The government's advice now is that:
For the latest DFE advice please see:
Update: Tuesday 24/03 We are having to close the building now as several staff have had notification that they need to 'shield' and others are in isolation. Shielding staff will continue to run the online classrooms, phone calls, emails and skype services. We have two staff members available for home visits and drop offs in emergency circumstances. In addition the cleaning company can no longer provide us with cleaning services due to staff isolating.
When the unwell and isolating staff are back, we aim to be open to the children of key workers after Easter and to any families who can demonstrate that their child is too vulnerable to be at home.
We can't open over Easter due to essential building and maintenance works which had already been planned and scheduled. These include the creation of a kitchen, which will be essential moving forward if we are called upon to provide meals to vulnerable young people in our community. We will still be maintaining the online school, emergency drop-offs and well-being calls over Easter.
Answers to questions we have been asked:
If my child has an EHCP do they have to attend the onsite lessons after Easter, I'd prefer to keep them at home?
No, you have the same rights as other parents. However, the children in school after Easter will be working on the same online platform and we will need ALL students to register online by 11:00 am for safeguarding. We will also expect parents to participate in our well-being calls and checks which will happen as a minimum on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hannah will be continuging these calls throughout the Easter holidays. Remember Dr Vikki Petch, clinical psychologist, will still be on site on Mondays - it is important high risk and high anxiety children continue to access this service. Children attending will have to obey the social distancing rules that you can download above - several children on Monday found the school in these circumstances to be more anxiety inducing than being at home, please bear this in mind when making your decisions.
What if I have wider concerns - can I talk to the school about these too?
Yes, Hannah will be calling you at least 3 times a week to check on student participation and well-being, family issues and your basic needs - if you are struggling to find supplies for example, or struggling yourself - let her know. We can't guarantee we will be able to help with supplies, but we will try.
Student Question: What if my parents can't help me with school work?
We will not intentionally post exercises that require a lot of parental suppport, our programmes are intuitive and will change the difficulty level with your progress. If you are finding it too hard, email your teacher - there are other ways we can support you.
Student Question: I was due to take a functional skills exam, what will happen now?
We do not know if actual exams will take place at this stage. In case of exams being decided by 'course work' it will be very important that you continue with your workbooks and online evidencing of the level of your skills
Student Question: I'm really scared and worried, what should I do?
Keep talking to us - we can ring you if you need us to
Only look at reliable sources of information like the mainstream news channels
Do the maths - what % of the population are actually infected? remember most of you are not in high risk categories and would hopefully only get a mild version of the illness, if you get ill at all
Take control - you have 'power' over this; keep hand washing measures and social distancing up
Use your techniques - rememebr all the anxiety reducing techniques we have taught you and try to maintain exercise, even if it is following Joe Wicks exercises in the morning or doing air guitar in your bedroom
Keep taking part in school - maintaining your routine, keeping up your learning and talking to your friends is so very important
Remember it will all end - it is awful right now, but one day this event will be just a memory. You are stronger than you think you are.
SOURCES OF HELP
These services are not associated with us. We are not responsible for the quality of service they provide, we are recommending them based on the positive experiences of some young people known to us. By inclusion in this list nor are we suggesting that we are in any way affiliated with these servcies.
ANXIETY UK - Support, online counselling, magazine, advice
Text line: 07537416905
Info line: 03444775774
A magazine packed full of useful articles around not just ASD, but the mental health aspects associated with it - fascinating reading and lots of signalling to specialist support.
Website provides support for young people, professionals and parents. Young people who feel they are having a mental health crisis can get instant emergency support by texting YM to 85258
OCD UK - advice, online counselling, support and magazine. Dedicated youth services.
PAPYRUS - suicide prevention young people's hotline 0800 068 41 41
An eating disorder support service - smaller than some of the bigger associations, but specifically aimed at young people.