College Closure and Coronavirus Update 02.04.20

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

 Update 2nd April 2020


  1. Summary of Main Points
  •  Clyst Vale site is closed, except our Emergency Childcare Provision (ECP) for children of key workers (and deliveries, essential contractors, etc)·
  • ECP will run daily Monday to Friday 08.30 – 17.00 throughout the holidays (including Bank Holidays) and in term-time.
  • ECP moves to a booking system from tomorrow. Places for the next day can be booked until 9.00 p.m. the night before.
  • Clyst Vale site will also be closed on days when no students are booked in, to prevent unnecessary travel for staff
  • Parents can however contact us as normal, although we recommend e-mail
  • Teachers are working from home to set work on the day your child will have their lesson. This will resume on Tuesday 14th
  • Teachers are not expected to set work during what would have been the holiday period (March 30th to April 13th inclusive).
  • Free School Meals are being provided through weekly vouchers, and we have issued these in advance for the two-week holiday. We intend to join the Government voucher scheme as soon as possible.
  • School Transport is suspended. If you are a key worker and would like school transport, please contact on the day before you require transport (term-time only)
  • If you have any concerns, please contact the school and ask to speak to a Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mr Sutton, Mrs Albutt, Miss McConnachie or Mr A Pearce). If this is not possible please contact MASH, The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 155 1071.


           2. Government Guidance: NEW

3. Emergency Childcare Provision: NEW

  • We are fully committed to maintaining our offer to look after the children of key workers (secondary age group).
  • A separate e-mail will go to key worker parents today (02.04.20)
    • with information about an improved booking system, based on the parents’ evening booking system, open to 21.00 the day before childcare is needed
    • with confirmation of opening on Good Friday and Easter Monday
    • with confirmation of flexibility for drop-off and pick-up times
  • ECP will run daily Monday to Friday 08.30 – 17.00 throughout the holidays (including Bank Holidays) and in term-time. If no children attend, the College will close at 12.00 (until Friday 3rd April). From April 6th, if no students have pre-booked by the day before, the College will not open at all (we will have a contingency for exceptional overnight emergencies).
  • After the holiday period, we will consider extending the hours we are open if there is sufficient demand. Again, key worker parents will be contacted separately about this.


  1. Free School Meals
  •  The Government have announced the launch of the national voucher scheme for Free School Meals. We have decided to use it because with our semi-rural catchment other methods of providing FSM are complex and cannot possibly reach everyone.
  • We await basic details like the log-in, which was promised today.
  • Once we are set up, we will contact parents/carers of FSM to explain the system in more detail. It will be very similar to the voucher scheme we put into operation. A key difference is that the allowance will be £15 per child per week.
  • To make up this £3 difference, and to allow a week’s “slippage”, we hope to introduce the scheme from next Monday (6th April) on top of the £12 voucher which has already been received. It is not clear if the Government scheme will allow us to do this.


          5. Mental Health and On-line Safety: NEW

  • There are many, many on-line resources concerning mental health and on-line safety for young people during this lengthy period of social isolation. We will signpost ones for which we have knowledge, experience and recommendations.
  • There is a separate covid-19 page on the website under the “Parents” tab which will be updated regularly as further information and support becomes available (or use the C-19 button, top left of the screen)
  • The guidance to parents (2, above) has well-established and trusted links
  • Section 6.3 in the guidance has key links for on-line safety


  1. Online support for young people: NEW
  • Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust have developed a Coronavirus fact sheet for children: Information for children , and an animation to go with it. (Recommended by Devon County Council)
  • Kooth is a well-established web based safe, secure and confidential support service available to young people which we are pleased to signpost. Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. It also provides age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated articles, forums and discussion boards. To find out more visit You can also view a short video about the service here.


           7. Public Examinations

  • Ofqual expects to publish detailed information about the process for GCSEs, AS and A-levels this week (w/b 30th March). This will include the steps for teachers to follow and detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence available when submitting grades. By Easter, Ofqual will also outline the process for making sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as their proposals for appeals. The Department for Education has published a useful set of questions and answers about the special arrangements for this summer. [I have taken this from a letter from one of the examining boards, AQA]


  1. Trips and Visits
  • Year 7 Parents should see that they have been refunded for the cancelled visit to Chepstow Castle. If you haven’t been, and/or have any queries, please contact  Please note that the refunds may take 3-5 days to transfer.
  • Very sadly, but very much the right thing to do and no surprise to anyone, neither of the visits to Bude or the Belgian battlefields will be going ahead. Please do not make any more payments.
  • Parents WILL be refunded in full for payments made for these visits, but it is not clear exactly when this happen, because we are in discussions with the companies and our insurers. Clearly, this is your money, so this is a priority for us and we will keep you posted.





The following link is the government’s advice to schools, last updated 20th March

Guidance to Educational Settings About Covid-19


The next link is Devon County Council’s dedicated website for parents for Coronavirus advice


Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:

Phone: 0800 046 8687  Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)



Should you have any specific queries regarding Covid-19 and Clyst Vale, please e-mail Mrs Ann Hopkins (College Manager) on .

Kevin Bawn, Principal