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Thank you for your support last week as students stayed at home and took advantage of our well-established Remote Learning provision during the NEU teacher strikes. Strikes seem to be the theme of this Spring Term with bus strikes now taking place across Birmingham from Monday 20th March after talks broke down over the weekend. I have written to all parents and advised them to make alternative arrangements for them to fulfil their legal responsibility of their child attending school everyday. We have explored contingencies but faced barriers with companies who simply do not have the drivers to drive their buses. Hopefully, families have made alternative arrangements – the one alternative that is not acceptable is simply to say: ‘my child cannot attend because they can’t get there’. We expect excellent attendance and punctuality. We will, of course, keep you updated with news from NX Bus – and if we are able to support with a contingency.

CORE Extra will not be running whilst there are bus strikes to give students the chance to get home.

There was lots going on at the Academy last week. We welcomed our newest gems, with families of children in Year 6 coming along to our first ‘Welcome Evening’. Such is the demand for places at JQA, we will be hosting a second ‘Welcome Evening’ after Easter, along with tours for any families who want to see the Academy in action.

We had some visitors in last week to do workshops with Year 7 around the responsible use social media. I will reiterate the guidance I have previously shared with parents around this. It is unacceptable that issues on social media waste staff’s time in school. All parents must take responsibility for this and make sure their child isn’t contributing negatively.

A counsellor has joined us each Monday from TwoTen and she is working with students to support their mental health.

Student Parliament met last week and discussed some further developments for the Academy – it’s brilliant to see students discussing the future of the Academy with each other.  There are some trips going out this week: Geography trip to Carding Mill Valley on Tuesday; a Brilliant Club trip on Thursday and the CORE Us choir on Wednesday. We have a visitor from our partnership with UCB who is in on Wednesday and working with the Year 10 Business Studies students to talk to them about courses at UCB as possible options for after JQA too.

Ramadan begins this week and we look forward to supporting students who wish to pray at lunch, another suggestion in action from our Student Parliament and working with all our students to raise awareness of how they can support each other during periods of fasting.

Year 11 students got their first external exam results too last week and the mock exams conclude this week. I’d like to remind all Year 11 parents of the forthcoming Progress Evening on Thursday 30th March and to start booking appointments as we look ahead to the Summer exam series now.

I’d like to invite parents to join our termly Parent Symposium online tomorrow at 5.30pm via Teams. A link to join is here and to also complete our termly Parent Survey. The survey is open until Thursday 30th March 2023. One lucky respondent will be given a £25 Tesco voucher on Friday.

Our Coffee Mornings resume on Wednesday and any parent is welcome to drop in to discuss any issues they are facing. Mr Francis hosts the morning from 9-11am.

As always, you can call the Academy on 0121 729 7220, leaving a message if the line is busy and we will get back to you. Our line is very busy in the daytime so I encourage parents to use the voicemail facility by pressing option 2. If you would like urgent support, you can always reach Mr Bibb (our Designated Safeguarding Lead) on option 4.

You can always contact me directly at: [email protected]