An update regarding the UK’s lockdown announcement from the Principal

Tuesday January 5, 2021

In response to the UK government’s latest announcement regarding school closures, Concord – like all schools in the UK – is required to ‘close’.  In reality, what this means for Concord is as follows:
  1. Teaching will go online until the end of the UK government’s stated closure period.
  2. Boarding students who are currently resident at Concord can remain at school, will be cared for as normal and can attend online lessons and undertake a range of activities to promote their physical and mental well-being.   Any boarding student who is in the UK and not yet at Concord should join us within the next 24-48 hours or stay at home until the end of the lockdown period, joining lessons online.  Boarders outside the UK who were planning to return in the next few days should delay their flights until the end of the lockdown (which is currently suggested to be perhaps the 16th February).  If you are planning flights, I would recommend a flexible ticket on or after the 22nd February.
  3. Day students should not attend school in person until the lockdown period ends.  They should attend online learning during that time.  The exception to this is children of key workers: please contact Mr Kerslake if you fall into this category and would like your child to attend the school.
  4. The January internal examinations will go ahead as planned.  Details of these will be forwarded to you in due course.  I feel it is important for students to have a clear focus for the month ahead
  5. For boarders, please note that the school will remain open to all year groups during the Easter Holiday at the start of April.
This is a most unfortunate situation, especially in the lack of warning that was given of the decision.  Please accept my apologies on Concord’s behalf if you are feeling a sense of uncertainty or perhaps even frustration.  However, it is true to say that we are living through extraordinary times and the situation in the UK is evolving quickly.  For what it is worth, my own feeling is that a calm and adaptable attitude is in the best interests of us all and – most importantly – of the young people in our care.  Please be assured that we will continue to strive to provide as full and stimulating an education for our students as the circumstances allow. You may also have noted that the UK government has made reference to public examinations being changed for the 2021 examination season.  The details of this have not been confirmed.  Like you, we are waiting to hear what decision the government finally makes.  Whatever that decision, please be assured that Concord will act professionally, with integrity and in the best interests of our students.  My expectation is that our wonderfully talented young people will be given a fair opportunity to show their potential, though how this will be done is not yet clear.  When further details become available, we will be in touch.  In the meantime, the best thing we can all do is to encourage our students to take each task, each day and each week seriously.   This is how they can continue to grow and to flourish in the days and weeks ahead. Parents will receive further communications from Mr Kerslake and Mr Lawrence in the days ahead to confirm further details.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information, although I would ask you to be patient if we are not able to provide all the answers immediately.  There are many clarifications that we ourselves are currently seeking. Once again, thank you for your belief in Concord and your support for the school.  

Mr Neil G Hawkins, Principal