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Reopening Update 1.6.20

Dear Parents, Pupils and Carers,

Wider opening of BDAT Academies from June 2020

Firstly, we hope you and your families are keeping well and safe. We wanted to write to you today to keep you apprised of the Trust and our school’s plans for reopening to additional pupils.


BDAT has always been adamant that the safety of our pupils, families and staff has to be our very highest priority.  We will not be rushed to make decisions to reopen too quickly which we may regret later. We have committed to remaining flexible as we move through coming weeks and months with safety remaining our main focus.


Over the last few weeks, each of our schools has taken a robust and responsible approach to planning for wider reopening, supported with detailed planning and risk assessment tools by the Trust. We do not have a one-size fits all approach to our planning and decision making as we recognise each of our schools has different sites, different staffing availability and different pupil needs. We have however taken in to account the latest Government guidance and suggestions for reopening and have worked extensively with neighbouring and national Trusts and schools to work through our approach – sharing good practice back across the BDAT family as we find it.


The BDAT Board met again on Friday 29th May, and after considering both the Government direction  based on the SAGE advice of 28th May that schools should now look to reopening, and having reviewed the BDAT planning documentation and risk assessment material, we can confirm we will now begin to move to risk assessing each individual academy’s readiness for opening.


Based on each school being able to provide robust plans and risk assessments to demonstrate readiness for opening, we can confirm that:


  • BDAT primary schools plan to reopen week beginning 8th June to eligible year groups in line with Government prioritisation guidance and building capacity.
  • BDAT secondary schools to plan to reopen week beginning 15th June to eligible year groups, but not exceeding more than 25% of these cohorts at any one time.


  • Schools will stay open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children as they have done throughout the last ten weeks.


If schools fail to meet the safety criteria or Trust expectations we will, without hesitation, delay reopening until we are satisfied that these conditions have been met.


In order to enable our colleagues to feel as safe as possible, the staff at St Philip’s CE Primary Academy will have a training day on Monday 8th June to receive full induction and training into all temporary safety measures and interim opening processes, in preparation for pupils to arrive on Tuesday 9th June.  These next steps will only be taken if the Trust are satisfied that all safety plans and procedures are in place.


Over the last few weeks our Estates and HR colleagues have been working tirelessly with our academy Principals and leadership teams to ensure all sensible and reasonable protective measures are in place. You are welcome to view our suite of risk assessments on each of our academy websites. They will be uploaded as and when they are complete and approved – but in advance of any school reopening. We have previously shared template planning documents and risk assessment templates with our Union colleagues, and we have copied them into this communication, so they are apprised of Trust plans.

We will, of course, write to you again should our position change.

Stay safe and well.

Yours sincerely


Carol Dewhurst OBE

Chief Executive Officer