New Building Safety Concerns - Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you to all parents who have reached out with questions around topics such as our remote learning provision, school transport and school lunches. We now been able to prepare a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with the latest information to help provide you with answers.
We will continue to keep you updated with information as soon as it is available – we truly are grateful for your continued understanding, patience and support throughout this challenging period.
Should you have any other questions, please do just let us know – we may not have the answers just yet, but we can assure you we are working hard to make sure we can provide you with everything you need to know as information becomes available and plans are finalised.
Letter to Local Residents
You can view the letter from the Department for Education to local residents to Haygrove School here.
16th September 2023 Update
Year 10 at Haygrove Campus, Bridgwater Taunton College
This video by BTC and Miss Knott is designed to help our Year 10 students understand a little bit more about the new Haygrove Campus at Bridgwater and Taunton College Campus.
Haygrove Campus at BTC
13th September 2023 Update
How will we support Year 7s with their emotional wellbeing whilst they are adapting to a new school and temporary school site? Will there be additional things in place for students who are anxious?
Our wellbeing centre for our students will continue as normal with our expert provision. Tutors and HOYs will also become a familiar face to our new students and play an important part in their transition. If you have any concerns about your child, please contact their Tutor who will be happy to arrange a phone call to discuss them in more detail.
How will Haygrove keep in contact with our students to check and support their wellbeing during remote learning?
Your child’s Tutor will be phoning families during this period to check in and catch up with how they are getting on. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s Tutor or Head of Year by phoning the school or using the contact form on our website.
How can I support my child during this transition?
Encourage them to access remote learning, so they are up to date with their curriculum. We know that if you can support them keeping to a routine with waking up early, this can really ease the transition back into school. You are welcome to raise any concerns or issues with your Head of Year.
My child has an ongoing health condition could I please speak to the Principle First Aider?
Please contact Mrs Knight, our First Aider, through the form on our website -https://www.haygroveschool.co.uk/First-Aid/ - or by calling the school.
Will there be any social catch ups for groups to avoid isolation?
We have shared information about a trip for our Year 8 students, which will be held at Knowle Hall in split Year 8 cohorts on Friday 15th and Friday 22nd September. There will be a Geography field trip for our Year 9 students taking place on Thursday 21st September. Information has also been emailed home. We are hoping for students to then return to school, however if there are any further delays we will expand this provision.
Copies of all letters can be found on our website - https://www.haygroveschool.co.uk/Letters-Home/
Students’ learning/Remote learning
How can students contact their teachers to support with remote learning? Is there a way to submit work for checking?
Where available, links to the Google classrooms can be found within the Remote Working information on our website. Each subject can access specific resources to support our children’s learning. The Google Classrooms included a function for students to message their teacher and to submit work if that is how the lesson has been designed.
Why is there no live online learning provision?
Our ability to offer live online learning is significantly compromised due to the fact that we will be operating a mixture of face to face teaching across two sites initially, with staff travelling between sites. In addition to this, the majority of all resources and IT equipment is inside the main building that has now been condemned and we have been instructed not to access the building. There are some significant logistical challenges that are presenting themselves that we are trying to overcome, including the lack of classroom space to facilitate online lessons.
What is in place to support students with SEND?
Supporting students with SEND in our school remains one of our highest priorities. We have invited all students into school with ECHP plans in place to commence on site learning to minimise the disruption and help them with this
transition. We are aware that other students will be facing their own challenges and your child’s Tutor is on hand to support them. The SENDCO is also available to contact for SEND concerns through our usual channels.
How will students catch up with missed learning?
Students’ progress will be reviewed at regular data drops throughout the year. Teachers will identify gaps and these will be addressed on an individual basis.
How long will the 4-day week remain? Will the rest of the years be doing a 4 day week as well?
This will continue until the whole student cohort are back on the same site. This relies on the Portacabin accommodation being completed. The 4-day week timetable is crucial for us effectively running a multi-site school and making sure our students have access to their teacher for the correct subject.
When will school be open for everyone?
Year 7 and Year 11 are back on site already. Year 10 will start at BTC on Monday 18th September and we anticipate that our Year 8s and 9s will return the w/c 25th September, if not sooner.
How will students access specialist facilities?
We continue to have access to our DT, Music, Art, Food Technology and Computer suites. There will also be Science Labs in the Portacabin accommodation once these are completed.
How will PE be offered?
We have the 3G pitch, the netball courts and sports hall available for our use and fought hard to make sure that these were not the locations for temporary accommodation. There is limited field space available however we are continuously looking into suitable alternatives locally to see if they are a viable option in terms of logistics and safeguarding.
Will the temporary accommodation be adequate for pupils to conduct lessons in?
Both the De Boer and the Portacabin options offer a very good temporary solution. They will be fitted out with desks, chairs, whiteboards and IT services comparable to our previous classrooms.
Will P6 return?
Unfortunately there will not be P6 at the moment, however this will return as soon as we are able to.
Will all GCSE options be available to Year 9 students?
There are no foreseen changes to our GCSE options linked to the building issues.
BTC - Year 10
How long will Year 10 be at the College?
The Year 10s will be returning to site once the Portacabin accommodation has been completed. The DfE have indicated that this is likely to be in December, however we will keep our families informed with the progress.
Can I drop my child off and pick them up from BTC?
All Year 10 students need to come to Haygrove first and will then head to BTC on a bus. We want to make sure that our processes work and to keep the year group together. This is subject to review but will stay in place until our students have settled in to this new routine.
Will there be First Aid support at BTC?
Yes. There will always be a First Aider from Haygrove on site when our students are there.
Will students be able to do practical lessons at BTC?
The college are very kindly letting us use some of their specialist classrooms for different subjects for example, Science and Engineering. Students will be accompanied to and from these classrooms to ensure their safety at all time.
How will the buses work to and from BTC? Will they lose out on education doing a 4 day week, especially with the travelling to and from college?
The buses will be leaving Haygrove at 8.40am and the register will be taken on the way to BTC. Students will arrive at the college and be in their classrooms ready to learn at 9.00am. This does mean that they will be missing out on their Reading Time first thing and we will be encouraging our students to read at home.
At the end of the day, students will depart from the college site at 3.45pm to allow for an arrival back on site at 4.00pm to continue their journeys home. This does mean our Year 10 students will have a shorter P3. It has been a huge balancing act to make sure our students can access an education delivered by Haygrove teachers in a location local enough to the school to minimise travel time. Our teachers will be monitoring our students progress to identify gaps and support our students as needed.
Will JLT still be happening?
Yes - JLT will receive ties and badges straight away and will play a key role in helping us at the BTC site.
Will Year 10 still be doing Maths Statistics for top three sets?
It is our intention that they will still have this option.
Has the DfE given any indication that they may change how our children are assessed in their GCSEs to make allowances for the situation they find themselves in?
Our Exams Officer will be working closely with the awarding bodies over the coming year to make every effort that our students are not disadvantaged by the current situation.
Will the children still have the opportunity to put on productions, etc?
This is such an important part of our school life. Music is looking forward to putting on a Christmas Concert. Our goal would be to provide performance opportunities in the long run, however in the short term we can't facilitate a production. We usually spend September to January on the production. We are looking at shifting this time towards the spring/summer term when we are more settled.
Will trips still be going ahead?
Yes we endeavour to operate the planned trips as normal this year. We will be circulating the Enrichment Booklet very soon.
Will afterschool clubs, activities and fixtures be available while the issue with the main building is ongoing?
Unfortunately all clubs and sporting activities have stopped currently. However, we plan to restart these as soon as we are able to.
Free School Meals Vouchers
Can students pick up their vouchers from the Finance Office? Or can they be posted to parents that don’t live locally?
Students are able to sign the vouchers out from the Finance Office, but we ask parents to reply to the emails regarding the vouchers to state that this is the preferred way. The school cannot accept any liability for lost vouchers after they have been signed out of the office. Year 10 students will be able to collect their voucher from the BTC campus based on the same arrangement being made with the Finance Office. We do not post these vouchers out due to them previously getting lost in the mail.
We will be holding open events this term, but we are still working on the best way to do this. If you would like to be kept up to date about these, please register your interest here - https://www.haygroveschool.co.uk/Open-Events/ and we will be in touch as soon as we have information to share.
When will students be able to use the school canteen again?
This is planned for the beginning of October. The temporary facilities are currently being built and we will keep you up to date with the progress.
How far have you got in terms of wrapping/scaffolding the building and organising temporary classrooms?
Kier have started the work to wrap the building and scaffolding is going up rapidly. We have been informed that this will take 56 working days to complete in total. The site has been secured with a safety zone to allow contractors space to work.
De Boer have made excellent progress with their building work and the classrooms and canteen are planned to be ready to use from w/c 25th September.
How is the safety of the children and staff while work is going on being maintained? Are contractors subject to DBS checks?
All contractors are separated from the school site within their own compound and secure fencing. Any contractors who come on to school site will be DBS checked or accompanied at all times.
Is the summer holiday/term affected by this delay?
Have you got an idea on how long is it going to take to go back to normality? Are we talking years?
A permanent solution will be a longer solution and this is an ongoing discussion with the DfE. However in the meantime, we are very confident in our medium term solution.
Is the building to be demolished?
We are still awaiting confirmation from the DfE about the longer-term solution for the building.
What can we do to help?
If parents would like to escalate their concerns, we would suggest writing to the DfE - Contact the Department for Education - Contact type - DFE Online Forms or contacting our local MP.
1st September 2023 Update
1. The building
Is this issue the same as other schools in the news which are having to close because of a concrete issue with RAAC?
- Our issues are not related to RAAC, but rather due to a specific builder which is now defunct.
What is wrong with the building? Why is this only happening now?
- We have been engaging with the Department for Education (DfE) over the past year to ensure our main school building is fully fit for purpose and of the quality our students and staff deserve.
- The DfE undertook technical investigations to determine the main building’s long-term viability.
- The DfE decided, following its surveys, that we are not able to use the main school building. The Department for Education (DfE) has overall responsibility for the building and any questions about the building should be directed to the DfE. Neither the school nor the trust were involved in the commissioning, construction or quality assurance of the main building.
- 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 safety zone around the main building to accommodate all of the necessary equipment.
A window fell out of the school last August. Why didn’t you act sooner?
- We immediately closed the building after the window incident until the DfE had made all windows safe. We have worked proactively with the DfE over the last year and pressed for their rapid responses to our concerns about its apparent defects at every stage.
Have children and staff been in an unsafe building?
- Since we first occupied the main building, we have been assured by the DfE that it was safe for our students and staff.
- 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.
2. Temporary Accommodation:
Will school and trust leaders be involved in the design of temporary accommodation?
- It’s of paramount importance to us that staff and students have high-quality temporary classrooms. Will we continue to work closely with the DfE throughout construction to ensure this will be the case.
What will the temporary accommodation look like?
Where will the new temporary accommodation be located?
When will the school move into temporary accommodation?
What are the contingency arrangements?
- The DfE has promised us that it will be providing high-quality temporary accommodation on the school site as soon as possible, we are working closely with them at all times to ensure that what they provide is a high quality solution that is fit for purpose, and that will provide appropriate teaching space during the Autumn Term. There will also be temporary toilets delivered to site, as well as a temporary dining and kitchen space.
- Temporary classrooms are likely to be located on the school field as an interim measure. We are determined to keep as much social and recreational space available to our pupils as possible, but it is challenging because of the nature of the site. The sports hall will remain available for pupils to use, as will the astro turf.
- A lot of this is subject to change as timings are dependent on availability and various contractors delivering and completing work on schedule, but we will keep families and staff updated as much as possible. We ask for your patience during this challenging time.
3. Learning arrangements for the beginning of term
Will there be remote learning while students are waiting to return? Will the school be providing educational resources?
- Our staff are planning to implement remote learning provision, which will be accessible from a centralised area on our website. We are also planning to be able to offer pastoral support and wellbeing/safeguarding check ins to keep pupils safe. We are using high quality online providers to support our delivery of online learning during the interim period until we can accommodate more pupils on site. Teachers and subject specialists will oversee the delivery of the online curriculum to ensure that it is appropriate and ambitious.
- Please understand that our ability to offer live online learning is significantly compromised due to the fact that we will be operating a mixture of face to face teaching across two sites initially, with staff travelling between sites. In addition to this, the majority of all resources and IT equipment is inside the building that has now been condemned. There are some significant logistical challenges that are presenting themselves that we are trying to overcome. We will be able to provide further information next week with an aim to update our families as soon as we possibly can. We have shared our early planning with the Department of Education who are supportive of our approach.
Will remote learning be made accessible?
- Our staff are fully committed to making remote learning accessible for all students and are working hard to adapt this to the situation as it stands, including sourcing additional emergency laptops and dongles for those children that need them.
Will there be plans for additional catch-up lessons?
- Leaders are committed to ensuring that as far as is possible, there is minimal disruption to learning and will be in touch with parents as soon as possible with information on any additional support for students that can be provided. This will depend on how long the interim arrangements will be in place.
- We are also looking at how we can support some of our most vulnerable learners in person and those with EHCPs where possible, and will make contact with relevant parents as soon as we are certain of the plans for additional accommodation to be provided.
When can children expect to hear from tutors directly?
- Tutors will be in touch as soon as possible to provide further information and support around the start of term.
Why is there a staggered return to school?
- The work that needs to be taken to implement these safety measures, and the lack of temporary classrooms and toilets as yet on site, means that unfortunately there will be a staggered return to school. We can only physically accommodate so many pupils on site at any one time until the entire block of temporary classrooms has been delivered. Whilst we have adapted some existing teaching space in other buildings into temporary classrooms, we are still significantly short of all the teaching space and facilities that we need. We know this puts all our students, families and colleagues, in an extremely difficult position, and we very much wish this was not the situation.
4. Clarification of the school day for all year groups
Will Years 7, 8, and 9 follow the same timetable structure as Year 10 and 11?
- All students will follow the same timetable regardless of which site they will be learning at. This is to accommodate staff moving between sites and will ensure students are taught by the correct teachers.
How long will students be working to a 4-day week?
- We are working to minimise the disruption to our students' routine, but at this stage we cannot provide a concrete timeframe. It is reliant on the delivery of the medium-term accommodation to our school site.
- Our interim curriculum plan has been designed around pupils having their specialist teachers in front of them for their correct subject. This has been made a priority to ensure that our educational offer continues to meet our high standards. The interim split site provision means that we have had to adapt to transition and travel times for teachers between Haygrove and BTC which adds to the complexity.
- We will keep families updated as and when we get any more guidance from the DfE.
Will the 4-day timetable apply during the period of remote learning?
- Yes - the same timetable will apply for all school years for reasons outlined above.
Why is there a 4-day week and not a 5-day week? Why are those 4-days longer school days?
- This is to accommodate the logistical challenges set out above. We appreciate this could cause further challenges for our families, and we very much thank you for your understanding throughout this situation.
Will school buses work around new buses to BTC?
- The same buses will be used to transport the students. Once the buses have completed their usual morning routes from home to school, they will then take the Year 10 students from Haygrove to BTC. This will also happen at the end of the day.
Will school buses work around the new start times for students at Haygrove?
- Yes – we are working closely with the local council to ensure transportation is adapted to the new school timetable.
6. School lunches
Will students still have access to a canteen? Will free school meals continue to be provided?
- We are working with our catering staff and external providers to ensure there is a plan in place as quickly as possible. This includes the building of a temporary kitchen and dining hall. At the start of term, students may be asked to bring a packed lunch; however we will update on whether this will be required as soon as we possibly can. This applies to Year 10s going to BTC as well as all other year groups who will be returning to Haygrove. All children who are entitled to free school meals will receive vouchers for purchase of food until we have a more permanent solution in place. We will provide further information to parents for dining arrangements as soon as we possibly can.
7. Future enrolment
Will you be accepting applications for Year 7 entry September 2024?
- Yes, we will continue to accept applications for children into Year 7 in for the 2024/25 school year.
Will you be accepting in-year applications?
- Yes, we will continue to accept applications for children in line with current capacity.
The Quantock Education Trust and Haygrove School leadership team, Governors and Trustees would like to again thank all the Trust and School staff, as well as the team at Bridgwater and Taunton College for all the hard work that has been put into delivering this plan at such speed. We would also like to thank our parents and carers for their supportive comments, understanding and patience in this difficult situation.