How to look after your family’s mental health when you’re stuck indoors
With schools closing and many adults working from home, families are going to be cooped up. It’s easy to get cabin fever when children who are used to running around the playground and hanging out with friends are stuck indoors with their parents.
Here are our tips for keeping everyone’s spirits up as much as possible as we self-isolate.
Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty
Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy
The advice remains the same for travellers returning from the lockdown areas of Italy, that you should self-isolate even if you are not showing symptoms. The advice for other parts of Italy has been expanded to cover the whole country: if you have returned from anywhere else in Italy outside of the lockdown areas, you should self-isolate if you develop symptoms and call NHS 111.
The latest travel guidance can be found here:
Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
To encourage students to undertake sufficient independent study, we use a system in College called VESPA. The information below shows what types of activity they can engage in to support their own self development. Students need to self-reflect, address their skills and knowledge gaps and make personal progress.
Parent Portal Absence Reporting
You can now report student absence via the Parent Portal until 10am for each day your son/daughter will be absent from College. Select ‘Report An Absence’ and complete the online form with the relevant details. You will receive an email confirming your request and then a further email informing you the request has been authorised. We will contact you if we have a query regarding your request. Please note the following -
Doctor’s/dentist appointments should be made when a student does not have timetabled classes
Absence needs to be reported for each day your son/daughter will not attend College
Online reporting will be open from midnight to 10am. If you need to contact the College regarding an absence outside of these times then please telephone Student Information on
Report an Absence
Please be aware that timetables will change at the start of term (as they always do) so please make sure that you check regularly to ensure that you have up-to-date information on when and where your classes are happening.
GCSE, AS and A level educational reforms in England
The rapidly changing landscape of education and the new grading of GCSE is quite a complex one to get your head around.
If you click on the link below it might help to answer questions that you have about A level and also that might be relevant if you have other children still in school
Mental health and wellbeing
I am sure you are aware of the growing issues and awareness raising of mental health and wellbeing in the UK and especially amongst young people. As a parent, I also understand that having a lack of information and support makes managing these issues for your own family sometimes difficult. You may be aware that today there was the launch of a campaign by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called ‘heads together’ supported by frank and open videos by a range of celebrities. The web link can be found here. https://www.headstogether.org.uk/
In addition, the organisation has something called ‘youngminds’ offering support and information. They also have information and a support line. You can find that information here. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/contact
Safeguarding including Prevent
As you know, safeguarding our young people and ensuring that we discharge our statutory duties is really important to us. We also provide a wide range of wrap around care, advice and guidance on a whole range of related issues throughout the year. If you are not aware, the PREVENT agenda is part of safeguarding and in December we had a British Values/Prevent day. As part of that day we practiced our Lockdown Procedure or Invacuation of the campus. Whilst students are very used to evacuating for fire, they have less exposure to the idea of Invacuating for certain circumstances when an evacuation could put more people in danger. Whilst the likelihood of such an event is very rare, even in a country like ours which remains on the alert of ‘severe’, we need to be prepared. We will be holding a further Invacuation drill before we break for Easter.