Coronavirus Update 16th March – 21:20

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have just received some guidance confirming some of what the Prime Minister was discussing this evening at a press conference. This is significantly different to the advice sent to schools by the DFE this afternoon and represents a significant change so please read this carefully.

Oak Grove College currently remains open and will aim to do so until advised by the Department for Education and Public Health England or unless I deem it unsafe to meet the needs of students to be open.

However there has been a change to the advice on self-isolation and vulnerable groups.

If you and your child are well, please continue to send your young person to college.

If you or anyone in your household is displaying symptoms then all members of the household should self-isolate for 14 days. Please make sure you inform us that this is the case.

The symptoms are: a new persistent cough and/or a high temperature.

The government is also requesting that the following groups remain at home:

  • Age over 70
  • Adults who are eligible for a free flu vaccination due to a long-term health condition
  • Those who are immunocompromised

This includes many of our students who are immunocompromised and some of the staff team fit into some of the three categories.

As the number of households self-isolating increases this will cause real difficulty in all parts of the college remaining open. We will endeavour to do so but these new guidleines significantly change things. We are working hard at Oak Grove to be able to support our most vulnerable students in the event of a closure and to be able to provide work if it comes to this. The staff team are working flat out with the cleaning team to keep the building clean so that all risks are mitigated. We have reduced the number of trips and cancelled many planned activities for all out in the community while keeping our focus on learning and care.

We are facing an unprecedented challenge with the Coronavirus. We are  all conscious that older members of our community and those with underlying health conditions are at much greater risk. It is vital that we all do what we can to mitigate the effect of this virus in the coming weeks and potentially months, and prepare for the full range of possible actions we may be forced to take to cope.

For further information, please visit the West Sussex County Council website – or https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

This is a fast moving situation and we will continue to update.

Yours sincerely

Phillip Potter

Headteacher