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Over 5,000 Crawley pupils invited to huge careers fair at K2 Crawley

More than 5,000 secondary school pupils in Crawley can plan their next steps after school, at an exciting careers fair organised by Crawley Borough Council and Crawley College.

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This year’s event is sponsored by Thales, St Modwen Homes and Kier Construction and pupils will have access these three companies among a range of businesses, universities, colleges, community groups and training providers, who will be on hand to showcase possible careers paths on Thursday 3October, from 10am until 4pm at K2 Crawley.

From 4-6pm, the event will be open to parents, college students and the general public who are either looking for work or for a career change.

Professionals will be there to offer attendees advice, support and guidance in navigating the world of work or discuss the pathways into further education.

Crawley’s employment hub, Manor Royal Business District, is also supporting this year’s event alongside SLN:COP, Coast to Capital LEP, the Careers & Enterprise Company and West Sussex County Council.

Continuing this, Vicki Illingworth, Principal at Crawley College, said:

“It’s so important to ensure young people in our community here in Crawley have access to high quality careers information, advice and guidance, as they start thinking about their futures.

“There are a huge range of opportunities available to them, and it’s our job to help them aspire to dream big and then work with them to help them reach their goals.

“That’s why we are once again supporting the K2 Careers Fair, an event which will give so many pupils a chance to talk to inspiring industry experts who will help them prepare for their next steps.”

Head of STEM Education and Partnerships at Thales, Eve Maywood, said:

“Thales is passionate about being part of the K2 Careers Fair as it is such an inspiring event that allows young people to make informed decisions about their future careers.

“Supporting young people within the Crawley community is vital as events like these gives them the chance to learn about employers, businesses and opportunities within their region.”

For local residents, the council’s own Employ Crawley Team will be there from 4pm, offering long-term support for those looking for work or training opportunities. For more information about the event, email employment&skills@crawley.gov.uk

Education

‘Reckless’ National Education Union attacks West Sussex Council over schools reopening

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The National Education Union has spoken out saying they have been frustrated by the ‘reckless’ approach they say West Sussex County Council has taken towards the safety of its members on the matter of schools re-opening more widely.

Joint NEU West Sussex Branch Secretary Ann Seuret said:

“It is disappointing that the local authority has referred to a ‘phased re-opening’ because schools have been open throughout the lockdown, where our members have been working on the front line, providing a vital service for vulnerable children and those of key-workers whilst they protect us from this awful disease.”

They say that contrary to the views expressed by some politicians in the county, The National Education Union is consulting on a wider re-opening of schools and is using a detailed checklist endorsed by the other education unions, which follows the structure of the government’s own guidance, to do so. They add that every school needs to consult in good time to fulfil its statutory obligations, and many are only at the beginning of that process.

It has now been confirmed to the NEU that many schools in West Sussex will NOT open more widely on June 1st despite the council claiming that they will. This follows widespread concern from heads in West Sussex wanting reassurances from government.

NEU Regional Officer, James Ellis said:

“The National Education Union wants children to return to school as soon as possible, but only when it is safe. Our five tests set out some reasonable criteria by which to measure this, and they have not been met. We still do not know the rate of infection (the R rate) in the county, or whether or not children are less likely than adults to pass on the infection. Schools are not able to keep children two metres apart, and this is acknowledged in the government guidance. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has concluded that there is no evidence that age affects the likelihood of being infected with Covid19, so we cannot understand why children are not required to social distance. Whilst testing has been increased nationally, our members are not confident that the ability yet exists across West Sussex to isolate cases and successfully contact, track, and trace them. This system just isn’t ready yet, and so we believe West Sussex County Council is acting too hastily. This stands in marked contrast to other councils who are taking a more cautious approach to only open more widely when the scientific data shows it is safe to do so. Despite this recklessness many West Sussex schools are sensibly deciding that 1st June is too soon.”

Primary schools in West Sussex which have already confirmed they will not yet open more widely on June 1st include:

  • all schools run by The University of Brighton Academies Trust: Lindfield, Blackthorns, Holmbush, Pound Hill, Desmond Anderson, and it’s secondary: Burgess Hill Academy
  • all schools run by The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT): Broadfield Primary Academy, Hilltop Primary School, Portfield Primary Academy, Seal Primary Academy, Seymour Primary School, Tangmere Primary Academy, The Bewbush Academy, The Mill Primary Academy, The Oaks Primary School,  and it’s secondaries: Chichester High School,  Thomas Bennett Community College and The Academy, Selsey,
  • Southgate Primary School


In addition, Headteachers at Crawley Secondary Schools: Ifield Community College, Holy Trinity School, St Wilfrid’s, Oriel High School Hazelwick and The Gatwick School
– have taken the unusual step of issuing a joint statement.

In it they said:

“As a group of secondary Headteachers of the schools in Crawley we have unanimously agreed that no students will be in school (other than those for childcare) any earlier than 15th June… We have come to this position in order to act responsibly for the welfare of the school and local community.”

NEU West Sussex Joint Branch Secretary and Health and Safety Officer, Anne Barker said:

“For the National Education Union it is not about an arbitrary date, but uppermost in our considerations is the safety of our members, the children in their care, and their families. The statutory obligations of employers to meaningfully consult on risk assessments is clear.

This means there has to be enough time to explain the issues to our members, time for them to consider and make informed responses, and time for employers to take into account their response before making a final decision.

We are ready to do that on the basis of our five tests and our checklist, but schools must let go of this arbitrary June 1st date. Mr Ellis added, “If schools do push ahead to open more widely on June 1st we will advise members that we do not believe it is safe for them to attend work and that we are not satisfied that the employer has met their obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act. Any member subjected to a detriment as a consequence of not attending work will be vigorously defended by our union.”

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