020, at the earliest, unless they are vulnerable or the child of a key worker. I know that our students will continue to access their remote learning timetables and please do remember that our staff remain here to support at any time, as do our Directors of Teaching and Learning, Heads of Learning and Heads of School. For students in Year 11 and 13 due to leave us this academic year, and for any others who would have sat public examinations in the summer, we shall continue to update you separately on the processes through which your grades are being calculated and how you will collect them.

With only six weeks remaining until the end of this term and much inconsistent, conflicting advice still circulating in the press, scientific and otherwise, the government are being urged by school leaders and unions to publish further guidance for September. Suffice to say and in a hope to assure you further, once it is published we will address it together as a Trust community, navigating our way through it calmly, objectively and methodically, and always in the very best and safest interests of all of our children and all of our families.

As I have throughout this crisis, I remain incredibly grateful for all of your support and thank you, in anticipation, as we continue to move forward together.

My very best wishes to you all,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal