Kirk Balk Academy

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'Changes to the Timings of the Academy Day - The Outcome Following Consultation'

Changes to the Timings of the Academy Day - The Outcome Following Consultation

The consultation period for the proposed changes to the academy day has finished and the responses have now been scrutinised.

In total, there were 163 responses to our online survey; 51 of which included a feedback comment. In addition, we received 7 email responses from parents, carers, staff, the local community and other stakeholders.

I would like to thank everybody who took the time to aid our consideration of these proposals.

The overwhelming majority of our stakeholders are in favour of the changes. This was represented by the fact that almost two out of every three respondents (105 out of 163 who filled in the survey part - or 64.4%) supported the proposals.

Parents and carers are therefore notified that from September, the academy day will begin at 8:25am as opposed to 8:45am and will finish at 2:30pm as opposed to 2:55pm.

The diagram below shows the new academy day and includes all timings:

We have always asked that students be on site from 8:00am so they are not late for their first lesson and so that they can get organised for the day ahead. This will still be the case in September.

As previously stated, the earlier finish will mean we can continue to commit to pursuing our ethos around sporting and extra-curricular participation and success as we look to enter even more regional and national competitions, via our 'Period 6' time. In addition, we are incredibly excited about the prospect of offering an even wider range of extra classes and revision sessions to all students during this slightly earlier 'Period 6' time. We are confident that this time will benefit all students in our community, particularly those who will be about to embark upon their GCSE examinations, as we continue to realise our ambition of doing all we can to raise the achievement of every child. Despite the numerous positives that this change will bring there were however, a number of concerns that were identified by some parents. The bulk of these apprehensions focused on morning transport and, in particular, the service buses that operate in and around Hoyland. Whilst we do not control the organisations that run the service buses, the Senior Leadership Team nevertheless have worked to address the anxieties that had been raised.

Following a review of the bus services that students use to travel to and from the academy it is apparent that the majority of our students will not need to make any alternative arrangements to their current travel plans. This is because the majority of students using the existing 66 services and the 67a service from Wombwell, arrive to school well before the new start time of 8.20am.

However, where the existing services would not allow students to arrive on time, specifically the 72a services and 67a service from Barnsley, discussions have been held with the relevant transport companies and revised timetables will be in place from September. It has been proposed that the 72a service will now depart from Chapeltown at 07.38 and arrive at Kirk Balk Academy at 08.10. The reverse 72a service from Manvers will now depart at 07.52 and arrive at Kirk Balk at 08.16. These revisions will ensure that all students who currently use bus transport to travel to and from the academy will be able to continue to do so.

Please check our website regularly for further information and updates.

For absolute clarity, parents and carers should now note that:

From 8:00am The Academy is open to students

8:25am Period 1

9:25am Period 2

10:25am Vertical Mentoring Group (VMG)

10:40am Break Time

11:00am Period 3

12:00pm Period 4

1:00pm Lunch Time

1:30pm Period 5

2:30pm End of Academy Day

(Period 6 is then available to students for sporting activities/other extra-curricular sessions/revision classes/specific Year 11 intervention groups etc. from 2:30pm until 3:30pm)

Naturally, some parents and carers may still have some concerns that they feel have not been addressed in this letter. In addition, some have also stated that they would welcome an opportunity to discuss other matters that are important to them. To that end, I am making the entire Senior Leadership Team available for a special 'Senior Leadership Team Drop-In Evening' on Monday 17th July 2017. Whilst appointments are not necessary, I would appreciate it if you would contact us using the usual e-mail address if you plan to attend. On this evening, stakeholders should report to reception between 4:30pm and 6:00pm whereby the most appropriate senior leader will be made available to speak with you.

As ever, thank you for your continued support of the academy.