Education Support Centre
Courage | Pride | Resilience

Information on home testing

COVID-19 information

Important Updates


UPDATE 11 September 2021

A joint letter to parents of secondary school and college students in England on Covid19 testing and vaccines from the Secretaries of State for Education and for Health and Social Care - To read, please click here

In addition there are some frequently asked questions they have put together. They can be viewed by clicking here


UPDATE 20 September 2021

A letter from Director of Public Health, Prof Jim McManus regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for 12-15 year olds - to read please click here


UPDATE 18 January 2021

Open Letter from Jenny Coles, Director of Children’s Services, to all Parents and Carers of Children and Young People with SEND regarding Education Provision in Schools. This letter will give you information about how Hertfordshire Schools are working to meet your child’s needs in these difficult times. 

UPDATE 6 January 2021

UPDATE 24 September 2020

Please see the letter for parents from the Director of Public Health.

UPDATE 23 September 2020

Please see the latest important letter to parents from NHS Track and Trace.

UPDATE 4 September 2020

 Please click on the link to see the latest letter to parents and carers explaining the arrangements for the start of the new school year. 

UPDATE 24 June 2020

Please click on the link below to see the latest guidance on staying safe outside our homes. We need to use these principles set out in the guidance wherever and whenever appropriate.

UPDATE 19 June 2020

As we get to the end of another busy and successful week I thought I should provide an update of the additional safety measures we are talking to ensure the safety of all staff, students and visitors.

The Leadership Team review our risk assessment on a weekly basis to ensure it takes account of growing numbers on site and also the changing guidance from the government.

There are visual prompts throughout the centre to remind staff and students to maintain social distancing, to maintain good hygiene and to be alert. All students, staff and visitors to the centre have their temperature taken prior to entering the building and anyone with a reading of 37.8 or above will have to leave the site immediately. There are additional hand sanitising stations and all surfaces in classrooms are sanitised before and after each class. There is an additional cleaning schedule in place to ensure that all surfaces and contact points are cleaned throughout the day and all bins are regularly emptied. A new medical room has been set up to deal with any suspected cases of coronavirus on site and we have a full stock of PPE for any staff who need to break the 2 meter social distancing guidance to provide first aid. In addition to all of the above, we have hand washing stations being installed in our outdoor spaces to assist with keeping good hand hygiene between lessons.

We have taken the decision to reduce the number of visitors to the centre and would ask that you make an appointment prior to attending. If it is necessary for you to attend the centre, you will be required to have your temperature taken prior to entering the building and also use the hand washing/sanitising facilities.

I am pleased to inform you that we have extended our support for year 11 students throughout the summer holidays and beyond. From Monday, we will be making contact with you to share our plan to continue to support year 11s on a weekly bases throughout the summer holidays and up to the point that they are successfully engaged in their post 16 programme. 


On a final note, I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support throughout this challenging time. 

UPDATE 27 May 2020

Please see the joint statement below from Mr Michael Jones, Chair of the South West Hertfordshire Secondary School Headteachers.

Letter from Mr Michael Jones, Chair of SWHSSH

UPDATE 18 May 2020

Youth webinar - The COVID-19 webinar for Hertfordshire young people took place on Thursday 14 May 2020.

A recording of the this webinar is now available to view in the link below:


For families who feel they would like to have access locally to food supplies please see the information below:

Watford & Bushey Covid-19 Mutual Aid (W3RT) HOLYWELL HUB DETAILS

When: Every Wednesday

Time: 11:00-1:00 pm

Where: Holywell Community Centre, Tolpits Lane, Watford WD18 9QT


UPDATE 11 May 2020

Schools and Families Advice Line (SFAL) Launched


The ‘Schools and Families Advice Line’ (SFAL) is a new service established by Herts Community NHS Trust to provide emotional wellbeing advice and early help to children and young people, school staff and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be really worrying when you, or someone you know is going through a difficult time. If you feel this service could help, please call their Single Point of Access (SPA) who will take your details before passing them onto their call back service.


Supporting children, young people and their families by providing early advice around managing:

  • Specific anxieties (around COVID-19/self-isolating measures, transition between year groups, developing and maintaining relationships, fear of failure, low self-esteem or aspirations, trust issues, social anxiety, etc.)
  • Phobias (animals/insects, specific food stuffs, specific objects, modes of transport etc.)
  • Low mood
  • Emotional regulation difficulties.
  • Mild obsessive compulsive difficulties that are starting to impact day to day activities.

Supporting school staff by:

  • Signposting to wellbeing resources which could be used in the classroom.
  • Supporting education staff to think about how they might adapt their current wellbeing processes to the COVID-19 situation.
  • General discussion and psychoeducation for school staff around wellbeing/coping methods/normalising etc.
  • Signposting individual staff to wellbeing resources (e.g. hard copy/virtual and website based/phone apps).
  • One-off phone/video consultations to discuss staff wellbeing.


Contact Details:

Telephone: 0300 777 0707


UPDATE 23 April 2020

Please see the link below sent to all Hertfordshire Schools giving advice to parents during the coronavirus from the Royal College of Paediatricians & Child Health. This contains important advice if your child begins to feel unwell.

Advice for parents during coronavirus

UPDATE 16 April 2020


As we approach the end of the two week Easter period, I would like to thank the Chessbrook staff who have continued to work throughout this time to provide provision for students on a daily basis.  

Following the announcement this evening that the lockdown arrangements will continue for another three week period, we will be continuing with the arrangements we have in place. The centre will continue to open on a daily basis to support children of key workers and those who are vulnerable.  



UPDATE 3 April 2020


I would like to thank you all for your support over the past 2 weeks.

To support those children of key workers and with social workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we are continuing to offer daily support at Chessbrook throughout the Easter holidays. Those children who fall into the vulnerable category (have an EHCP or a social worker) have already been contacted. As per my most recent letter, please contact us if you feel your child is vulnerable and needs the additional support from us.


I will update you further regarding the plan for after the Easter holidays.

Try and have a relaxing time and stay safe.

UPDATE 30 March 2020


As we enter the second week of operating in a way that supports the government's advice on staying at home and social distancing, I wanted to highlight a couple of key points from the letter I sent home last Friday.

Firstly I would like to thank you for your continued support. This is a very challenging time for us all and we need to do all we can to stay positive and ensure we support each other. If you or your child is finding the whole situation overwhelming, there are a full range of resources available on the #JustTalk website. You can access these by clicking on the image on the right hand side of this page.


We are continuing to offer support and a timetable for all students in a variety of ways. Today we have four more teachers being trained to deliver 'live' lessons via our virtual curriculum, TUTE. 

We have identified the students who will be attending Chessbrook based on the government advice on vulnerable students, those with an EHCP and those with parents who are key workers.

Please contact us if you feel you or your child needs any additional support throughout this time.


Your child's PLM will continue to make regular contact with you.


UPDATE 26 March 2020

I am updating you regarding the Summer exams for your Year 11 son/daughter. I am now in a position to share the process as outlined below:

“Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead…”


Following the Department for Education’s announcement on Friday 20 March confirming the process for calculating students’ grades, this is what we know of the awarding process for summer 2020:

Step 1 - The awarding bodies will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead

Step 2 - To produce the above, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment

Step 3 - The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in

Step 4 - Calculated grades will aim to be provided to students before the end of July

Step 5 - If students do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis

Step 6 - If students do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.


I would also like to share that Hertfordshire Children's Services have set up a contact line for parents to provide ongoing support and advice from educational psychologists and special advisory teachers. The number is 01992 588574 and they are available Mon-Fri 2:00-4:30.


If you have any questions please feel free to contact the school via the admin e-mail address:


UPDATE 25 March 2020

We have been informed that a scam e-mail is being sent to parents, asking them for bank details if they have children who qualify for Free School Meals. This is a scam email.


Please remember to never give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you are not sure they are genuine.


Please see this government link for further helpful information:

UPDATE 23 March 2020

I would like to thank you for your support with getting students logged in to their virtual lessons and in to Chessbrook.

In addition to the main office number 01923 212025, you are able to call the following two mobile numbers if you have questions or concerns:



Please monitor the website for further information and updates.

UPDATE 22 March 2020


I would like to remind you that we have managed to put in place a timetable for all students from Monday 23rd March. This is made up of time in the centre, virtual lessons being delivered by Chessbrook teachers and a full and wide range of resources through google drive and our website.


We have managed to offer laptops to all students who do not have access to one and also a pack containing a range of stationery and resources. This pack will enable your child to complete work from the safety of their home. It also provides information about how to look after your mental health while you are self isolating and social distancing and gives contact details for any additional questions or needs you may have.


I would like to stress that if your child is able to stay at home and complete their work, this is in the best interest of their health and the health of others. Our offer of support in the centre is for those vulnerable students and those whose parents need them to be catered for to enable them to go to work and carry out services in response to Covid-19. 


In his update this evening, the Prime Minster stated that it is crucial that we "follow the social distancing rule and keep 2 metres apart". He also reiterated that if you can stay at home, you should.


I would like to echo the messages above and remind you that we are available to provide support, advice and care for those who need it.


Please remember to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

01923 212025 - Chessbrook Office 


UPDATE 20 March 2020


Chessbrook will remain OPEN from Monday 23rd March.


Alternative Provision and GADE will be CLOSED from Monday 23rd March.


Following the announcement and clarification of who falls into the categories of 'key workers' and 'vulnerable groups', we have created a full timetable for each of our students from Monday 23rd March. This will be made up of lessons at Chessbrook, lessons in the virtual classroom with Chessbrook teachers and an element of independent study through the Google classroom. 


You will have already been contacted to arrange collection or delivery of a laptop and full set of resources.  


Please remember to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

01923 212025 - Chessbrook Office 


Thank you for your ongoing support.





UPDATE 18 March 2020


You will be aware of the announcement this evening that all schools are to close on Friday 20th March. We are in the process of putting together a pack for each student so that they are able to continue with their learning. Lessons will be delivered daily via our virtual learning platform and your child will be expected to take part. There will also be a variety of lessons available through Google classroom, all of which will be monitored and marked by staff. There will also be a full range of resources available on the school website under the 'Closure' tab.


We will be providing all students with a laptop, stationery pack and all the required log on details to be able to access all their learning resources. You will need to sign for the device and we will be in touch to arrange this.


Your child's learning mentor will be in very regular contact with you to ensure you are kept up to date with what is happening.


If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at  This email will be constantly monitored and we will respond as quickly as we can.


We are not in a position to confirm when the school will be open again but will be keeping this section of the website up to date and also communicating regularly with emails and telephone calls.


We have put a great deal of effort into making these arrangements for your child and would ask for your full support in ensuring they take advantage of these learning opportunities. 


We will spend the next couple of days considering what additional support we are able to offer students, especially those with an EHCP, those who are currently working with a social worker and those whose parents are key workers. 


We are thankful for your support and with your help will do our best to ensure we continue to deliver a high quality learning experience throughout these challenging times.





UPDATE 16 March


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is being very closely monitored by the government and they have a strategically planned response in place.

As of 13th March 2020, the government announced that they have entered the 'delay' phase of the epidemic, which means they are seeking to flatten the peak of infections. 

At Chessbrook we have taken a number of steps to ensure good hygiene is maintained at all times. We have made students aware of the importance of good personal hygiene. Hand washing facilities, hand sanitiser solution and tissues are available throughout the centre and all rooms are equipped with anti bacterial wipes to clean all surfaces on a very regular basis.


If any of our staff or students have any symptoms, including a high temperature or new continuous cough, they are being asked to self isolate for 7 days. Any staff or students who have been in contact with someone displaying symptoms of a high temperature or cough are being asked to self isolate for 14 days. Advice has also been given to follow NHS guidance if symptoms persist after the period of isolation.


As of 17th March, we will have to stop our Outreach Services to other schools and prevented unnecessary visitors to Chessbrook in an attempt to reduce the risk of exposure to infection. 


We are currently able to offer a full service to all of our students and have made arrangements for them to continue to receive educational provision in such event as a full closure of the school. This includes laptops being made available to all students at home and lessons available via the school website, via Google Classroom and also live online taught lessons from our teaching staff on a daily basis. We will also be in touch with parents on a weekly basis, even if the centre is closed.




Letters home:

Joint statement for parents and carers - Mr Michael Jones, Chair of SWHSSH: 22nd May 2020

Year 11 Letter: 1st May 2020

COVID-19 Letter: 27th March 2020

Summer Exams Update Letter: 26th March 2020

COVID-19 School Closure Letter: 19th March 2020

COVID-19 Letter: 16th March 2020


Useful links:

NHS 111

Public Health England

World Health Organisation Hygiene Advice

Anxiety Support for Young People - COVID-19

Coronavirus Anxiety

Self Isolation - Managing Mental Health

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