Student Start of Year - Monday 5th September

Dear Parent or Carers,

I hope this finds you all well as the summer sun continues to keep us warm and well nourished. As we end another academic year and steadily move away from the pandemic times, and move into the post pandemic, ‘living with the virus’ era, I would like to resume pre Covid regimes within school from September 2022. Firstly, for those Year 7 parents not accustomed to a regular news letter from me, then may I welcome you, and to those parents and carers accustomed to it, may I welcome you back.

As from September I shall be writing to you on an all aspects associated with school life but a regular slot will be focused on attendance. Central Government, in conjunction with the Local Authority, have made attendance a priority as it will become statutory over the next academic year. We at Gateacre have always made attendance to school a priority and we will once again return to that in September as we return to plans and procedures previously in place to tackle poor attendance. This will include publishing attendance figures for individual year groups in a daily and weekly breakdown under the title ‘Attendance Matters’. I cannot stress enough how important good attendance across the entire year is. We believe that is important to work hard from day 1 right through to day 190. Each day is as important as the last, as is the following day. Continuity and consistence are important words to me and are very applicable when it comes to attendance.

Being prepared is not just a skill necessary for school but one that is appropriate for life. Again, from September we will once again be establishing our high expectations that begin at the red line. All young people should be appropriately dressed in full school uniform and fully equipped with a black or blue pen, a pencil, ruler and red pen as basic, statutory equipment. School uniform can be purchased from Kitted Out School wear on Allerton Road. Appropriate school shoes are essential, so please see examples of the correct footwear for school. The link to the website on uniform is here.

The wearing of training shoes is not permitted and on occasions were training shoes are worn then students will be provided with an appropriate pair of shoes to wear for the day. If that offer is refused then sanctions will be put in place. If on a second consecutive day the situation arises again, without a valid reason, the young person will be sent home and the pastoral team will discuss the situation directly with yourselves.

Students will be checked by pastoral colleagues on duty as they cross the red line. If your child does not have the correct basic equipment then they are able to buy these from pastoral staff on duty on the red line. All students, except for Year 7, should enter the building via the main entrance. The Covid entrance doors have now stopped. Year 7 should enter the building via a separate side entrance staffed by Year 7 pastoral staff. This will continue until October half term as part of their induction programme. All school doors will open at 08:00

During lockdown, technology became essential and the use of phones part of that essential communication. I recognise that all young people communicate constantly and feel they need to have a mobile phone as part of their basic equipment. For parents and carers, however, it provides an opportunity for your child to be contacted on their way to and from school and to know they are safe. Once in school we do not expect parents and carers to contact young people, whilst in school, unless there is an emergency. In cases such as this, contact can be made via reception or the admin email address at the bottom of this page. Due to this over reliance on mobile phones by young people and the disruption that can cause, I have decided to be quite clear on our policy regarding them, from September. I accept all young people wish to have a mobile phone but whilst in school they should not be seen; phones should remain in their school bag. If a mobile phone is seen by a member of school staff, during the school day then it will be taken off them, and taken to reception where it will be placed in an envelope with the young person’s name on it, stored securely, so that the young person may collect it from reception at the end of the school day.

This decision regarding mobile phones is not one that I have taken lightly but certainly one that has been made worse by the use of social media. Social media, in many cases, is a route cause of issues between young people both here in school, and outside of school. Incidents where social media has created situations and actions in school will be dealt with by our pastoral team, however, when situations arise outside of school it is often beyond our control and far more difficult to respond to and adjudicate. My guidance to parents with regard to social media incidents outside of school is to contact the Police and to log the concern with the social media platform directly. Therefore, from September our response as a school to social media incidents that take place out of school will be contact the Police.

Please see below the student Start of Year Programme for all students in September. All students should start or return to Gateacre School on Monday 5th September 2022 at the following times, in full school uniform, except for Sixth Form students, via the entrance indicated. They should have equipment ready for lessons but there is no expectation that they need to bring a PE kit with them.

start times 2022

I hope you all have a wonderful summer break.

Yours faithfully,


Gareth Jones