- Our work at the Oxford Children’s Hospital and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre had currently been put on hold at the request of the medical teams. Teaching at the Highfield Unit Oxford has been suspended. We are supporting long-term pupils via Google Classrooms and will post resources to support pupils on our website.
- We have suspended our work at Helen House Hospice.
- Our Outreach Teaching Service is continuing via phone calls, Google Classrooms and Adobe Connect. Please see our letters to parents and home schools explaining our current Outreach provision.
We work with children in hospitals, a hospice and in homes throughout Oxfordshire. Many of the children we work with have health conditions that put them at greater risk if contracting coronavirus. Our commitment to the safety of our vulnerable pupils puts us on high state of alert to the dangers of this new virus.
What are we doing to protect our pupils and staff?
- carefully monitoring advice from the Department for Education, Oxford Health Foundation NHS Trust, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxfordshire County Council.
- raising awareness amongst our staff of measures they can take to prevent the spread of the virus, in particular around personal hygiene and social distancing
- increasing the frequency of cleaning in our offices and classrooms
- minimising movement of staff between settings
- we have made plans to support all our pupil’s education in the event of school closures through online learning; more information will follow on this if it is necessary
We ask that parents of pupils in our Outreach Teaching Service assist us by:
- If your child is too unwell to participate in a lesson over the phone, please contact the OHS office to cancel the lesson;
- Responding to welfare checks made by our staff (by telephone or at a distance on the doorstep). This will help us to maintain an up to date record of the well-being of the pupils we teach;
Talking to you child about the situation
Many of the pupils will understandably become anxious. ‘Talking to children about illness’ from the British Psychological Society and ‘mental health considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak’ from the World Health Organisation may prove useful, in particular:
“Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours.”
More information on the effects of the situation on mental health can be found on the Oxfordshire Mind website.
Department for Education advice
UK Government COVID-19: guidance for educational settings
- General advice Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
- The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- difficulty in breathing
- COVID-19: guidance for education settings
- COVID-19: school closures
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people
- COVID-19: free school meals guidance
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): cancellation of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2020
- Advice from the Local Government Association on payments for staff in the event of absence related to the virus either through illness of isolation
- iHASCO information video
- Minister Vicky Ford’s open letter to the SEND sector 24th March 2020
Message sent on behalf of Oxford City Council:
Oxford City Council has set up a new emergency support service to help those in Oxford who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus measures. Families may find they are struggling now that the social distancing measures and the closure of many businesses have so radically changed our daily lives, and we want to highlight the support that is available for them.
The City Council’s contact centre now offers help for vulnerable residents to get support, whether that’s getting food bank deliveries, providing emergency baby supplies, help picking up prescriptions or tackling loneliness by connecting online with local people. The City Council has partnered with voluntary organisation Oxford Hub, which already works across the city delivering community projects, and has a bank of DBS registered volunteers to support the most vulnerable.
Support for pupils and their families is available online at www.oxford.gov.uk/communityassistance or call the contact centre on 01865 249 811
GCSEs, AS and A level awarding: summer 2020 – Ofqual Plans
Information for schools, students and parents on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.
The DfE have produced Guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers detailing their plans to award grades to pupils who would have been taking exams in the summer.