Abbeywood Community School

Important Information - INSET day Monday 18 December

You are probably aware from coverage in the media and communication from the school, the Department for Education have introduced brand new courses for all Key Stage 4 GCSE and vocational qualifications and all Post 16 A level and vocational qualifications in all subjects. They have also introduced a new assessment and grading system for GCSEs.

These are probably the most significant changes to the curriculum and examination system certainly since the Curriculum 2000 Post 16 curriculum changes and probably since the introduction of GCSEs in 1986. It has meant considerable additional work for teaching staff in the need to re-write all schemes of learning, devise and design new lesson resources and understand and plan for new specifications with more content and with significantly increased challenge. This has clearly meant a significant increase of workload for staff who are already hugely committed to the school and the students. As employers, we have a duty of care for our staff and workload has continued to be highlighted in two significant Department for Education reports in the last year as having a detrimental impact on teacher recruitment, retention and absence.

It seems only logical and fair to provide additional support for our staff in these exceptional circumstances. Local authority maintained schools are able to apply to the local authority for an additional INSET day in exceptional circumstances. As an Academy Trust, we are able to take an additional INSET day in exceptional circumstances as outlined above. The Olympus Academy Trust Board have accepted that these are exceptional circumstances and have granted us an additional INSET day on Monday 18th December. This will mean that term will end on Friday 15th December at the normal time.

Our apologies that this was not communicated earlier in the year as it was necessary for the decision to follow due process through each individual school, governing body and finally the Trust’s board to agree the decision. Thank you for your continued support.