Letter to Parents/Carers

By   /  13/07/2017  /  Comments Off on Letter to Parents/Carers

Dear Parents/Carers

Thank you for your support throughout the last academic year. The school has achieved much since September and I am extremely proud of all our students.

As you are aware, we are constantly evaluating school policies and procedures. In light of recent tragic events in Manchester and London, I am writing to inform you that the school has introduced some additional measures to enhance safety and security:

1. We have re-visited our emergency procedures for acts of aggression against the school. The procedures the school is now using are known as dynamic lockdown procedures. Dynamic lockdown gives us the ability to quickly restrict access and egress to the school site. These procedures give responsibility to teachers, all of whom have been briefed, to take control of the situation within their immediate vicinity and act in accordance with the RUN HIDE TELL principles detailed in government and police guidance. Students have been told the signal that will be used to inform them that the dynamic lockdown procedures are being put into action … the instruction for them is simple: Do exactly what the nearest member of staff tells you, be respectful of the situation and take it 100% seriously. The procedures are located in full on the school website or please follow this link: http://www.patchamhigh.brightonhove.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Emergency-Evacuation-Procedures-for-acts-of-aggression-against-theschool.pdf
Due to the uncertain and erratic manner in which such events unfold, it makes it difficult to imitate potential situations and implement an effective rehearsal drill. So the school will not be carrying out a drill for dynamic lockdown but will instead revisit the signal and instructions with students each term.

2. From September we have further tightened our school uniform policy so that there is now an expectation that only school coats with a Patcham High emblem will be worn to school. (No other outer garments are to be worn e.g. hoodies, tracksuit tops). This is because when students are dressed uniformly, it is easier to identify non-students and strangers, better equipping school staff to handle questionable situations or identify an intruder. At present students wear a variety of hoodies and non-school uniform coats between lessons as they move from building to building, at break, lunch, and upon entering the school premises at the start of the day. This creates a level of ambiguity around identification and it is something we believe the tighter policy will help us to manage. Logo Sports have produced 2 Patcham High coats (a lightweight rain jacket and a more substantial puffer jacket). Older style Patcham High coats may still be worn but are no longer available to buy new.

3. The opportunity for people outside of the school community to access the school will be further limited by keeping the back gates closed at the end of the school day (2:50pm). From September students will only be allowed to exit via the Warmdene Bridge or the Front Gate.

Thank you for taking time to read this letter and for your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns.

Yours sincerely
John McKee