***Update from Mark Wignall*** 19.03.2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

As I am sure you are aware, Downlands will close at the end of school on Friday following instruction from the government.  At present we have no information to suggest when the school will re-open.

Tomorrow, only year 7 and 10 should attend school as usual and should clear out lockers and take home any belongings. We will be holding a year 11 Leavers assembly between 11.30 and 1pm – a separate letter has been sent to parents of year 11 students outlining the details.

There will be an opportunity for year 8 and 9 students to clear their lockers unless they have a sibling in school who can do it for them. The timetable for this will be as follows:

Year 9 – assemble on the playground at 9.15am

Year 8 – assemble on the playground at 10.15am


Students do not need to attend in uniform. Staff will meet students, take them to lockers and the escort them off site.

From Monday, the vast majority of students will complete work at home as outlined in previous communications this week. Teachers will continue to plan and prepare lessons following student timetables and these lessons will be emailed to students before 9am each morning. Students are expected to complete this work. Please see the following link for our expectations of parents, staff and students http://www.downlands.w-sussex.sch.uk/2020/03/school-closure-advice/

Also from Monday the school will be open only for the children of key workers and also vulnerable students, including those with EHCP’s and any students with social workers. In the absence of government guidance we are using the following list of key workers:


– All NHS staff

– All carers

– Police and civilian staff

– Fire service

– Schools and nurseries

– Those employed in the retail industries in food shops and delivery only

– Manufacturers of specialist equipment for the NHS

– Prison staff

– Probation staff

– Local authority planners

I will update the list if government guidance differs from the above. If you feel that you are a key worker in a group not listed above, please email office@downlands.w-sussex.sch.uk

We will shortly be asking parents to let us know if they are key workers and we will be contacting parents of vulnerable children. We will also need to know to what extent they require the school to provide child care. Please do not contact the school – we will be in touch. As part of this exercise it will be important for parents to let school know whether pupils are attending as our plans will be contingent on numbers of students in school. Whilst the school remains open we will maintain a full complement of key staff including first aiders, cleaners, site staff, teachers, teaching assistants and safeguarding staff. The safety of students will continue to be our first priority.

We will also contact parents involved to explain our approach to lessons and the temporary curriculum we will implement.

Please take care at this difficult time. I will continue to communicate important information with you.

Yours sincerely


Mark Wignall