Dear students, parents and carers,
 
You will have read the update message that was sent out on Friday 15th July 2022, regarding the adjustments we had made to next week's trips and activities in the light of the anticipated extremely hot weather. These were substantial adjustments which we hoped would allow the carefully planned trips and activities to go ahead safely. 
 
Since then,we have carried out a further review of our risk assessments for next Monday and Tuesday, in the light of the declaration of a "national emergency" due to the anticipated extremely hot weather and associated risks/disruptions, following a government COBRA Emergency Meeting yesterday. 
 
The Department for Education and the Westminster City Council  have advised that headteachers should make decisions around provision/activities/school closures based on their local circumstances. After detailed discussions with my SLT, I have spoken with our Chair of Governors, and he agrees with our conclusion that it will be safest to cancel all planned trips/activities for Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July 2022, and instead to switch to remote learning/working for these two days. 
 
We are hugely appreciative of all the work that has gone into planning for the activities on Monday and Tuesday and realise that this decision will in many ways be a disappointment for students and staff alike. 
 
However, the key factors in our decision to go fully remote on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July 2022, are:
  1. The Red Weather Warning and the National Emergency Declaration point to a high risk of injury/death if suitable precautions are not taken and significant amendments to normal routines are not made. This extends to fit and healthy individuals if they don't take note of precautions. 
  2. In addition, the DfE advise that children cope less well in extremely hot weather as they do not perspire as much as adults. When unsupervised, children may not remember to take the precautions advised, either, which will apply to the periods of time travelling to/from school. 
  3. TfL and National Rail advise to refrain from travelling unless essential, as significant disruption is expected.
  4. Most of our student and staff population travel by public transport and will therefore likely be at increased risk of disruption/extreme heat. Asking them to travel back home after a shortened day, during the hottest part of the day, is not sensible in the light of the government advice. 
  5. Shortening the duration of the planned trips will not help as we would release students and staff in the middle of the day when it is hottest
  6. Bringing students and staff into the building will not help. St Andrew's Building has small classrooms and no air conditioning for the most part. St Michael's has more spacious classrooms but no air conditioning for the most part. The windows do not open much, and the air management system will bring all the hot air into the building. St Andrew's Building has some shade in the courtyard but not sufficient for all KS3 at once. St Michael's has very little outside space with no greenery and barely any shade at all. 
All students in Years 7-9 will be set relevant extension work/guided reading work on TEAMS for Monday and Tuesday, for each lesson they would usually have.  
 
Most Year 10 and Year 12 students are on work experience on those days. They need to take instruction from their work placement about what to do. It is anticipated that many employers will instruct their employees to work remotely. 
 
Any Y10/12 students who were scheduled to be in school on those two days, as they have no off-site work experience placements arranged, will be set relevant tasks on TEAMS. 
Teaching staff will be available to answer students' questions via TEAMS during the lesson times when they would normally be teaching their classes.
 
The decision to provide independent extension/reading tasks instead live lessons was taken as this will allow students and staff to work at their own pace whilst it is so extremely hot.
 
The School buildings will be shut to all students and all staff on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July. Please do NOT come to school on those days.
 
Currently, a drop in temperature is expected for Wednesday 20th July, which suggests we could safely go ahead with the planned activities for that day. We will review the situation on Tuesday and decide whether trips will go ahead as planned. Please do look out for further updates.
 
With thanks and best wishes,
 
Susanne Staab