22 March 2021
Honestly, Covid-19 is an emotional roller coaster! Just a few days ago we were feeling cautiously optimistic with the rollout of vaccines in the UK and - we hoped - around the world. Almost the next day we had a UK government minister advising against travel this summer.
Faced with a situation in which none of us know quite what the situation will be in four weeks, let alone four months, we promise to refund any payment you have made (minus any unavoidable bank charges) if we have to cancel the course or if the child is unable to attend due to official Covid restrictions at home or in the UK. We will be generous in our interpretation of this. If the regulations effectively make it impossible for a child to attend - for example if proof of Covid vaccination is required but a child does not have this - we will offer a refund.
So we urge you to keep your child's place and suggest delaying the purchase of flights until we have a clearer picture of how things are progressing and what the requirements will be for travel.
Meanwhile, let's all keep our fingers crossed for continued progress while we prepare a warm welcome for those pupils who are able to join us this Summer.
Chris & Sarah Etchells
18 March 2021
Here in the UK Spring has arrived and with it a renewed feeling of optimism. Sarah and I had our first vaccinations recently with no side effects. Nearly 20 million adults in the UK have been vaccinated for Covid-19. Under current trends all adults will have been offered the vaccine by the summer. All UK restrictions are due to end on 21 June.
It is difficult to believe that just a few weeks ago we were in the middle of a pandemic disaster. Vaccinations have been a complete game changer. While we appreciate the situation remains challenging in some countries, our experience is that it is surprising how quickly things can improve. We have started to receive a few new bookings for the summer, indicating a gradual return of confidence.
Parents know that the risk to normally healthy children from Covid-19 is minimal. For us in running a summer school the problem is mainly logistic. Port Regis is already back at school. The spacious, countryside campus is about as safe an academic environment as one is likely to find. The school’s Covid-safe operations will have been well tested by the summer and we are confident of being able to run a well-regulated, safe summer course for all our pupils and staff. You can read our recently updated policy here.
At the time of writing therefore we intend to run our course this summer. Numbers will almost certainly be lower than usual; our welcome and attention for those who are able to attend will be all the greater. We will continue to review the position in the light of the changing situation but our feeling overall is that things are likely to continue progressing over the next four months. Young people have had a hard time during the crisis. We truly hope that ECS will be able to offer a wonderful and much needed change of scene for them, an opportunity to forget the difficult times we have all been through and for them to get on with real life and learning.
Christopher & Sarah Etchells