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Marland School

"We are a school first and foremost and proud of our student and their achievements."


Welcome to Marland School

"We are a school first and foremost and proud of our
students and their achievements."

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Coronavirus Advice & Information

Dear Parent / Carer


I hope you had a good summer and are well.  We are looking forward to welcoming your son back to school next week, commencing Wednesday 8th September for existing students, with staggered start dates afterwards for new students.  Staff will be in school from Monday 6th for 2 days of training.  We have used the closure period to extensively redecorate and refurbish all 3 of our school sites to make them as nice as possible for our students and are really positive about the opportunities the new school year holds.


Covid Precautions

So far, there have been minimal positive Covid cases in our Marland student / staff communities over this break period which is good news.  However, Devon and it’s surrounding areas have just been classified as an ‘enhanced response area’ for Covid.  Devon is far higher (622 covid cases per 100,000 of the population) than the latest national average (332).  Case rates in all eight district areas of Devon are among the highest in the country.

Public Health England (PHE) advice, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), is that all secondary school age children (NOT Primary) should undertake a ‘Lateral Flow Test’ for Covid twice in the week before returning to school (tests 3-4 days apart).  We strongly support this advice and would be appreciative if you could arrange this with the kits provided to your son in July. 


Secondary DAY School Students

Will be asked to test twice per week at home (3-4 days apart) until at least the end of September (will then be reviewed again by PHE).

DCC School transport still request that face mask be worn in their vehicles.


Secondary RESIDENTIAL School Students

After their initial 2 home tests before their return, Students will be asked to test at home on the Sunday before their weekly Monday return to school until at least the end of September (will then be reviewed again by PHE).  We will then offer their second weekly test in school.  Staff will be asked to test on a similar basis from home.

DCC School transport still request that face mask be worn in their vehicles.


ALL students (Primary & Secondary)

We will be continuing with our standard Covid precautions on all sites:

·         Promoting good hand hygiene (regular washing / sanitising).

·         Disposing of all used tissues immediately in closed top bins.

·         Frequent / regular sanitising of touched surfaces with antiseptic sprays / wipes.

·         Sensible social distancing wherever possible (no specific distance required but common sense used).

·         Maximising fresh air ventilation in rooms.

·         Utilising learning opportunities outside in the fresh air where feasible.


New DfE guidance states that even if there is a positive Covid case in the family home, children do not need to self-isolate unless they are symptomatic and/or a Lateral Flow or follow up PCR test is positive.


If your son:

  • Feels unwell and is showing any Covid symptoms, please test him straight away.  Please do not send him back to school if he is symptomatic.
  • Tests positive using a ‘Lateral Flow Test’, PHE advice is for him to self-isolate at home and immediately take a follow up PCR test.


We want to maximise your son’s learning opportunities in school wherever safely possible and will strongly encourage regular attendance.  To support this, we need all parents / carers to remain vigilant and only send their sons to school if they are healthy and not showing any signs of Covid (i.e. symptomatic).  If they are then they need to remain at home and take a PCR test.  If a student tests positive and needs to self-isolate at home but is well (i.e.  NOT symptomatic / asymptomatic), we will arrange to send work home for the isolation period.  


Sorry for such a lengthy email but lots of info. to pass on.


I hope you have a great final week!


Kind regards


Keith Bennett

If you have any queries please contact the following senior staff by email and they will respond as promptly as possible, adding your phone number if you require an urgent response:


Residential School (Peters Marland)

Education:  Mark Bithell (Headteacher)

Pastoral / Welfare:  Gareth MacIver (Head Pastoral Care / DSL)


Secondary School (Barnstaple)

Education:  Matt Walder (Acting Headteacher)

Pastoral / Welfare:  (Learning Support Manager / DSL)


Primary School (Bideford)

Education:  Ross Davage (Headteacher)

Pastoral / Welfare:  Allan Lawrence (Assistant Headteacher / DSL)


Coronavirus Dedicated Governors

Andy Boyd (Lead Governor)

Phil Spencer (Support Governor)