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Update from Haygrove School

We have today shared an important update on the current contingency plan for the start of the term at Haygrove School.

The health and safety of our students, colleagues and wider community has been – and continues to be – central to our contingency planning and we are implementing every precautionary measure to uphold this commitment, including whether we are able to continue to be on the site if there is adverse weather, such as high winds. Following rigorous assessments by the DfE and structural engineers, it has been advised that the main school building should be wrapped and scaffolded. Preparation started at the end of last week and is expected to take three weeks. We have also confirmed with the DfE that there will be a five-metre safety zone around the main building.

The work that needs to be taken to implement these safety measures, and the lack of portable classrooms and toilets on site, means that unfortunately there will be a staggered return to school. We know this puts all our students, families and staff in an extremely difficult position, and it is certainly not ideal. However, a large team from Haygrove and Quantock Education Trust has worked tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes given the circumstances.

While this is dependent on a number of variables out of our control, and therefore subject to change, we hope to welcome Year 11 students back to the Haygrove site on 7th September. From 18th September, we hope Year 10 students will be taught – by Haygrove teachers – at Bridgwater and Taunton College. Once the main school building at Haygrove is being scaffolded and wrapped and work to establish a secure 5-meter exclusion zone using heras fencing is complete, we will welcome Year 7 students to Haygrove. Once this work is complete and when we have temporary classrooms on site, we will welcome back Year 8 and Year 9 students to Haygrove. Again, we are awaiting confirmation of a date from the DfE as to when this will be a confirmation of a date for this. We are sorry that we are not able to provide greater detail yet for these three year groups.

We are very grateful to the local authority for providing transport to BTC, and to BTC for providing facilities to us. Indeed, we spoke with all local schools to assess what could be available, and a number stepped up. However, BTC is close enough to Haygrove to make it possible for us to follow our curriculum on a compressed timetable, with Haygrove teachers able to teach across the split sites. We will implement a four-day week with an extended school day. These arrangements will allow us to achieve two of our key aims, even though we will be on split sites: 1. Delivering the full curriculum, and 2. Haygrove teachers providing a high-quality education to Haygrove pupils.

Clearly the urgency is for the main school building to be wrapped and scaffolded; for portable toilets to be brought on site; for temporary classrooms to be brought on site; and for the BTC block to be furnished and prepared. We are working as hard as we can to achieve this and below have included an overview of this work to date.

We are pressing the DfE daily to source suitable provisional accommodation and are currently confirming arrangements for the delivery of various temporary accommodations from a number of different contractors, including portable cabins and temporary classrooms, portable toilets and A-framed semi-rigid buildings. This plan will depend on these contractors delivering to the schedule and we will continue to keep you updated on progress.

We share the frustration and disappointment at the impact this situation is having and cannot thank our students, families and staff enough for their continued understanding, patience and, most of all, support during these unprecedented circumstances.

We will continue to update everyone as soon as we possibly can as we receive updates from the DfE and as we are able to make decisions about the next steps in this process.