20th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers 

Covid-19

RE: Important Update: Telephone calls this morning (please note we will call you)

The guidance on maintaining educational provision came out overnight. I have summarised the information from the government below as I thought it would be helpful for you to have before we talk to you.

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.

The core principles are as follows:

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

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

The guidance is clear that if you work in one of the specified areas your children’s education will be prioritised.

  • 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

There are details of what specific roles within this are covered which we will explain when we ring.

In relation to children with EHCPs the guidance is that provision should be provided within the context that if at all possible children should be at home.

The whole community has been advised to socially distance which means we cannot all be in school at once and we need to consider the welfare of the whole community.

Our staffing numbers have decreased again so we also need to prepare what will be practical.

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

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.

Thank you for all of your support through this. I really appreciate it.

We will be in touch soon

Kindest regards

Catriona Goldsmith

 

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