The following message has been sent to all parents via email and is now published on our website and social media accounts.

It is vital that all parents discuss the details with their child before they return to school.

Letter to Parents / Carers:


I am contacting you with an update on the re-opening of The Friary School and whilst I have attached the guidance from before the Summer holidays, the COVID situation is obviously very ‘live’, and there have been further developments cropping up throughout the summer.

We receive updates and changes from different tiers of government on an almost daily basis, so whether it is face masks or school buses, bubbles or vulnerable students, this summer has seen us bending and flexing to meet the latest demands. Inevitably, this means this has to come your way too.

We can only be thankful that the exam results went so smoothly…

First Day Back:

All students return to school on Thursday 3 September. The Year 7s should arrive for 8.45am and report to the main playground (go right on entry to the site and through the gates beside the leisure centre). Meanwhile, Year 8-13 students should arrive for 9.45am and report straight to their tutor room (details attached).

We would urge you not to allow your child to arrive early as we are trying to phase the Year 7s in and set up complicated systems to keep your child safe. We appreciate this can be difficult with buses and for working parents, but we know you will recognise it will also be tricky to embed new systems with 1,200+ 11-18 year olds.

The attached ‘Entry Routes 2020-2021’ document flags up which entrance your child should use.


(i) Face Masks:

The government changed their stance on face-masks yesterday: Again, they have decided to pass this decision onto Headteachers.

It is important to stress that face masks are not mandatory. We have already had communication with different parents vehement that their children should / should not wear a face mask in school. We suspect this is one that we cannot win on.

Having reflected on this, we would support any child wishing to wear an appropriate face covering. They should not be worn in lessons, but more in higher contact areas, like the school corridors during lesson change-overs, where students will be at a slightly greater risk of being outside their bubble. This would be supported by the World Health Organisation and allows students to protect themselves and others.

Naturally, if the government’s advice changes again, then we will respond to it.

(ii) School Transport:

It is important to point out that the school has no authority over any of the school buses.

It is clear that public transport to school is going to be highly disrupted and unless your child has a set place on a school bus via Staffordshire County Council then initially you should not assume they will get a place.

Unfortunately, it is not going to be possible for us to house students until parents finish work, not least because of the need to sanitise the site for the following day.

It is vital parents make alternative arrangements and at least prepare for, but ideally prevent, their worst case scenario arising.

For those children who do make it onto their bus, it is important to note that face masks should be worn and that it is inevitable to some extent that they will be outside of their school bubble during the journey,

Further details on school transport can be seen on the front page of our website.

(iii) Entry to the School Site:

Unfortunately, our requests for parents to desist from driving onto the school site at the end and start of the day are all too often ignored by a small minority. This is despite the genuine Health & Safety risks to 1,200+ children negotiating grid-locked forecourts and drives.

Our COVID risk assessments state that the convergence of large groups of students at the end of the day should be avoided. Equally, with the current closure of the Friary Grange Leisure Centre, there are no demands from Lichfield District Council that the school gates must remain open.

Consequently, we will monitor the situation, try again with another leafleting campaign, liaise with the District and County Council, and likely take the sensible approach used by every other local secondary school that cars cannot come on the school site at set times.

If you can support us by getting your child to walk 5 minutes away from the site to a pre-arranged pick up then you will be helping us to keep everyone safe. If you consider this too inconvenient, then please think again.

(iv) PE Kit

We made the decision to allow students to wear their PE kit to school on days when they have a practical PE lesson. We cannot operate with children all getting changed in cramped changing rooms despite the potential hygiene issues of keeping their kit on through the day.

Even so, though the usual PE kit uniform is required, please note we are flexible on other layers of sportswear clothing that your child may need to get through the rest of the day. It seems that winter is already upon us, and though we are not seeking a fashion parade, we are keen not to have children cold all day after have PE during first lesson.

(v) Personal Hygiene:

We have mentioned this previously but we would advise all parents to ensure their children come to school with their own hand sanitiser, tissues and face masks.

(vi) Rewards & Sanctions:

We are very much a school that likes to focus on the positives and to issue rewards wherever we can, but equally we are not a school that accepts any nonsense.

We would be grateful if you could emphasise to your child that they must follow all school systems – no matter whether they like them or do the same at home. We cannot tolerate any individuals thinking the rules do not apply to them. Out of respect for everyone in the school, we will be decisive with any child who fails to comply. We know you would expect nothing less.


Guidance from July 2020

The following guidance was posted to all parents in July 2020 but it is worth re-familiarising yourself and your child with it:

§ End of Term Letter to Parents – July 2020

§ Entry Routes 2020-2021

§ First Day Back Arrangements

§ New Procedures – Autumn 2020

§ School Map Route

§ The School Day 2020-2021

§ Tutor Groups for 2020-2021

If you have any queries, then please direct them via email to

To Finalise…

The overwhelming majority of parents have been wonderful with us since March and we can only thank you for your backing in what has been an incredibly tough time for you at home as well.

We can promise we will endeavour to do our very best for your child in school – whether it be regarding COVID, catch-up or simply reforming friendships – and will do our level best to make the return as smooth as it can be.

Let us hope that our ‘new normal’ settles quickly, and even better that we get back to ‘normal’ without any problems sooner rather than alter.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We are working hard to ensure everything is shipshape for the students return and are looking forward to seeing them. There is lots to do, lots to catch up, and we are raring to go.”