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End of Week Letter – 18th September

Please find attached the latest update letter from Oak Grove College.

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Changes to Post 16 provision at Oak Grove College

West Sussex County Council has been developing a new Education and Skills Strategy to support the inclusion of all children and young people, particularly those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This strategy builds on the SEND strategy for 2016-2019 and the outcomes of the 2018 Ofsted/CQC SEND Local Area inspection.

This booklet explains the proposals to change the Post 16 provision at Oak Grove College. As a community special school, the Local Authority can propose to make changes to special school provision subject to public consultation as set in statutory guidance Making Significant Changes (‘Prescribed Alterations’) To Maintained Schools for Proposers and Decision Makers Oct 2018 published by the Department for Education.  The proposal is to reduce Post 16 planned places in both Years 12 and 13 from 56 to 24 by 2025/26 but retain the overall number of places at the school of 256 by re-designating some of the sixth form for pre-16 provision.  This is in line with the current patterns of attendance.

The consultation will run until 5th October 2020 and there will the opportunity to attend two public meetings on the 22nd September at 15:30 and 19:30 where representatives from the county and school will be present to discuss this.

The online consultation can be found  https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/strategic-planning-and-place/changes-to-post-16-provision-at-oak-grove/


Oliver Lane-Smith

(SEND School Planning Officer)

The School Organisation Team

0330 222 3105



Paper copies are available on request or can be email directed to you – please contact the college office for either of these.

FINALconsultation document OGC post16 JUN20

COVID 19 Letter to Families

Please find attached letter that was sent to all parents via email yesterday regarding confirmed case of Covid-19

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Letter from the Headteacher – End of First Week

Dear Parent/Carer,

It has been wonderful to see almost the full college return this week and to see our community back learning and developing together.

We have been very lucky with the weather, which has helped to ensure all has gone smoothly.

There are a number of points that I would like to remind families about to ensure we can continue to make the new ways of working as smooth as possible:

  1. Anything that is coming into college for the class teams (eg personal care materials including PE kits and bags) must be labelled with the student’s first name and surname.
  2. Families doing the morning drop off should arrive at 8:45am; please do not arrive early.
  3. Families picking up at the end of the day should do so from the parent gate. And those in Avatar, Marvel and Da Vinci please do not come across to the gate until 2:55pm. Koa and Animus students will come out at 2:45pm.
  4. Parking continues to be difficult, especially as there are roadworks on The Boulevard, but please do not park in the yellow hashed areas or on the yellow lines as that snarls the whole site up quickly. We have got the end of the day routine down to 20 minutes, but it is hectic and we must keep groups of students (and staff) separate from each other.
  5. Only planned visitors can come into reception. Please do not turn up without having spoken to a member of staff first.

We are following the PHE guidance and it is important that all families have read and understood the letter about this that I sent out on Wednesday 9.1120. Following the rules on self-isolation is what keeps all members of our community safe. I appreciate this is a real challenge when it is really difficult to book a test.

Thank you to everyone for ensuring that getting back to college at the start of the academic year has been a successful, positive experience. The staff team has worked exceptionally hard to ensure we are doing things in a safe manner and I look forward to a full year of fun and learning.

Yours sincerely,

Phillip Potter


Full Reopening of Oak Grove College – September 2020

We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back to college. Students will return to college in a staggered return as detailed in letter sent home before the Summer Holidays – these dates are:

Friday 4 September – year 7 students from 9:30am to 12:00pm

Monday 7 September – year 7 and Year 11 students including Koa

Tuesday 8 September – Year 7, Koa, Animus and KS4 (Y10 and Y11) students

Wednesday 9 September – Year 7, Koa, Animus, KS4 (Y10 and Y11) and 6th Form students

Thursday 10 September – all students in school


Below are links to our protocols document and risk assessments that have been worked on with the Local Authority.

Oak Grove College Protocols Document

Oak Grove College Logistical Plan for full reopening

West Sussex School Risk Assessment Tool – Oak Grove College

Covid 19 Schools Risk Assessment  – Oak Grove College

Exam Results Day

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I am glad to confirm that we will be able to provide the confirmation of exam and qualifications results for students in year 11 on Thursday from 10-12 noon in The Rosie.

Students in other year groups will have their results given to them on their return in September but if you wish to know them then please contact the college office between 1030 and 11 30 tomorrow on 01903 708870.

Over the last few days there will have potentially been anxiety about the results. The majority of qualifications that students completed at Oak Grove have not been subject to the debate over the last couple of weeks. They have been awarded on a criterion basis of “if you meet the requirements you get the qualification”.

Some of the courses will have been awarded based upon the centre assessed grades for example all GCSEs. This followed a rigorous process in college, following Ofqual and exam board guidance using classwork, discussion work, written work, mock tests and professional judgements to recommend a grade. This has then been internally moderated and checked and signed off by me as the Head of Centre.

A very few courses we will not be able to provide the results we submitted (Entry Level PE, IT and some English results) as the exam boards have not yet finished signing them off and issue dates have now been put back to next week. I am assured the results for these subjects we issue will stand.

These centre assessed grades have followed a rigorous and legitimate process and will have value and worth throughout the whole of a students need to use them.

The discussions and actions that have been in the press and played out over recent weeks and days could and should have been avoided. There was no need for families or students to be worried or anxiety caused. Schools have followed the Ofqual, exam board and government guidance to the letter. I hope that none of our students have been anxious about it.

Students have worked hard over the last couple of years and should be proud of their results, we are proud of them and I am grateful to families and staff for supporting them and enabling them to achieve them.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of the results with me please feel free to contact me via email at head@oakgrovecollege.org.uk


Yours sincerely,


P G Potter


Phillip Potter


Exam Day letter

Arrangements for full opening at Oak Grove College – September 2020

Please see attached letter for the arrangements for full opening from September 2020.

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Community Update – 10th July 2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update – 10th July 2020

I hope this update finds you all well and gradually being able to enjoy the relaxation of some of the restrictions. We have been working with West Sussex County Council this week to ensure we know what they will be able to do in relation to transport and all the other services we rely on when we return in September.  All of the plans for September that are currently being put together are based on the current advice; as the advice changes so will the plans.  It is therefore likely that more detailed information, and indeed changes, may occur over the summer holidays.  It is unlikely you will get a summer break from some updates!

As we are now at our maximum capacity in college, next week we will be trialling out new ways of getting the buses loaded and unloaded with students, to ensure we are all well practised in the best way for September.  We are currently working on the basis that there will be a staggered start with buses/ taxis told to arrive in a specific time slot.

Thank you to those families who have volunteered to review and discuss the arrangements for September.  I will be in contact this week to seek your advice.

Detailed sets of guidance will come out next week and we will put together a number of videos to show the changes and what college will look like.

If you are in a position where you need support, then please do telephone the college.

Free School Meals:

Families who are entitled to a Free School Meals voucher over the summer holiday will be contacted to arrange a time or collection method for that voucher.  As these cannot be reissued we will need to have these collected.  Please make sure the return form is signed and given back to college staff.  We still have some families who we need to come and collect the vouchers.  They will all need to be collected by the end of the day on Friday 17th July at the latest.

Last day of term:

The last day of term for students in college is Friday 17th July.  We will finish at 3pm.

Concessionary Places on School Transport

West Sussex Transport Team is working on how students will be transported to college for September based on the updated guidance that has been released.  Potentially this will have an impact on their capacity to offer concessionary places for September.  As with each year, those families who would like a concessionary place need to reapply for this via the WSCC website:


Until the transport team has been in contact with you confirming a place, we advise that you need to look at alternative arrangements.

Summer holidays:

Oak Grove College has been granted some funding to run a summer school for two weeks.  This will be limited, and will also be offered to year 6 students to support transition.  It will be run by staff from Oak Grove College and will operate from Tuesday 21st July to Friday 31st July.  I am very grateful to the staff who have volunteered to do this.  Year 6 students will be offered places on Tuesday 21st July and Friday 31st July.

If you wish to be considered for a place please email: summer@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

We will be coming back to people on Tuesday 14th July to confirm arrangements for this.

For further information about respite and services available over the summer please check out this site:  https://bit.ly/SENDSummer


Staff changes for September:

The teaching assistants have now been allocated to their class groups for next year and this information will be available to you next week.  For those young people with complex needs we have kept staff groups as consistent as possible.


Work at Home:

Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort.

Social Media:

Please be aware of what your young person is doing on social media, it is important they are supervised. The is a recurrence of a craze on TikTok that suggests young people do silly things that is engaging and then ends with students being asked to harm themselves.  Further information is here:


I cannot emphasise the need for you all to supervise the use of the internet at all times.  Please talk to your children about what they see, what they believe and get them to consider that lots of what is online is absolute rubbish and not truthful or appropriate.

Please keep the photos coming for the website to show us what you are doing.  Send to: forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk  It really make us smile!

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.




Yours sincerely,



Phillip Potter


Update to families 10 07 2020



Virtual Short Breaks and Helpful Information

Please see link below for further information from West Sussex around Virtual Short Breaks


Community Update 26th June

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 26th June 2020

I hope you have all enjoyed the hot weather this week and it has not been too hot for you. This has been a busy week in college. It has been really good to see the plans for continuity of care, therapy and learning coming out of the virtual MDT meetings, planning the return to college for some of our learners with complex medical and care needs. I am grateful to the families and students who have engaged with these.

It has also been wonderful to see many of the Year 11 and sixth form students who are leaving us during the course of this week. It is a great shame that we have not been able to celebrate with a graduation event but you should all have your leavers hoodies now! I would like to thank the Friends of Oak Grove College for paying for these hoodies. All those leaving have made such progress over their time with us and they should be proud of their achievements. This can only have happened with the support of families and staff working in partnership and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support over the years.

It is that partnership work that enables young people to flourish. We are all proud of the achievements of the students and as they move on to many varied places including:

The Sand Project

Northbrook MET

Brinsbury College

Funtastic Futures

Chichester College

Superstar Arts


We are proud of all of our leavers and all they have achieved.

It is wonderful to hear of the achievements of our students after they have left so please do keep in touch.

There will be a leavers message from the College on our YouTube Channel this evening.

Free School Meals:

The government has confirmed that all those entitled to FSM will get a voucher to support them over the holiday. This will be one voucher, issued at the start of the holiday and will be ordered from the college using the current Endred system. Families won’t need to apply for it or to order it.

Last day of term:

The last day of term for students in college is Friday 17th July.

Exam Results Day:

Exam results will be available from 10am in The Rosie on Thursday 20th August 2020. Please ensure you follow the signs regarding the social distancing principles that we will be applying on the day.

Summer holidays:

All providers who hire the buildings over the summer have either cancelled their provision or have not yet been given the go ahead to operate. We will also need to do our annual maintenance work to ensure the building is safe and we have some pre-booked building work we are expecting to take place.  We are looking at how we can provide some limited, respite support for families. I hope to have details and clarity about this for next week.

Return in September:

As year 6 students are not going to be able to undertake transition visits to meet their new classes we are expecting to have the very start of the term with our new students returning first. We are expecting the new government guidance on returning to school in September to be issued next week. At that point we will be able to plan with some certainty. Even with the social distancing measure at 1m there will be many challenges to resolve, especially for transport and how we keep groups separate for lunch time.

Letters will be issued next week confirming who class/ form tutors are for next academic year.

Students in college currently:

If your young person is coming into college please can you ensure they have a rain coat and/or sun cream as appropriate as we now seem to be having a more traditional summer. They will spend a significant proportion of their time out of the classroom outdoors. This is part of the government safety guidance.

It is important they do not turn up early to college and use the social distancing markers outside prior to entry.

Anyone who is coming into college is entitled to a free school meal – the county council has changed its policy back to all in college get a free meal. However if you are entitled to a FSM in college you cannot receive a food voucher for that week as well. I am sorry that the policies keep changing in regards to meals, however I am very grateful for the excellent support from our catering team and the West Sussex Catering team over this time.

Please ensure students wear clean clothes each day to ensure that we are able to be as effective at infection control as possible.

Any student who feels unwell should not attend college that day.

Work at Home:

Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort.








Annual reports for students who have not already had them this year (some were completed and issued in the Autumn term) will soon be available for you and we will be inviting families of students currently in year 9 to come in and meet with someone to discuss the report but also to brief those students on September as they will be going to college for one day per week and starting their options courses. Our aim in doing this is to reduce their anxiety and help prepare for as smooth as start as possible in September.

Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to:


I continue to be proud of how all members of our wide community have worked together over these last couple of months.




Yours sincerely,




Phillip Potter



Update to families 26 06 2020