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Coronavirus update

30th March 2020 - Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

I wanted to email you all to say Hello and reassure you that you are not forgotten. 

Whether you are a family using the school building or you are home based you are equally important to us whilst our community is operating under such strange circumstances. 

School Offer 

We have a very small number of children who are currently accessing the school, based on the guidelines issued by the government.These are mainly key worker children who have no other child care arrangements.

We are aware that this will be difficult for those of you who are at home but it is helping us to protect those who are in school by keeping numbers low. We have to support the government and the NHS in saving lives and stopping the spread of Covid 19. 

We will review the number of pupils in school with the Governors and will try to balance our wish to support families who need it with the requirements for everyone to self-isolate and reduce the spread of the virus.


You should all have been contacted regularly by your child's class teacher (if they are well), one of the class team or one of the Deputy Heads if they are not.

Home learning support should also have arrived. Please be aware that there is no pressure to complete this with your child. We recognise that for some children home is home and school is work and they will struggle to manage a change. Please do not put yourselves or your child under pressure to do any work if that is something they struggle with. If you need more work/ activities or advice email the class teacher or your Head of Primary/ Secondary. 

Our school website also has resources to access. 


Karen Parker, our Family Support Worker, has been phoning parents to check in and see how they are. If you would like a call from Karen please email her on karenparker@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk and she will put you on her list. 

All of the leadership team are available for email or phone support for areas not related to your child's learning so email in the first instance as the school office is not always staffed.

  • rachelburstow@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk (Head Teacher) 
  • marinabrewerton@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk (Deputy Head leading on Wellbeing and Safeguarding)
  • megandavies@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk (Head of Primary)
  • clarelanghorne@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk (Head of Secondary).

Depending on who is available, one of us will contact you or pass it on to whoever we think best to answer. 

Free School Meals 

If you are entitled to free school meals and you would like a paked lunch delivered to your house daily please email sarahchaston@hillpark.brighton-hove.sch.uk

If you have already requested then you do not need to reply again. The Local Authority is looking at a voucher scheme longer term but until then we can provide a packed lunch. 

Food Delivery 

We are aware that some families are having difficulty getting online shopping slots and it is tricky to observe social distancing if you have to take your child shopping with you. This link was in the Argus detailing local companies that might be able to deliver food. https://t.co/xdGG3qDAtP

If you continue to have difficulties, please contact us as we might be able to help in an emergency.

Medical and Therapist Support (Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy and Physiotherapy) 

If you have any queries regarding therapies or medical issues for your child then please email the therapist or contact Seaside View. If you do not have contact details we can forward your email on. 

Kind regards

Rachel Burstow

Executive Headteacher

Hill Park School

The Hangleton & Knoll Parent Carer Group

A friendly group inspired and led by local parents

Dear Hangleton and Knoll Parent/Carer Group

We hope you and your families are keeping as well as you can in these difficult circumstances.
Unfortunately, following the latest directives from the Government and the NHS we have decided to cancel any coffee morning for the foreseeable future.
We are very sorry about this as we are going to miss seeing you, we hope things will go back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible and we will keep you updated on this.
In the meantime, We are here for you!

You can contact Paolo by email paolo@paccbrighton.org.uk or by texting/calling 07484 051753. Paolo will be checking my emails and phone messages on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

You can contact Claire by email claire.johnson@hkproject.org.uk or by calling
01273 410858 (Mon-Fri) (Calls currently being diverted to Claire's mobile)

We are looking at how we can keep in touch with you through social media and perhaps by running online info sessions and will update you on this as soon as we can.

Below are links to some useful information.
1)      Amaze statement on Coronavirus 17.03.20 https://amazesussex.org.uk/amaze_news/amaze-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19/

2)      FAQs about the coronavirus for parent carers of children with SEND

That's all for now but please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you need to.
Warm wishes
Paolo, Claire and the Hangleton and Knoll Parent Carer Group Committee



22nd March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers, 

I wanted to write to update you on what is happening at our school. The situation last week changed daily both in terms of the national picture and what was directly affecting us. However it has become clear over the weekend that we as a school community, need to be increasing our steps to protect both pupils, their families and staff.

I feel that I would be failing in my role as Head if I did not make you aware of the government document revised on the 20th March to include children.


Any child with the following conditions should stay at home for the next 12 weeks :

·       chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthmachronic obstructive pulmonary disease    (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis

·       chronic heart disease, such as heart failure

·       chronic kidney disease

·       chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis

·       chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s diseasemotor neurone diseasemultiple sclerosis (MS)

·       a learning disability or cerebral palsy

·       diabetes

·       problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed

·       a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

·       being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)

There are some clinical conditions which will put your child at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. We know that some parents have been contacted by their consultants and have spoken to us.

Children falling into this group are:

·       people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication

·       people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy

·       people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment

·       people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)

·       people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

I understand that the Government announcement regarding pupils with an EHCP has caused confusion and an expectation that we cannot meet. The list of medical conditions requiring people to stay at home for 12 weeks covers all of our pupils, so the EHCP comment contradicts this. 

The landscape has shifted dramatically over the weekend and we are now offering emergency childcare only to key workers who are actively working and a very small number of high social care needs pupils.

Staffing levels are currently at 48%, and the majority of the self-isolating staff will not be returning for at least 12 weeks.

The Local Authority has offered 3 specialist teachers from the BHISS service who we have gladly accepted, but these staff do not know our children and it will only be successful if there are enough Hill Park staff to support them. 

This is a pandemic of a very serious illness and normality cannot continue across the world at the moment. 

I completely understand the impact of your child being at home, they need routine and this will cause some distress, and for many parents it will be a difficult and challenging time. However, we cannot provide a service without adequate staffing and if your child is on the self-isolating list of conditions, they should not be in school. 

We would also ask parents whose children can be at home with you, to keep them at home. The advice is not to go out unless you have to and we would ask you to respect this by not sending your children into school if you can keep them at home. For the immediate future we are viewing ourselves as an emergency service to children of parents who have to go to work to keep the country running and who don’t have any alternative child care provision.

We are currently having to prioritise key worker children who are not ill being in school, as their parents do not have the choice to keep them at home, they need to keep essential services going for our country.

We are then offering places where we can to families with other vulnerabilities, which we are working with social care with to achieve.

This does not mean that all other families are not seen as needing school or support, we would never think that of any family, but we are in a crisis situation of only being able to offer minimal support.

We texted parents on Friday to let them know that their child has a place in school on Monday, if you did not receive a text you should keep your child at home. Unfortunately, we are likely to have to revise provision already due to staff numbers but will let you know as soon as we can on Monday.

Staff who have had to go home and self-isolate have been distressed at leaving our school community abruptly, without a timescale, and without any emotional preparation. I have reassured staff that whether they are here at school or staying at home we are all doing our bit to fight this virus and support our country. Not one person has wanted to go and they will be working at home while they are well enough to do so.

I will continue to update you and reassure you that everyone here is doing their best for as many children as possible, all of your children and you as families are equally precious and important to us.

However the latest advice from the government is to self-isolate wherever possible and we will have to enforce that in the coming weeks to protect everyone and their families. 

Kind Regards,

Rachel Burstow 





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