Letter from the Head - 15th October 2021
In this updates: Important further updates on buses and negative PCR results, plus highlights from the week
Before sharing my highlights of the week, I wanted to update you on my two messages from Wednesday.
First of all, Stagecoach drivers in Gloucestershire will not be on strike on Monday. Though there are strikes planned for other parts of the South West, the article in Gloucestershire Live reporting the strikes was inaccurate and has now been removed. I have spoken to Stagecoach and I'm pleased to pass on that the bus service will be running as normal on Monday.
Second, following my update regarding cases where LFTs were showing positive results, but PCR tests where coming back as negative, the UK Health Security Agency has now discovered that there were errors in processing test results at a laboratory in Wolverhampton run by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd, which processes many of the South West's results. It is estimated that around 40,000 potential positive results may have been incorrectly recorded as negative between 5th and 12th October. The problem has now been corrected so tests taken from the 13th onwards should be accurate.
The problem has now been corrected, but we recommend that if your child tested positive on an LFT, but then negative on a PCR between 5th and 12th October, they take another PCR test to be on the safe side. In the meantime, please continue to ensure your children take regular home tests if possible. We have given out all of the test kits we have today, but the shipment scheduled for this week has not yet been delivered; we will distribute the remaining few as soon as we are able.
Please accept my apologies for the back and forth on both points, and for any inconvenience that has been caused. As always, my primary concern is to be as transparent as possible, which is why we shared the information when we were made aware.
Moving on to more positive news, we have had a very busy week, with four particular highlights.
First, I had the pleasure of showing Malcolm Bride around on Wednesday. Many parents will remember Mr Bride, who retired as Headteacher in 2012. Mr Bride commented that he "was delighted to see the school in such good hands and thriving once again. It was great to see all the physical improvements to the school, but more importantly to experience the positive and purposeful atmosphere in every classroom we visited."
Second, we had a fantastic turnout for our Bronze and Silver DofE Parent Evening, and I'm pleased to say that despite it being our first year, we now have over 100 students signed up, with around 15 Sixth Formers also taking on the massive challenge of a Gold Award. I'm very much looking forward to seeing their contributions to the school, and particularly how they get on in their expeditions this summer!
Third, our Black History Month celebrations have continued, with students reading some fantastic short stories in DEAR time. Mrs Tomlin has also been talking to students about our Tutor Time Reading programme, and how diverse the authors are - close to half of the books are written by authors who are from either a non-white or a LGBT background, giving students great opportunities to be exposed to a diverse range of perspectives.
Finally, it's been another brilliant week for sport, but especially the boys' rugby teams. Over the course of the week, Mr Pugh and Mr Hlad have taken the Year 7 A, B and C teams, the Year 8 A and B teams, and the Year 9 A and B teams down to KLB - meaning that over 100 students represented the school in those three years. KLB might have edged the series 4-3, but I was still hugely proud of the excellent spirits all matches were played in. I'm also delighted to report that despite having to deal with me standing in as their coach, the Year 7 B team still triumphed!
I hope that you have a lovely weekend,