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Council aims for phased return of pupils from 1st June as schools show support

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West Sussex County Councol say they are continuing to work closely with West Sussex schools to support a phased return of pupils in a safe and managed way.

They say that detailed discussions have been held with school and academy representatives and unions to consider the government’s position that schools should begin to reopen from next month.

The council say their aim is for the phased return to start from 1 June , in line with national guidance and that schools are showing support for this approach.

But despite this, a letter has been sent out saying that Secondary Heads across Crawley (not including Thomas Bennett Community College) are not considering allowing children back before the 15th June.

Schools’ individual risk assessments are identifying how they can best manage this and maintain the safety of their pupils and staff. Priority places will continue to be given to children who are vulnerable, those with Education Health and Care Plans and the children of key workers across all year groups.

The council is also asking schools to prioritise disadvantaged pupils and those who have limited access to online resources in both primary and secondary schools.

It means that the way schools will manage the return of different year groups will vary across the county and may mean that not all of the specified year groups will go back to school at the same time.

Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“I would like to thank all of the teachers and school staff across West Sussex who continue to work tirelessly for their pupils. I am also extremely grateful to the children, parents and carers who have adapted so well in very difficult circumstances.

“We are supporting schools to plan for a phased reopening in a safe and managed way for all pupils and staff.

“Throughout the lockdown, our education team has worked together with headteachers, governors and unions. The number of children, including those who are vulnerable, attending school during this period has been above the national average. Everyone involved in education in West Sussex wants what’s best for our children – to keep them safe and keep them learning.”

Coronavirus

Crawley Council confirms 16 cases of COVID-19 with a link to Southgate pub

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Crawley Council has now confirmed that an outbreak of Covid-19 at The Downsman pub in Crawley earlier this week is now being handled by Public Health England who have been organising contact tracing of staff and customers.

They confirm there are now 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus with a link to the pub and say that while this is a relatively small number and may not be the definite source of infection for all these cases, they are asking people to take action to ensure the virus does not spread further.

But some confusion still remains over why a single day, where one person who visited the Downsman and who has subsequently contracted Coronavirus, is exempt from people having to self-isolate. Crawley Council said they were looking into more detail over why this advice had been given to them.


A spokesperson for Crawley Borough Council said:

“If you were in The Downsman pub between 9 and 18 July (excluding the 16July) please self-isolate for 14 days from the date of your last visit.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate and get tested. Symptoms include a high temperature, new continuous cough and a loss or change in your sense of taste and smell.

If you develop symptoms your household contacts will also be required to self-isolate. More information on self-isolation is available on the NHS website.

If you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, you will need to complete your 14-day isolation period even if you test negative. There is detailed guidance on the NHS website.

In order to arrange a free test, please visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

A testing site is based in Crawley until 28 July; there is also a testing centre at Gatwick Airport. For more information about testing then please visit the government website.

West Sussex County Council Public Health and Public Health England confirmed they are continuing to monitor the situation and will organise contact tracing for any further identified cases who may have visited the pub.

For more information and advice visit crawley.gov.uk/coronavirus, westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus and let’s Keep Crawley Safe.

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