Dear Parents/ Carers,

I hope you are all safe and well and had a happy and relaxing Christmas as possible within the current guidelines.

At the end of the autumn term, I wrote to you to confirm plans for the Spring term remain unchanged.

Over this holiday there have been a number of changes:

  1. West Sussex has been moved into Tier 4. Practically: This means clinically extremely vulnerable staff and students should not attend college. It also creates strict childcare rules which will impact on staffing.
  2. I took part in a briefing with the DFE regarding the roll out of mass testing in secondary schools. They have released some planning information for this, and this suggests that I need 11 additional staff to run a testing regime at Oak Grove. Obviously we need full consent, the room, the equipment and a transport plan for this to work alongside discussing this with families.
  3. There are concerns over the new Covid 19 strain being more easily transmitted meaning that further mitigation action may be needed.

I am aware that the Secretary of State for Education has just spoken and made some announcements. I have had no advance information about this statement and the detail is not yet on the government website. It is also likely that we need to take advice from other services who support special schools.

I will write to you to confirm the plan as soon as I can. I aim to give you as much notice as possible.

My key message is that we need to plan for all eventualities and that whatever the media headlines, the nuances, the plans for special schools will be different.

Please be assured that the health and safety of the whole Oak Grove community is my first priority.

With every best wish for a Happy and Healthy New year.

Yours sincerely

Phillip

Letter to Parents – 30th December

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