Coronavirus Update

Arrangements for the start of term, January 2021


Arrangements for the start of term

Dear Parent or Guardian,

I trust you have had a pleasant, if somewhat different, break over the festive season.

I wrote to you on 21st December outlining the government’s plans for coronavirus testing in schools in the New Year. You may have heard the announcement from the government on Wednesday that the start of term for secondary school pupils will be staggered with some pupils coming into schools from 11th January but most pupils not starting until 18th January. This is to give schools time to get their testing programme up and running.

Hospital and Outreach Education is an Alternative Provision (AP) Academy. Although not mentioned in most media coverage, the most recent guidance from the government states that:

“All secondary age children and young people in … AP who want to attend their education setting should be allowed to attend from the first day of term”

and goes on to say

“Schools have the option of agreeing with parents that individual pupils can stay at home. This could help to support … AP to mobilise the mass testing programme in the first week of term. The aim should be that all pupils in special schools and AP are back in school by the second week of term (on or after 11 January 2020).”

Since the end of the first national lockdown the government has rightly prioritised children’s education over other measures to control the spread of the virus. Pupils attending alternative provisions like ours have typically already missed much education due to their medical conditions and we all want to minimise further disruption to their schooling. We do though have an enormous logistical task to undertake next week to organise testing for staff and pupils. We have taken the decision to change our plans for Monday’s INSET day so we can focus our efforts on understanding the requirements for testing and how this is going to be implemented across the seven locations that make up our provision.

A member of our staff will contact you by phone on Monday to discuss the individual circumstances of your child and family and how these affect your choice over your child’s start date for the new school year.

I will be in a position to update you more precisely late on Monday afternoon but hope that we will be able to open the Delapre Learning Centre in Northampton and The Gatehouse in Kettering to those pupils who wish to attend from Thursday 7th January. Remote learning will take place on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th until pupils are able to attend in person. On Monday I will also be updating you with more information on the offer of testing and on opportunities to ask questions including an additional Parent Time session devoted to this topic.

It is worth reiterating that testing is voluntary. We believe this testing programme is a good idea to:

  • help safeguard the health of our staff and pupils
  • break chains of transmission of the virus
  • keep HOE open and hence
  • ensure as many pupils as possible are receiving high quality, face-to-face education

However, no child or young person will be tested unless informed consent has been given by the appropriate person and no pupil will be prevented from receiving face-to-face education if for any reason they are not tested.

Thank you for your patience, and all best wishes for a quiet and safe New Year.


Yours faithfully

James Shryane



Arrangements for teaching and learning during the current lockdown

You will all have been contacted about whether you wish your child to attend one of our centres or not. If they are coming in for face to face teaching, we ask that you support us in ensuring that your child follows all of the procedures and protocols that are in place, inline with government guidance e.g. regarding hand washing and social distancing. 

If your child is accessing their learning remotely, they should have been provided with equipment and instructions about how to log into live lessons each day, which are continuing to be delivered by our staff. If you or your child are having any issues, then please contact your leader of learning in the first instance.  Your child may also have activities to complete independently.

More information about our remote learning offer can be found  here :-

 There is a consultation regarding arrangements for this year’s external exams such as GCSEs due out this week, and we will keep you informed as and when we know more. It remains important that if your child is due to take exams this year, that you encourage them to attend and complete their work as if the exams were taking place until we have more information.

 Hospital and Outreach Education will be maintaining their safeguarding responsibilities, even if your child is learning remotely. Please see the appendix to our safeguarding policy which outlines the procedures we have put in place  here :-

We understand that your child may be feeling anxious. The information from the World Health Organisation may be useful as it is factual and their advice is:  

“Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours.”

There is also some useful information in this booklet from health colleagues which you can also find  here :-

Finally, make sure you take good care of yourself during these uncertain times. If you are feeling anxious yourself, please contact your family liaison worker and she will be able to point you to where you can access help. These are unprecedented times and we all need to support each other – we will get through it!

 Any further enquiries, please use our email address and the message will get passed on. 

Please take care of yourselves, and your families – follow the rules and stay safe and I hope it will not be too long before we see some sort of normality again.


For any further information
please contact us on
01604 662250

Delapre Learning Centre
Alton Street

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