Coronavirus Update 20th March – 7:50am

Dear Parents/ Carers,

RE: Important Update: Telephone calls this morning

The guidance on maintaining educational provision came out last night. It is clear:

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

The core principles are as follows:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

In relation to children with EHCPs the guidance is that provision should be provided. However, if we also all need to socially distance then we cannot have the whole community in college.

I have to consider the welfare of all. It is not going to be possible to do everything for everyone. The number of staff who need to self-isolate has again risen.

The guidance is clear:

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Special schools, colleges and local authorities are advised to make case by case basis assessments of the health and safeguarding considerations of pupils and students on an education, health and care (EHC) plan. For some, they will be safer in an education provision. For others, they will be safer at home. We trust leaders and parents to make these decisions and will support them as required.

We had planned for significant opening next week, based on this new guidance that is not now practical or appropriate.

We will provide for the list of key workers:

Health and social care

Education and childcare

Key public services

Local and national government

Food production, sale, distribution and delivery

Public safety and national security

Transport and delivery drivers

This morning every family will be contacted to see if your child can be at home. Any provision we make in college will be care not a full educational programme.

Thank you for your support in this.  Senior Leaders will be available to talk to people on the telephone all through the day.

These are unprecedented time and challenges and I assure you as a community we will continue to work together. We are working in partnership with our Thrive Federation colleagues and all in West Sussex County Council to get this right.

Yours sincerely

Phillip Potter



Virus update calls 200320