Dear Parents and Carers

Covid-19 update 3, 2021

As news stories and speculation continue to circulate about mainstream schools and colleges possibly now not fully re-opening until Easter or even beyond, I thought it might be useful (and reassuring) for you to know that Oakley College remains fully open for all learners who are able and want to attend. We also continue to fully understand and respect the wishes of those learners who do not want to be in College at this stage of the pandemic and will continue to provide great learning at home with a variety of online sessions, activities and assignments for everyone.

For all staff and learners who are in College we are continuing to test for Covid-19 twice per week using the lateral flow tests the Government have provided to us. As I have said before, the tests are not full protection against the virus being brought inadvertently into College by an asymptomatic person, but the tests themselves are not dangerous or harmful in any way and do provide some early indication of infection, particularly if someone has a high viral load.

I said in my last update that, at the College, we are in for the long haul.  That is a phrase I have now heard being used by a Government minister or two and it is true – this is still going to be a long haul, despite the vaccination programme being rolled out over the coming weeks and months.

I can’t stop saying that all our staff are remarkable.  Their commitment, resilience, energy and cheerfulness continue despite dealing with their own life demands, pressures and concerns.  However, it is also very true that “we are all in this together”.  Every one of us face challenges and the ebb and flow of emotions related to the impact of Covid-19 in our lives.

So, I continue to pay tribute to all our staff and trustees, but I also sincerely pay tribute to you.  Parents and carers with children and young people at home all day, everyday face enormous difficulties and the silver linings can be hard to find – especially as the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months and soon, the months turn into a year of Covid, since it first hit Italy and headlines in February last year.

So, thank you again for your patience and understanding as we strive to be the best that we can be for our young people.  I know that you are striving in the same ways and overcoming your own challenges too.  So please be kind to each other, talk and communicate with each other and with wider family and friends.  Stay strong and realistically hopeful, as together we will beat this and will emerge on the other side of this lengthy pandemic.

We will keep in weekly contact with you but, if you have any concerns at all, do contact us at office@oakley.ac.uk or call 01732 207950, or see our website for links to a very extensive and helpful list of support agencies and groups.  Our website also has links that illustrate some of the many great things that continue at the very wonderful Oakley College 😊.

Best wishes

Gordon Tillman, CEO

N.B. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and haven’t received your letter of invitation for vaccination yet, you should now contact your G.P.