An important update on Concord’s arrangements for re-opening on 8th March

Friday February 26, 2021

I am just writing to confirm that the BSA had confirmation from the DfE last night that overseas boarders can return to the UK before schools reopen on Mon 8th March in order to begin, or complete, their required 10 day period of isolation within their boarding residences on campus. (Please note that this exception for early arrivals is specific to overseas boarders coming into the UK from abroad though and does not allow an earlier return for boarders already here in the UK.) We would like to suggest that parents aim for boarders to return to the UK as soon as they are able to do so in order to allow for face-to-face learning and effective assessment of our students by their teachers. We confirm that online lessons will still be available for the remainder of this term and that there will also be end of term examinations for all year groups at the end of March. Looking ahead to the Easter holiday, we would like to suggest students should return on Thurs 8th April so that they can complete their 10 days of isolation prior to the resumption of teaching on the first day of the summer term on Mon 19th April. We will have staff at Heathrow on 8th April and arrange coaches on that date. If at all possible, we would ask that students do not return from overseas on 18th April as this will mean that they will have to isolate for the first ten days of the summer term on campus. (A reminder that the College charges £500 for students to remain on campus over the Easter holiday, but this charge will he halved to £250 for those students who return to campus from overseas on Thurs 8th April.) This Easter, we will not be enforcing the rule that boarders in Form 3 & 4 have to leave the campus for the majority of the holiday. They will be allowed to remain at Concord and we will provide an activities programme for all students on campus. At our Senior Management meeting yesterday, we discussed at length assessment arrangements for the awarding of GCSE, AS & A level grades this summer. Mr Lawrence will be sending out more information to parents, staff and students early next week. What is clear to us now is that we will be wanting to hold assessment weeks when students will be answering questions under exam conditions. Ideally, these assessment weeks will take place on campus and be invigilated by our staff. The data from these assessments will then be evidence on which teacher assessments will be based. All assessments have to be submitted before 18th June and our last assessments of students are likely to be held on Fri 11th June (6.2) or Saturday 12th June (Form 5)to enable time for teachers to mark, moderate and submit grades to the external exam boards. This means that Form 5 & 6.2 students should be free to leave campus on the weekend of Sat 12th (6.2) & Sun 13th June (Form 5) once they have completed packing up their rooms. (Form 5 might then have some online preparation for Sixth Form in the remainder of the summer term.) On the other hand, students in 6.1, F4 & F3 should plan to remain on campus until Fri 25th June since the Lower School students will have the usual end of year internal exams and the 6.1 students will be focussing on their UCAS applications.  

Jeremy Kerslake Vice-Principal (Pastoral) & Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)