Firstly, I hope that you and all of your family are well and enjoyed what you could of the Festive Season.
Following yesterday’s announcements by the Government it is with great regret that I write to inform you that, following the latest Government guidelines, Oakley College will not be able to reopen for learners until Monday January 11th at the earliest. The reason we cannot open is that to reduce the spread of Covid-19 infection in the community and, of course, to keep our learners and staff as safe as possible, we need to adapt our premises, receive lateral flow testing equipment and specialist PPE. We then need to train some staff in the use of the testing equipment and train all staff in the new protocols surrounding recording and reporting cases of Covid-19. We also need to digest and implement a raft of Government, NHS and Department for Education information.
We are, once again, in a complex and rapidly changing situation. As always, we will continually monitor the guidance from the Government and Department for Education, as well as information from a wide variety of other agencies and sources and will keep you updated as soon as anything significant changes. We will also let you know, as soon as we are clear about any Government guidance about vaccinations for College learners and staff.
We remain committed to opening fully as soon as it is safe to do so and I will update you again on Wednesday January 6th 2021 (when term was due to start) to confirm the arrangements that we will be making for the week beginning January 11th.

Whilst we are not yet in a position to fully risk assess the emerging situation (further Government guidance is expected later today and early next week) it is likely that, to minimise risks to all of our learners and staff, not everyone will be able to be in College until later in January. If this is the case, we will re-start our learning at home provision on January 11th for those affected. The Government have already stated that all clinically extremely vulnerable learners are asked to stay at home whilst we are in tier 4.

Safeguarding of our young people is our top priority, so if you have any concerns about any safeguarding issues, please see our website for who to contact:
https://www.oakley.ac.uk/safeguarding/
Please also be vigilant and do all that you can at home to make sure that your son or daughter stays safe online at all times.

On behalf of all of our staff and Trustees, I can only say that we are hugely disappointed to be in this situation and are very aware of the impact not being able to physically open on January 6th will have on you and your family. We all look forward to the time when we can safely re-open for everyone.
In the meantime, stay safe and well. Thank you for your patience and understanding – I will update you again on January 6th unless there is a need to do so before then.

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Tillman

CEO, Oakley College