UPDATE: 'Staggered start' to new year at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

Sir William Borlase school delays opening 'following travels overseas'

Update 15:44, September 2:

Headteacher Kay Mountfield has confirmed that the school will be open for students from tomorrow (Thursday).

Borlase will have a staggered start back by pairs of year groups, to ensure students are confident with new safety systems.

Ms Mountfield added: "We do have some Year 13 students in self isolation, however we have been fortunate in that our parent and student community were very proactive in contacting us on return from holiday to ensure all appropriate measures could be applied before the start of school.

"On Friday, before the latest government guidance was published, I considered delaying the wider school as I did not have details from Test and Trace on the possible wider implications.

"This is because it is not term time, so the information was not shared. Discussions on the weekend and yesterday with Public Health England, alongside careful monitoring of the evidence, has meant that we can now open tomorrow. We have a virtual school in place to support students in self-isolation or quarantine.

"I am thankful to our school community for their openness and cooperation. It is important that all families have the confidence to report concerns to their schools so that the right action can be taken.

"Headteachers will make their decisions based on the evidence they have and their priority to keep children, staff and families safe, while delivering education. We are all looking forward to the return to school."

Update 13:53, September 2:

Bucks Council’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Anita Cramer, has said in a statement that Sir William Borlase's Grammar School is 'clean and safe' - and there will be a 'staggered start' with older pupils returning later instead of the complete delay announced last week.

She said: “A group of young people and some family members have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few days, some of whom are pupils at the same school, Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow.

"These cases are all linked and were acquired abroad during the school holidays. All households are now self-isolating having been contacted by test and trace staff. 

“Public Health England are actively investigating these cases and have traced contacts to ensure that they are aware of the need to self-isolate. There should be no cause for wider alarm.

“The school is clean and safe to return to, and there will be a staggered start to the school year with the older students returning slightly later to allow pupils to complete the self-isolation period."

Marlow's Sir William Borlase's Grammar School has delayed its opening date after 'a number of positive' coronavirus cases in the school community.

The school, in West Street, had hoped to restart on Wednesday but has decided to 'prioritise safety' and delay the opening for the new school year until Thursday, September 10.

Head teacher Kay Mountfield told parents of the news via a newsletter circulated on Friday, in which she says the positive COVID-19 cases have been found 'in the school community'.

She added that she has been in contact with Public Health England, Bucks Council's health team and the Department for Education surrounding the risks.

She wrote last week: "I have asked parents and students to be vigilant in monitoring their health through these last weeks of the holiday and to keep us informed of any quarantine arrangements or concerns.

"As you know, at Borlase, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to school in September and have been working hard towards this aim. The school and staff are ready and excited to get started.

"However, in the last 24 hours, the school has been informed of a number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the school community following travels overseas.

"All the organisations, along with our Chair of Governors, support my decision to prioritise safety and delay the opening until Thursday, September 10."

She added: "I would like to emphasise to all students and families the importance of observing the guidelines on social distancing, gathering with others and on isolation as appropriate.

"My apologies to everyone and my thanks for your support."

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