Dear Parents and Carers

Happy New Year to you. It was great to welcome our pupils back to West Oaks this week. 2024 promises to be another fantastic year; full of hope, aspiration, and excitement for our school community.

During January it is always a good to reflect and plan for further improvement in our provision and, we will focus on strengthening our parent/carer relationship.

I am aware that I speak to hundreds of prospective parents/carers through our four open days but there is not the same mechanism for existing parents to share ideas and get an overview of current and planned provision.

I know we meet with parents through meetings/parents evening and have contact via class dojo, twitter, family support sessions, summer events, coffee mornings etc but we want to strengthen this network and harness your ideas as we develop West Oaks.

I am going to introduce an annual parent/carer survey in the summer term and aim to hold a parent/leadership forum where you will have the opportunity to meet with me and Keeley and the relevant Head of Schools to discuss our school strategy and have ageneral catch up.

The 2024 parent/leadership forum events are planned for:

Headingley Learning 10-11am Monday February 5th, 2024.

Woodhouse learning 6-7pm Tuesday February 6th, 2024.

Boston Spa Learning 4-5pm Wednesday February 7th, 2024.

I hope many of you can attend and you can attend any session as we have tried to add some flexibility on timings and venues. The “West Oaks conversation” will be an important annual event in our calendar, particularly as our provision grows from 445 pupils to 500 pupils by 2025, with 1000+ parents/carers and extended family members in our school community group.

Our parent/carer group is a strong SEND power base that can help shape and influence SEN services in Leeds. As an LA maintained Special School, West Oaks are proud partners in developing strategy and SEN places for Leeds. Leeds is the second largest education authority in the country, and we are proud of our contribution to SEND in the city, but more can be done and achieved.

In the years to come, we will have to further adapt to meet primary and secondary curriculum need across our three sites and whilst this will require some work and re-organising, we are confident that our curriculum is robust enough to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

I have been contacted by the NHS regarding our ongoing support for their immunisation programmes. The Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has advised that the Year 8 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination one dose has shown to be just as effective as two doses at providing protection against infection. As of September 2023, a single dose schedule will take place and a letter will be sent home shortly with more details from the Heads of School.

As the weather is predicted to change next week, please can you ensure we have accurate contact information for you. Very rarely does West Oaks close and in adverse/snow conditions we would only expect pupils to come to school if it is safe to do so. Should we decide that school is closed to pupils and/or staff, in extreme conditions, we will communicate this to you via text/dojo/school website. Hopefully, this is not necessary.

Take care everyone.

Best wishes


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