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Posted on: 01/04/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 26

This week sees the conclusion of the Spring Term 2021, and it has again been a time filled with numerous unexpected challenges. However, as with so much this year, the most difficult of times has brought out the very best in our school community and thank you for playing such an active and supportive role throughout. The uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has not been able to stop us and it has been a joy to see our students return to the school this term, ready to embrace the opportunities of a great education at Hope Academy.

Hope Academy consultation period regarding the closure of the Academy Sixth Form provision

The Governing body of Newton Academy Trust (trading as Hope Academy) is to commence a formal consultation period for the proposed closure of its sixth form provision.

As you are aware, we are located in an area that is surrounded by outstanding colleges and have found it increasingly difficult over the years to recruit students to the sixth form. We have created an extremely nurturing Sixth Form environment and students who have attended our provision have been successful in achieving their goals and I would like to thank them all for choosing us for their post-16 education.

Information regarding the consultation, which runs until Friday 14th May, can be found on our website.

Lateral Flow Testing during the Easter holidays

We are asking students to continue lateral flow testing and reporting during the Easter holidays.  Students will be issued with extra test kits today. 

It is imperative that you register the result of each home test via www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or call 119.  We also need you register every test result by completing the following form (click HERE to access) this will ensure that we have full details of home testing.  Please ensure that you inform karon.lamb@sthelens.org.uk immediately if your child tests positive between Friday 1st April and Wednesday 7th April so that we can advise any student or staff identified as being in close contact. Further information can be found HERE.

All students should make sure that they complete a test on Sunday 18th April BEFORE returning to school on Monday 19th April.

From Friday 1st April, NHS Test and Trace is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for positive LFD tests conducted at all assisted testing sites, including schools and colleges.  This means that all staff and students who get a positive LFD test, whether at home or supervised at school should get a confirmatory PCR.  The PCR test should be booked immediately either online or by calling 119 and should be undertaken within 2 days.

Staff and students who had a positive LFD test result, and their close contacts and other members of their household, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance  while awaiting the PCR result. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the LFD test and the staff member or student can return to school or college, and their close contacts can end their self-isolation.

I would like to acknowledge the outstanding effort and professionalism of the staff involved in the organisation and implementation of the testing programme at the Academy. Since 8th January they have completed a total of 6,142 tests!  This immense undertaking and the continuing home testing of students and staff ensures that we are able to keep our community safe during these challenging times. I would also like to thank you, as parents and carers, for your continued support. If we continue to work together as a team, there will be no difficulties that we cannot overcome.

Roadmap out of Lockdown

As we move to the next stage in the roadmap out of lockdown the main message from the Government is ‘let’s take this next step safely’.  I’d like to share the following important messages with you: