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Letter for Parents – 1st April 20

1 st April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

I understand what a challenging and difficult time this is for everyone and I hope that this letter finds you well, in good health and able to successfully isolate and maintain social distance to support the vulnerable and the NHS.

 

Many of you will be concerned about the amount of work that your children are undertaking and in some instances, your ability to suddenly assume the role of full-time teacher! Please be reassured that this is not what is expected of you, nor would it be healthy to do so. I understand that you may well be working from home, looking after other children, self-isolating or lacking resources to adequately teach your children, our students. You should know that every child and school in the country is in the same boat and that it is ok to use some of this time to do normal family activities that will inevitably support your child. Read a book together, go on a virtual fieldtrip, cook and exercise together in between students completing the lessons that our dedicated staff are uploading to SharePoint on a daily basis.

 

I know many of you have been in touch to thank our staff for these lessons and to check SharePoint access; support for this will continue right throughout this crisis no matter how long it lasts. For the small numbers of you who do not have access to the internet, we are able to provide work packs but please be patient. Staff are also working remotely wherever possible and so it may take some time to process requests.

 

I am aware that during these unusual times there will be an increase in young people going online and accessing a range of sites across the internet. This will be for both school work purposes and for free time/play. I want to ensure that all our students are safe and protected when they do this. The links below offer some very useful advice and guidance for parents and carers to support them further. I strongly recommend that all our parents and carers take the time to access this information to be fully aware of some of the potential dangers linked to the internet. I would also recommend that conversations are had with all our students about some of the issues and topics mentioned in the advice and that their online activity is regularly monitored.

 

Parents can seek further guidance on keeping children safe online from the following organisations and websites, as well as on the safeguarding section of the Ninestiles website:

 

• What are the issues? UK Safer Internet Centre: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advicecentre/parents-and-carers/what-are-issues

 

• Tips for keeping children safe online. UK Safer Internet Centre:

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers

 

• Hot topics! Childnet International: https://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/hot-topics

 

• Parent/Carers Online Toolkit. Childnet International: https://www.childnet.com/parents-andcarers/parent-and-carer-toolkit

 

Furthermore, I have added a new contact email address raiseaconcern@ninestiles.org.uk which will be monitored by trained staff providing support for any students or parents with safeguarding concerns. Thank you for doing all that you can to ensure that our students are kept safe online.

For those of you in receipt of Free School Meals, you should now have received your vouchers via our online systems; if this has not happened, please contact a member of the school admin team by the usual routes.

If you are a parent of a Year 11 child, please continue to check the website regularly. Staff at Ninestiles are keeping fully up to date with the latest guidance coming from Ofqual, the examination boards and the DfE. As soon as there is clarity about the methods for examination awards this summer we will share that information with you and ensure we act swiftly to secure our students the grades they deserve.

I hope you all manage to get a well-deserved break this Easter, albeit one in slightly more isolation than would normally be the case! To those of you working in key industries, especially the NHS, everyone at Ninestiles sends their very best wishes and appreciation.

Yours sincerely

Alex Hughes