Tuesday 17th March, 21:30.
An update from OTE Academy regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19):
We would like to reassure you that our main priority is the health and safety of our pupils in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). We continue to follow the advice from the government and Public Health England (PHE) and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
In light of the government’s recent announcement yesterday evening, stating ‘everyone’ should now avoid social contact, we have heartbreakingly reached the conclusion to suspend all face-to-face classes, rehearsals and events with immediate effect until further notice.
We reassure you nobody at OTE Performing Arts Academy has been in contact with the virus. However, we have a duty of care to our pupils and their wellbeing and safety is always the number one priority for us.
We have made the decision to stop all face-to-face teaching, however arrangements are being made for pupils to continue learning online (remotely/virtual) so that progress is not unduly affected by this change. We are fully insured to maintain activity and learning this way and so currently this week, we will be preparing lessons to go onto our online platforms, as well as updating our risk assessments. Due to this, we are aiming for online learning to take place from next week (week commencing 23rd March 2020). In the meantime, we ask for your patience as we work to ensure a smooth transition. We will be in contact with all parents/carers regarding accessibility and available devices for online learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Is the Academy still open?
Yes. We have suspended all in-person teaching but the Academy is still open.
As the health, welfare and safety of our pupils and teachers is the number one priority for us, we have made the decision to stop all face-to-face teaching until further notice. Arrangements are being made for pupils to continue learning online so that progress is not unduly affected by this change.
Q) What will happen with the remainder of this term’s 2B fees?
Class fees for this week will be transferred over to Term 3A. As arrangements are being made for pupils to continue learning remotely, the following week’s fee will remain. After this period we will review the situation and reassess in-person vs remote learning based upon the current climate and guidance.
Q) Are we still competing in the upcoming Cheerleading Stoke Competition (Edge Elite squad)?
No. We understand plans are being devised in regards to banning mass participation events, in light of this, the competition has been postponed. Please be assured the producers have given this decision much consideration and they understand it may be disappointing and frustrating. The team are currently working hard on planning rescheduled events for the Edge Elite squad. As soon as we have new dates or further details, we will inform you. If we are unable to make their rescheduled dates for the 2020 seasons, we will instead be able to transfer our payment to any other available competitions up to July 2021. We sincerely hope you’ll be able to join us for the rescheduled competition.
Q) Are we still competing in the upcoming Dance Competition?
No. Again, ahead of the ban on mass participation events, we are currently seeking guidance to postpone or transfer the competition to an alternative season. If there are any changes, we will inform you.
Q) Are we still taking part in the upcoming fundraising events (bag packing, movie fundraiser, car boot sale, game and challenge day)?
We are currently looking to postpone all upcoming March/April fundraising events. As we continue to monitor the situation closely, we will reassess the situation, in line with in-person learning with a view to reschedule the events.
Q) Will this alter upcoming filming/photoshoots for Saturday Superstars pupils?
As we have suspended all in-person events, we are working with the film producers, scriptwriters and photographers to postpone until face-to-face sessions recommence. As part of our remote learning lesson plans, we will be incorporating and maintaining preparations and adapting activities to meet learner’s needs.
Q) Will this alter our NYC Broadway performance?
Please see below the statement for this opportunity from the show production:
‘Our NYC production at the end of July is just over 18 weeks away. This means that as far as the theatres and the producers are concerned the show will still go ahead and have not been cancelled.
We realise that times are very uncertain for all of you just as they are for us. We will do everything we can to ensure that the production still happens and are as always an amazing experience for all.
This means that all deadlines as previously sent out will still apply and these are vitally important to the running and preparations of the production.
The show will not be cancelled unless we do not have a choice due to theatre closures or restrictions from the government.
If the show is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, we will work with the theatre to secure an alternative date that you can transfer to in the summer of 2021.’
We hugely appreciate your patience whilst we are working very hard to adjust plans. As mentioned, we are going to do everything we practically can to support our pupils to get through this together. Through our continued learning we are looking to ensure pupils minds are engaged by providing them with rich and meaningful activities to keep active. We will update you as to when face-to-face classes will resume. This is of course, dependant on government guidelines.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding in these uncertain times.
We wish you all good health and much strength at this time.
Thank you for your continued support,
OTE Performing Arts Academy
Although this page is being regularly updated, we are aware that the situation is evolving rapidly. The latest information for the public is available on the NHS website. We will of course update you immediately with any further guidance we receive on a daily basis.