Ensuring a safe return to education
Schools and colleges are reopening from today (Thursday 2 September) and we’ve put together all the information parents, carers and pupils need to know to ensure a safe return to learning.
This includes what Covid-19 measures have been put in place at schools and how schools manage outbreaks, a section aimed at how young people can keep themselves and others safe and still enjoy life, and advice and guidance on mental health and wellbeing.
All pupils will be expected to attend school or college as normal, provided they do not have Covid-19 or are showing any symptoms of it.
Secondary and college-aged pupils are asked to take two tests at their school when they return. However, pupils who have tested positive on a PCR test in the last 90 days should not participate in the return to school testing, because it could show a false positive result.
University students will also be returning over the next few weeks and should ensure they’ve had their vaccinations and test before they go back.
Testing, testing – it’s still vital
It’s vital to keep testing ourselves for coronavirus.
If you haven’t taken a lateral flow coronavirus test before or you’d rather not do it yourself you can have one at a local pharmacy. Trained staff will be happy to assist with a test which will involve a swab of your nose and throat. You’ll receive the results by text. Visit our website to find a list of participating pharmacies in West Sussex. This is a drop-in service but we recommend you book first. This service is only available if you do not have coronavirus symptoms.
If you do test positive follow the rules on self-isolation – see more here.
Check out the latest local Covid-19 data here.
Remember we can all take simple steps to protect each other – hands, face, space, let fresh air in.
It’s really important for young people going to university in the autumn to get their jabs before they go.
Young people aged 16 and 17 can also have a vaccine now (and eligible 12-15 year olds too). They’ll be contacted to book an appointment or can attend some walk-in clinics. Find out more and read frequently asked questions here.
As of Tuesday 31 August 645,687 people over 18 in West Sussex have had one dose of the vaccine. That’s 86.2% of the population.
Book a chimney sweep to prevent fire
Last year West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service attended 77 chimney fires across the county.
Therefore, as part of the Chimney Fire Safety Week campaign, the service is urging residents to get their chimneys swept before the cold weather sets in.
Fire services across the country see a large increase in the number of chimney fires they attend during the winter months. This is because they have not been kept clean and are not safe to use.
Other chimney fire safety tips include:
- using fire or spark guards
- always extinguishing the fire before going to bed or leaving the house
- never blocking air bricks, vents or flues
always fitting a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm – it could save your life.
Could you become a foster carer?
A couple that fostered children through the county council retired recently after an incredible 56 years.
Over that time Pauline and Roger Fitter (pictured) cared for over 600 children and gained a reputation as carers who go above and beyond for children in their care, with exceptional skill, patience and warmth. Read their inspirational story here.
We’re looking for more foster carers to provide a safe, secure and loving environment to children facing a challenging time in their lives. If you’ve got lots of love to give and the determination to make a difference to a child, then we want to hear from you.
Fostering with the county council means you’ll be part of a large network of foster carers and receive fantastic training and support. We’ve also recently increased our financial allowances.
We hold monthly online information evenings, if you’d like to find out more. The next one is on Tuesday 14 September from 7 – 8pm – book now.
Secondary school applications open on Monday
From 9am on Monday morning (6 September) you can apply for your child to start Year 7 at secondary school in September 2022.
Interested in solar panels? Solar Together Sussex scheme is now open
We have launched a second round of the Solar Together Sussex scheme to help our residents reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs by fitting solar panels to their home.
The group buying scheme brings households together to install high quality solar panels and battery systems at a competitive price.
You can register for free and without obligation.
If you already have solar panels, you can register to have a battery storage system added so you can get the most out of the clean energy you generate.
Here’s how it works:
- Registration – the homeowner registers their interest in the scheme free of charge and without obligation. They provide some basic information about their roof, such as its size and orientation.
- Auction – a supplier ‘auction’ will be held on 28 September when approved solar installers will bid to supply solar panels to all the households who have registered their interest, with the most competitive bid winning. The more people that register, the better the deal should be for each household.
- Personal recommendation – from the start of October, those who have signed up will be emailed a personal recommendation and quote from the winning supplier. This is based on the roof details given during registration.
- Decision: Those who have signed up to the scheme will then need to decide if they want to accept the recommendation and quote. There is no obligation to continue. They will have until 26 November 2021 to decide.
Installation: If the recommendation and quote is accepted, the winning supplier will be in contact to survey the roof and set an installation date.
Helping reduce crime and anti-social behaviour
Our Community Safety and Wellbeing Team works with partner organisations to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across West Sussex.
The team is involved in a number of community safety issues including domestic abuse, sexual violence, staying safe online, hate incident reporting and modern slavery and human trafficking.
To keep up to date with community safety topics, including current support and advice, information on key campaigns and events taking place across the county, follow the team on social media via Facebook and Twitter and you can also sign up to their Community Safety E-newsletter, which comes out every six weeks.
Have your say on local issues
The Draft West Sussex Transport Plan (WSTP) details how we will approach managing and investing in the transport network from 2022 to 2036.
A webinar introducing the Draft Plan will take place on 8 September from 2-3.30pm via Microsoft Teams. Officers will also be available to respond to questions.
If you would like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other live consultations you can take part in:
- Improving mental health services in Sussex; closes Monday 6 September.
- A259 Chichester to Emsworth Walking and Cycling Improvements; closes Thursday 23 September.
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy; closes Thursday 30 September.
Spotted any faded lines or damaged road signs?
If you’ve noticed either then you can report them via our Love West Sussex app.