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Thomas Deacon Education Trust


Update: 07/01/21 Letter to Parents/carers

Update: 05/11/20 Message from Julie Taylor, Chief Executive 

Following government guidance, all our academies remain open during new national restrictions which begin on 5 November 2020 until the provisional date of 2 December 2020. Thomas Deacon Education Trust would like to reassure all students, staff and parents/carers that protecting the health and mental wellbeing of our academy communities and supporting the learning of our students remains our priority. We continue to follow stringent Covid-19 safe guidelines to keep our academies open as fully as possible.

We will keep everyone informed as government guidance is updated and encourage parents with questions or concerns to contact their academy office for help.

Please keep safe and well.

Update: 02/11/20 

Version 4 - Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v 4

Update: 02/09/20 

Version 3.2 - Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v 3.2

Update: 21/08/20 

Version 3.1 - Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v 3.1

Update: 13/07/20

Version 3.0 - Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v 3.0

Update: 03/07/20 

Update: 17/06/20 

Version 2.3 of Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

Updates have been made to the following sections:

  • Section 3.3 – People who need to self-isolate:  Further clarification given with regards to who and when people should self-isolate and the correct lines of communication and reporting between all parties involved.  Reference made to GDPR, Government’s ‘Track and Trace’ protocol, and the use of ‘protective bubbles’ in all Academies within the Trust.
  • Section 3.15 – Accident, security, and other incidents:  Reference made to ‘in loco parentis’ and permitting members of staff within ‘protective bubbles’ to carry out ‘very basic everyday emergency’ First-Aid.
  • Section 3.22 – Managing visitors and contractors:  Visitors and contractors COVID-19 ‘self-declaration’ protocol added.

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v 2.3

Update: 15/06/20 

Version 2.2 of Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment.

Updates have been made to the following sections:

  • Section 3.2 – Protecting people who are at higher risk of harm:  Further clarification given to the guidance and advice for people and their families that fall into the ‘high risk’ category and the ‘Individual Risk Assessment’ retitled to ‘COVID-19 Safe Working/Learning – Individual Risk Assessment’.
  • Section 3.23 – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):  Further clarification given on the provisions and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how it will be assessed to ascertain whether it is suitable, sufficient, and fit for purpose for a particular task/activity.


COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v2.2

 Update: 05/06/20

Thomas Deacon Education Trust - COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment

COVID-19 Safe Management Risk Assessment v2.1

Update: 03/06/20


2nd June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you and your families are well and are staying safe in these very difficult times. You will be aware from the recent press coverage that the Government is aiming to open schools more widely from 1st June to children in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception), Year 1 and Year 6. I am sure that we would all agree that we would like to see all children back in school full time, but the safety of our children and staff is paramount in all of our planning and decision making and we have been working together with our Headteachers/Principals to consider how we are able to do this in a timely and safe manner.

We would ask for your patience while we finalise plans to open more widely for children. We are currently evaluating each academy individually, taking into account the size of rooms, the layout of the buildings and staffing availability to consider carefully how the next phase of your child’s education will look. Please be assured that as a Trust, we will not make any decision that puts a child or member of staff at risk.

The Prime Minister announced on Sunday his intention to ask schools to start to open more widely from 1st June and he confirmed on Thursday that the government's five tests have been met. Please note that this does not mean that all schools and academies will open fully for those year groups on this date.

The guidance to schools is continually changing and new guidance arrives almost daily which means plans that may have been put into place are being constantly evaluated and changed, all of which have consequences on staffing levels and risk assessments. Some of our academies will be ready to accept more children in Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6 from Monday 8th June. The Board of Trustees has approved this decision in the interests of the safety and welfare of our children and staff. We will ask Principals to write to you towards the end of this week with the final arrangements. It is highly likely that some academies will not be open to all year groups at the same time.

We will continue to provide childcare for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable children during the intervening time and this should be arranged with your child’s academy in the usual way. Online work will continue to be set for those children not in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6 or who do not attend during this period.

However, we are expecting a considerable increase in the number of children attending our academies and I feel it is important to point out that the experience in school will be very different to the one they left in March. Each of our academies has carried out a detailed risk assessment and assessed their capacity to be able to deliver the additional provision to Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6. In all cases, we will not be able to have the maximum of 15 children in some classes due to limitations with the room size or layout of the building. The maximum number may be considerably lower than this which will impact on the number of children we will be able to accommodate at any one time.

It is widely accepted that children, particularly very young children, will find it difficult to follow the social distance guidelines. Our academies will do their utmost to ensure that social distancing is maintained but we cannot guarantee that your child will always maintain social distancing. This is in line with the guidance published by the Department for Education.

Where possible, academies have tried to keep teachers in their current year groups but due to having to reduce class sizes it is possible that your child will not be in their normal classroom or taught by their current class teacher; the adults in the room will however be familiar to them.

Children will be placed into groups that will stay together. Groups will not be able to mix; for example, during break or lunchtime and may not be together with their usual friendship groups. Unfortunately, academies will be unable to move children between groups during this time and children will be unable to move freely around rooms or the academy.

It is likely that your child will see staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during this time, especially if staff must administer first aid or intimate care. It is important that parents discuss this with their child so that they are not scared should they see a member of staff wearing a face covering or gloves.

To prevent any risk of infection, there will be no physical contact between academy staff and your child. This may prove difficult with our younger children who will need reminding as they will often seek regular reassurance from adults working with them. Staff will be unable to hug children, even if they show signs of distress.

I appreciate how upsetting it may be to read this, but I hope that it gives you an idea as to how very different your child’s experience of school will be from the one they left. As the Government has announced the wider opening of schools and your academy is able to do so safely, it is vital that you talk to your child about how different in look and feel their classroom and academy will be, at least in the short term. Each academy will write to you directly to outline how this will look and the new school rules that will have to be introduced to ensure everyone’s safe return to school.

Academies are currently working on addendums to their behaviour policy, which will outline the additional rules and protocols that will need to be in place. This should form part of any communication with you.

I would strongly encourage all parents and carers to think very carefully about what is right for their child as wider opening begins. The decision to send your child back to school is entirely your own, but our staff will do everything that they can to provide the best possible experience for all children.

If parents or carers decide that they are uncomfortable sending their child back to school our academies will respect that decision. There will be no pressure about non-attendance and no fines will be administered. Your child’s place at the academy they attend will not be affected. Whatever decision a parent makes this will be the right one for your child. Nobody knows your child better than you do and as a Trust we will respect and support whatever decision that you make.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,


Mrs Julie Taylor

Chief Executive


Update: 03/04/20


TDET remains committed to providing a safe place for children of critical workers during the Easter holidays, including Good Friday and Easter Monday. 


From Monday 6th April, the following academies will be open:


  • Welbourne Primary Academy is open for pupils from Welbourne Primary and Queen Katharine Academy.
  • Warboys Primary Academy is open for pupils from Warboys Primary and Upwood Primary.
  • TDA Junior Academy, is open for Gladstone Primary Academy, Thomas Deacon Academy, TDA Juniors and the Peterborough Pupil Referral Service.

These arrangements will be in place until Friday 17th April.

Meals will continue to be provided for all children attending school during the holidays.

Update: 30/03/20 

All TDET schools have been open for key worker children and vulnerable children for the last week since lockdown with staff attending to supervise the children in school.


A system of safeguarding is in place so that all children who are vulnerable, at risk, looked after or on the child protection register have ‘safe and well’ checks made on them.


Free school meals have been provided by the TDET catering team and delivered out into the community by the facilities team; as of today, all eligible for FSM will receive food vouchers to use in local supermarkets.


From Tuesday, the school provision will be rationalised as follows:


  • Welbourne Primary Academy is open for pupils from Welbourne Primary and Queen Katharine Academy.
  • Warboys Primary Academy is open for pupils from Warboys Primary and Upwood Primary.
  • Gladstone Primary Academy Gladstone Street site is open for pupils from Gladstone Primary, Thomas Deacon Academy, TDA Juniors and the Peterborough Pupil Referral Service.

Update: 20/3/20 [Audio recordings of this correspondence available below] 

Dear Parent,

We have been notified that the guidance the Local Authority agreed on Thursday with the Department for Education around support for parents from Monday 23rd March onwards, has been superseded and this letter outlines the current position (March 20th am).

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 remains clear. The government have requested these key principles are followed:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home safely, then they should be.
  2. Parents should not rely for childcare on those ‘who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category’. This includes grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  3. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

The Government has requested that all schools provide optional care for a limited number of children. These are:

  • Children who are vulnerable i.e. those who are:
    • Supported by Social Care
    • Children in Care – known as Looked After Children (LAC)
    • Young carers
    • Disabled Children
    • Or have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
  • Children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. 

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday 23rd March onwards.

The government has also published an updated list of key workers which is included to the right.  The guidance has also been revised to outline that this support is for children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as ‘critical workers’ by the government. 

Please complete the pro-forma here should you fall into the Key/Critical Worker category.  No childcare will be provided without completion of this form

I want to reiterate the key message about the closure plans: Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. We absolutely understand that families are worried about being able to work but these are extraordinary times and we are all having to make some very difficult decisions and sacrifices.  However, with the challenges we face with our own staff and the national social distancing policy, we wish to minimise any risks and the number of students attending should only be in circumstances where it is essential.

This remains an ever-changing situation and the position may well change again in the future.  We will continue to update you as the need arises. 

I wish to thank all our school staff, volunteers, and governors who have helped in recent days to keep the school open, and who will continue to do so over the coming months. I would also like to thank you for your continued support and understanding during this period.

Best wishes,

Julie Taylor

Chief Executive

Update: 19/3/2020

Dear Parent

On Wednesday, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday.

He also indicated that all the GCSE, AS and A-level examinations due to take place this summer, have been suspended; and that students would be credited for their learning in some other way.

Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals.

Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. You will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.

The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. Each of our academies are working through potential options to support these children from Monday and parents will be contacted about these arrangements.

Headteachers and Principals and their Leadership Teams from our nursery provision to post 16, supported by TDET Central Services, are working tirelessly to ensure we can provide the ongoing support needed to our community and families at this difficult time.

Thank you for your support and for your patience.

Best wishes

Julie Taylor, Chief Executive