We had a good first week last week with all of our children, young people and staff back on site and all of our services back up to full speed. The staff had worked hard on preparing the environment, resources and materials ready to engage the children and young people into learning. We have implemented all of the measures from our risk assessments and the support teams have worked hard to prepare classrooms and maintain the standards of hygiene required. This week we have had a setback in college as some of our staff and students have tested positive for Covid 19 and we have had to instruct people to self-isolate. We have 4 bubbles in college and it has affected just 1 of them who are now self-isolating. We have been working with Public Health England and Doncaster Council to manage the situation and we are confident that we have followed all of the government guidelines. We are providing remote education and support to the students who are isolating on a daily basis to keep them engaged in their learning programmes. The students and staff who have tested positive are receiving support to ensure that they are well and have everything they need. We know that infection rates are increasing locally and nationally and it's a warning to us all that people can become infected at any time. The staff in college and in the Trust have responded really positively to the situation which has been great to see. Our staff teams are very focused on the care and well-being of the children and young people which is shining through under the present circumstances. We are proud of them all.
  
Our site is still temporarily closed to visitors which is a shame but a necessity and this week's events have underlined the importance of maintaining the integrity of our measures. However, it has taught us that it's extremely difficult to keep the virus out of our environment and, in fact, out of any environment. It's inevitable that there will be more infections and that we will have to implement self-isolation periods for people who work or learn here. Our situation will be reflected elsewhere and part of the 'new normal' will be periods of self-isolation for those who come into contact with someone who is infected. It's crucial that people do self-isolate if they come into contact with an infected person. I have heard worrying accounts of people who don't want to self-isolate because they think they are ok, don't think they need to or say they can't afford to self-isolate. I have been poorly with Covid 19 and I can say from the experience that it is absolutely not worth taking the risk of becoming infected. The health and safety of everyone on site is our number 1 priority and we will ensure as far as possible that we keep everyone safe and well.
  
I have been amazed by the efforts of some of our staff who have gone above and beyond our expectations. It's always heartwarming and uplifting to find out what they have done and it makes me realise how special the Trust is when we have such brilliant staff. They are dedicated to the children and young people and are selfless in their support. It's those people that I always appreciate the most as they inspire others through their actions and behaviours. 
Take care and be safe
Alexis Johnson
Executive Principal
14.9.20