Headteacher's Information for Parents

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20 Jan 2023

Friday 20 January 2023

Dear Parents/Carers

You may be aware from media coverage that the National Education Union (NEU) has
declared strike action, which is currently planned to take place in our region, on: 
• Wednesday 1st February 2023 
• Thursday 2nd March 2023 
• Wednesday 15th March 2023 
• Thursday 16th March 2023 

The strikes are happening because of a national dispute between the NEU and the
Government over teachers’ pay and the impact of funding on schools over a number of
years.  The Government is engaging in talks with the NEU, so we will be waiting for any update on the current position with regards to the planned strike action depending on the outcome of those talks.  

Members of the NEU are not required to let us know in advance whether they intend to
be away from school.

Bishopshalt will be open for Year 11 and 13. Students in these year groups are
required to attend as normal.

We will also be open to students identified below, as a minimum throughout these strike days. We are conscious that continued attendance is important for all students. However, if the numbers of teaching staff striking means that we cannot safely keep the school open for everyone, and in line with the Department for Education’s advice on ‘Handling Strike Action in Schools,’ should we need to either fully or partially close, we will apply the principles set out in the DE’s emergency planning and response guidance by giving priority to vulnerable children and young people and children of critical workers (Annex A and B at Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings October 2022 (publishing.service.gov.uk)).  We will ensure that there is a lunchtime meal available for
those students in school.

I am therefore giving you advanced notice, if you do not meet any of the criteria above, to please identify a place of safety where your child can go for the day.  

We will communicate separately and directly with those parents/carers who have
responsibility for children deemed vulnerable early next week.  If parents/carers employed as critical workers wish for their child to be in school over any of the proposed strike days please complete this Google Form.   

I am sorry that you may have to make alternative arrangements for your child at short  notice, and that they may experience further disruption to their education but hope that communicating the uncertainty of the situation at this stage will enable you time to make arrangements. I understand that this situation may be frustrating for you and I would like to reassure you that Bishopshalt School remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students.

I will notify you as soon as possible if or when I know further details and hope that a
resolution can be reached between the NEU and the Government as swiftly as possible. 
Yours sincerely 
L McGillicuddy (Mr)


Wednesday 19th October 2022

Dear Parents & Carers
I’d firstly like to thank you all for your continued support and cooperation so far, this academic year.  It has been a wonderful start  to the school year; the school has been brimming with confidence following last year's academic results.  There have been many highlights during our ‘Love Learning’ term, from the many trips and extracurricular activities, to our potential Medics and Oxbridge candidates completing UCAS.  It has also been wonderful welcoming the new Year 7 cohort, and Year 12 students into the Bishopshalt community. They have been warmly welcomed by their peers.  Our next Better Bishopshalt notices will shed more light on what has been a fantastic half-term.
With regard to last year's results, as promised in my first letter to you earlier this term, I am very happy to share with you the validated results which alongside all schools will be publicly available from Thursday 20th September. 
The summer 2022 results were the best results Bishopshalt has achieved over the last 20 years, where we have comparable statistics.

Year 11
Year 13
A Level
Progress 8 +0.66 Average Grade B
Grades 4+ 91% A*-B 35%
Grades 8+ 24% A*-C 66%
Grades 7+ 37% A*-D 97%

These results are testament to the diligence, resilience and determination of our students, as well as all of the staff who worked tirelessly to ensure that our students chased brilliance.
We now look forward to seeing how our current Year 11 and 13 students write their own page in the book that is the history of our wonderful school.
The half term ahead is once again going to be very busy.  It is our ‘Show Kindness’ term and there will be many events and activities to provide students with the opportunity to give back to their community.
All students will also sit their Termly assessments.  Timetables and the topics to be examined have been shared with parents and are also available on the website. 

As we will move into the colder months, I am sure like us, you are increasingly conscious of the cost of heating and power.  With this in mind we ask that when it is cold, students wear layers to school, for example a white t-shirt or vest under their school shirt/blouse, a navy v-neck jumper under their blazer, girls wearing skirts should wear a thick denier opaque tights and all students should be wearing a navy or black school coat.  Please can we remind you that hoodies or sweatshirt, must not be worn to school. Hoods are not permitted to be worn up anywhere on site unless it is on a coat, the student is outside and it is raining.  Please can I also remind you that students should be bringing a filled water bottle to school, hydration is very important to learning all throughout the year.
During the last half-term we have had several complaints from residents and concerns raised from our own staff regarding some unsafe practices when students have been dropped off and collected from school.  Our Safer Schools Officer, PC Cox, has attended the area on several occasions and verbal warnings have been issued.  We are asking that if you do have to drive to collect or drop your children to school, you should do so in a safe and considerate manner.  From next term, anyone caught by the Police breaking the law by stopping on the zebra crossing to let their children out or indeed any other driving offences will be issued with a £100.00 fine and three points will automatically be applied to the driver's licence.
We have had several enquiries with regard to the COVID boosters and administration of the Flu vaccinations.  At this time, the NHS School Nurses team have not provided us with any information that schools will be facilitating the administration of these vaccinations.  If your child has a medical condition that requires them to receive an early booster, we would strongly recommend that you contact your health provider to arrange this.  Should we be advised that the NHS will be in school, we will of course share this information with you at the earliest opportunity.

​I thank you again for your support and cooperation. I wish all of our students and their families and enjoyable half-term holiday and I look forward welcoming students back to school on Tuesday 1st November ready for another successful half-term.
Yours sincerely

L McGillicuddy (Mr)