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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

Council announce service changes as Crawley moves to Tier 4

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With Crawley being placed under tier 4 restrictions from Boxing Day, several Crawley Borough Council buildings and services will close or operate differently.

The Town Hall, which is now closed for the Christmas and New Year holiday, will remain closed from Monday 4 January until further notice.

Despite this, the councils services will continue to operate and will be providing additional services for the most vulnerable residents and distributing the latest round of grants to local businesses once they have received guidance from the government.

With the Town Hall closed, there are several ways to continue to access council services.

Visit crawley.gov.uk for service information and my.crawley.gov.uk for access to rubbish and recycling updates for your home, your Council Tax account and our extensive library of forms.

To pay by debit or credit card you can do so online at crawley.gov.uk/payments, over the phone by calling our automated payments line on 01293 438312 or at your bank.

The full list of changes is:

  • The Town Hall closed to the public at 4pm on Wednesday 23 December
  • K2 Crawley and the Broadfield 3G pitch will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve
  • The Bewbush Centre Gym will close at 2pm on Christmas Eve
  • Tilgate Nature Centre will close on Christmas Eve
  • Community centres will be closed and only open for pre-schools and crèches if schools are closed
  • The Hawth will close on Christmas Eve after the performances of the pantomime and A Christmas Carol. The pantomime has been filmed and will be available to watch on The Hawth’s website at hawth.co.uk
  • The Employ Crawley Youth Hub will continue to operate with virtual appointments from 4 January. To arrange an appointment call 07814 903871 / 07909 730956 or email employcrawley@crawley.gov.uk
  • All public toilets will close except the toilets next to the car park at Tilgate Park. All toilets will remain accessible to people with a Radar Key
  • Tennis courts and multi-use games area will only remain open for use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.

Waste, recycling and garden waste collections will continue, although these will be on different dates due to Christmas and New Year.

To find your dates and to download your 2021 calendar visit crawley.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/household-collections/collection-days

Pest control and housing repairs will continue as they have over the past few months. All council play areas and outdoor gyms will remain open although as resources for cleaning them are limited they are to be used at people’s own risk.

Applications for tier 4 business grants will open shortly. More details about how to apply will be published when the council receives guidance from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“We all must do everything we can to help reduce transmission, the sooner we can get rates back under control the sooner we can return to normal, and that includes local authorities.

“While all council workers will continue to work hard for the town through this period, some facilities will have to close and the way we deliver others will have to change in order to help stop the pandemic spreading.”

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