Parents, pupils and teachers of Kingslea and Heron Way schools were looking forward to partially re-opening for more students next week. But at the last second, WSCC have rejected their plans, even though they’ve known about them for weeks.
The schools intended to provide at least some teaching for all year groups. But West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is insisting that they must provide full time schooling for every Yr 1 and 6 pupil, before they offer anything to any other year. In practice, this would mean Kingslea and Heron Way would have to exclude most if not all pupils for the years in between. It’s likely the same thing will happen in other schools.
Government guidance on what is acceptable is very unclear – reportedly, even MP Jeremy Quin thought the plans followed the guidance!
Whether or not it is sensible for some students to receive full time teaching for six weeks, while others get none, the fact is that WSCC should have made it clear weeks ago. Huge efforts have been made and additional costs incurred to get the schools ready – all gone to waste. Government and WSCC advice has been patchy, vague, and often late.
Certainly, COVID-19 is a terrific challenge – but this isn’t the way to meet it!