Coronavirus Update & Cancellation of Overseas Travel

From Friday 13 March, all planned overseas travel from school has been cancelled. This will remain the case for the foreseeable future.

Any parents and students expecting overseas travel from school during the next two weeks have been contacted by text message, email and telephone.

There are no planned changes to timetables or school opening. All Spencer Academies Trust schools will continue to open as usual, and to take specific public health advice on a daily basis.

This follows a change in government advice about the continuing management of coronavirus, under which anyone with a ‘new, continuous’ cough or high temperature has been asked to stay at home and to ‘self-isolate’ for seven days.

People with symptoms are no longer asked to call NHS 111, but rather to look for information on the NHS website and 111 online.

Schools will now work with our insurers to understand the financial position for parents from cancellation of overseas travel, and will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Information about the simple steps families can take to limit the spread of coronavirus is available here.


Cancellation of Scheduled Travel to Romania & Moldova

After careful consideration, the scheduled travel to Romania and Moldova has now been cancelled for geography students in Year 11. This has been a difficult decision for the academy, but we believe it is the only choice after careful review.

The trip had been designed as a field experience, and was expected to leave on 26 March. Students would have travelled to Bucharest by air, and then on to Chisinau by overnight sleeper train.

School staff are taking guidance from public health authorities on all scheduled travel, and are acting under specific advice in the cancellation of the Romania and Moldova field trip.

As of the 10 March, foreign nationals have not been able to enter Moldova by air. Additional measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus inside the country include quarantine for any travellers believed to be developing symptoms of winter virus.

Safeguarding is always the school’s priority when offering any travel or field experience. Based upon the restrictive measures now in place in Moldova and the probability of further change, the risk that a student or staff member might be asked to self-isolate during the trip is now substantial.

In turn, this raises the risk that students and staff might be separated. Where this is the case, we will not be able to let an overseas trip go ahead.

We will now work with our insurers to understand the position for parents, and particularly with regard to the deposits and flight costs already received.

We will do our best to make this a quick process, but in the current circumstances, we expect that it may take a few days to have a clear answer on the position for parents – we expect to contact you about this next week. We are grateful for your patience in the meantime.

We will run a short meeting in school on Monday 16 March at morning break 11.25am in the Student Hub with Mr Platts, Mr Wilson and Miss Gooderham.

Geography staff now hope to offer an alternative field trip experience for students in the future. Thank you for your support and understanding.