We are very much looking forward to welcoming back your children to Bedales for the start of the new school year.
Of course, this year is going to look and feel very different. A huge amount of planning and preparation has been going on over the summer holidays to ensure that we are in the best position to start school life again, with all the myriad of learning opportunities that entails, whilst at the same time making sure we will be as COVID-safe as possible. We are closely following all the government guidance from the Department for Education and have adopted the Boarding Schools’ Association COVID-safe charter. We also have our own very well-qualified medical and health and safety experts supporting our teaching and pastoral teams.
This Back to School Guide sets out the detail of how we will operate next term. You will see that additional health and safety measures are embedded in our plans: appropriate wearing of masks, social distancing, contact tracing and testing, so the risk of contracting COVID on the Bedales estate is minimised. Whilst we cannot eliminate the risk entirely, we can mitigate it and that’s been at the heart of our work since the outbreak began, and particularly as we plan for the much-anticipated re-opening.
Keeping the school free of COVID will require a community wide commitment – or as our co-founder John Badley elegantly put it: the ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’. With everyone - students, parents, staff - playing their part, our chances for a successful school year will increase dramatically. If people let their commitment lapse, we may face the same outcome that impacted all UK schools last term - school closure - and nobody wants to go back down that path. The planning behind opening for the autumn term is thorough, but of course it will not be fully operational until students arrive, and even then, we will all need to be prepared to adapt as conditions change. Please take some time to read and digest this plan and do let us know your questions or concerns.
I am optimistic about the coming year and look forward to seeing everyone back soon enjoying and making the very most of their Bedales education.
Head of Bedales