Contingency plans are in place and working

We continue to monitor the guidance around the management of the Coronavirus pandemic very closely. As the week is progressing, more and more students and staff are moving into the phase of social isolation at home. We have a number of members of staff, students and their relatives who are following advice to self-isolate either because a family member has developed symptoms or, as is the reason in many cases, they have underlying medical conditions.

It is clear that staff are doing a great job in ensuring that we continue with business as usual during this very difficult period where the government expectation is that we remain open. This will become increasingly difficult as the days progress. We have a range of additional measures that will be steadily implemented as the situation changes. Our overwhelming priority is to maintain a safe and productive learning environment for students and staff.

The impact so far on attendance is that today, Tuesday, we had 266 students not in school compared with 164 yesterday. Clearly, the number of students staying away from school is increasing rapidly as more and more families follow advice about social distancing. The number of staff absent is also increasing rapidly and is expected to continue to do so.

Tomorrow, as previously stated, we will change the way that teaching and learning are delivered for Year 12. The changes will enable us to redeploy the staff freed up to cover classes in the rest of the school. We are increasingly dependent on e-learning platforms to set meaningful work and activities for students in all years. We are working to ensure that these platforms are up to date and accessible to all students and some meeting time has been allocated to allow staff time to do this work.

We have introduced a daily staff briefing session before school and a leadership team debrief at the end of each day. We will continue to implement our stepped approach to contingency plans over the coming days and weeks.

I would like, on behalf of the Senior Leadership Team and the board of governors, to thank all of our staff and students for the stoic way that they have been getting on with things in a ‘business as usual’ way. The expectation on everyone remains high as it always has.

If anyone has any questions or comments that are not covered in our Frequently Asked Questions document, accessible via the school website, then please contact us via email at:

Denis Oliver

Executive Headteacher

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

& Sixth Form College


Selkirk Drive

Holmes Chapel




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