Message from Sue Harrison: 16 December 2021

A message sent to headteachers regarding January.

Dear colleagues

I had not planned to write to you again before the end of term but am aware of the increasing discussion both locally and nationally around planning for January.

The most recent update we received from DfE officials yesterday was that there are no plans for any school closures in the new year. Secondary schools have made arrangements for testing of pupils at the start of term and the government has confirmed there will be small amount of flexibility for the time in which secondary schools can go back to make sure this testing can take place.

However, given the rapidly developing situation with the Omicron variant and what happened last December, I know that schools have also been concerned about the potential for things to change over the holidays and are planning for all eventualities. We know that some school leaders have been thinking about making provision to move to remote learning if required and what they would put in place for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.  

I really hope that you and your teams will be able to have a relaxing break over the festive period given the challenges of the autumn term. However, if there are any changes in guidance nationally or locally during the holidays please be assured that there will be BCC officers working throughout the break to support schools if necessary. The best email address to use is edsi.enquiries@birmingham.gov.uk which will be monitored at all times.

If any urgent messages are required we will be in touch with school leaders using the emergency contact details we hold. If there are any additional email addresses at your school you would like to be included if any emails are needed over the holidays, please email school.support@birmingham.gov.uk and we will update our records.

Thank you for everything you do and I hope you and your teams have a restful break over the holidays.

Best wishes

Sue

Sue Harrison
Director for Children’s Services/Executive Director of Education and Skills

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