Parents and Carers Information

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The latest Parent Carer Newsletter is here.

Hard copies of all of the information published on this website can be provided free of charge.


From time to time, you may need to request that your child has time off college. An ‘authorised’ absence is one where we as a college support and agree with the reasons for why your child needs to miss college. The broad guidance we use is that the reason for the absence is so unique, or has such social or spiritual value, that it outweighs the loss of teaching time. ‘Unauthorised’ absences would cover taking holidays during term time, family days out or going shopping. In serious or repeated cases of ‘unauthorised absence’, we may consider the use of a Fixed Penalty Notice (click for more details), but we will talk to you about this first to see if there’s anything we can do to improve matters. Our message is simple – assuming they are well, we would love to see your child in college for every one of the 190 days we are open each year.


All admissions are by referral only via West Sussex County Council.  Should you require further information please email us at

Adverse Weather Procedure

In the event of disruption caused by adverse weather conditions (ie heavy snow), the prime concern of WSAPC will always be the safety of the pupils and staff.  The decision whether or not to send a pupil to one of our Centres if it remains open to learners during poor weather conditions must be at the discretion of the parents/carers, taking into account factors such as local road conditions and the availability of childcare.

The WSAPC aims to remain open in the event of adverse weather conditions.  We feel this is important for those parents who are relying on us to provide for their children in term time. In the event of extreme conditions, we cannot guarantee a normal school day.

However, there are certain factors which may lead to a WSAPC Centre closing, such as whether:

  •  there are enough members of staff to be able to provide satisfactory care;
  • the severity of the weather conditions is on such a major scale that it is unlikely that many people will be able, physically, to make it into the college;
  • the college can provide lunch for the pupils;
  • the college grounds are sufficiently safe for pupils, parents/carers and staff;
  • the college has sufficient heating;
  • the college has lighting and hot water across the site;
  • external agencies, e.g. police, local government, motoring organisations, etc, are advising against school travel in the relevant region.
  • Taxi companies/bus routes are able to operate.

If the Centre your child attends is to be open, we will post this on the website as soon as possible and normally by 7.00am on the day as well as notifying you of this by SIMS InTouch.

If, for the reasons outlined above, the safest or most expedient judgment is to close the Centre your child attends, a ‘Closure Day’ will be declared and we will post this on the website as soon as possible and normally by 7.00am on the day as well as notifying you of this by text or email.

Closure notices will also be made available on the West Sussex County Council website:

When checking websites regularly, please remember to refresh for updates.

The series of frequently asked questions below should answer any queries.

Will parents/carers be contacted in the event of adverse weather conditions?

Our website should be consulted regularly.   Remember to refresh for updates.  We will also endeavour to contact parents/carers via text or email to ensure a clear message is sent.

Do I need to contact the Centre my child attends?

If the WSAPC Centre is classed as ‘open’ but parents/carers decide not to send their child, please contact the relevant unit to inform them of absence (see contact details on our website).

To travel to school or not?

Parents/carers have to decide whether it is safe and desirable for them to make the journey into the WSAPC.

Will you close all WSAPC Centres?

We will always endeavour to keep all our Centres open but their geographical location may affect the ability to continue teaching in a Centre as weather conditions affect Centres differently.  For example, if weather conditions are poor in Crawley and a decision is made to close the Crawley Centre, this does not necessarily mean any other Centre will close.  We will ensure information on our website and messages to parents/carers clearly state which Centres are closing and which remain open to students.

What will happen if weather conditions worsen during the school day?

If weather conditions deteriorate during the school day we may take the decision to close the college earlier than usual.  This would be communicated to you via the website, SIMS InTouch and telephone call.  If pupils travel to their Centre by taxi, changes to taxi timetables will be made by the WSAPC.

If adverse weather conditions are forecast please ensure that you are checking the website and InTouch messages regularly and that you have made available to the WSAPC an emergency contact number so we can advise you of any early closures.

If, in the event of an early closure, parents/carers wish to collect pupils from one of our Centres they are welcome to do so, but please ensure you inform a member of staff before leaving to ensure effective recording.  Staff will supervise pupils until parents/carers or taxis are able to get to the college, but please remember that members of staff will be also be anxious to get home if the weather and road conditions are poor.

Although we are a large campus in a large geographical county, we aim to provide consistent education and support in all of our centres. Every child is therefore taught the core subjects in English, maths and science as well as a variety of experiences including PE, art, outdoor activities and cooking.

The aim in all of our centres is to work with the pupil on their individual needs, for both their academic and their social and emotional requirements, thus developing their ability to make informed choices for their future.

We seek to understand where the child is academically when entering our college and then set aspirational targets to help them move on to other educational settings, as well as addressing the social and emotional needs that are blocking their pathways to success.

Every child is different and so it can take one pupil a short period of time to address the issues and then move on quickly, and it can take another child longer; depending on the circumstances of the individual. Whatever the case, WSAPC will work with local schools and the local authority to support the child’s next steps in education.

Full details of our curriculum can be found on the Information page, under ‘Curriculum’.

Lunch Time

This school believes in providing a varied, balanced and healthy lunch-time meal to all students. At most of our centres, this is done through our Cook and Eat Programme where the young people are involved in every aspect from planning and preparation to cooking and serving of the meal. Please see our Learning pages for more information of accreditation for the programme. All students dine with their peers and staff to support social engagement and relationship building.

Free School Meals

The school receives extra funding, known as the Pupil Premium; to support students who are eligible for Free School Meals.

From 6 April 2011, children whose parents receive one of the following benefits are entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance (this benefit was introduced 27 October 2008)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Note – from 1 May 2009 where a parent is entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week, their children are entitled to free school lunches.

Child Tax Credit

Household income above £16,190)


Child Tax Credit

Household income below £16,190)

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit No
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit on a four week run on Yes

Working Tax Credit

Household income below £16,190)

No Tax Credits but income is below £16,190 No – you need to be getting one of the benefits listed above

To find out more or to fill out the application form on-line click here.

To get a paper copy to fill out, please contact the school office or download the Free School Meals Application Form 2021. For pupils who have recently moved into West Sussex please click here.


Online Safety
YGAM is a charity which offers help and advice for parents, students and schools. Visit their website at  to get information and support around gaming, gambling and how to establish a healthy online/offline balance.

National Online Safety have a really informative website with various content designed to guide you through the Online world and help you to keep your young person safe online. Visit their website for lots of information, guidance and advice. Their latest factsheet regarding Fortnite can be accessed via their website here.

Here are some useful resources to help you keep your child safe online-

WSAPC Parent Carer Internet Safety Guidance May 2021





Instagram Online Resources and Advice

You tube guide for primary students


Rainbow Flag
In July last year we wrote to parents and carers explaining that WSAPC was working towards achieving The Rainbow Flag Award accrediting the emphasis which we place on being an inclusive organisation for students, staff and families regardless of sexual orientation and preference. We are amazingly proud to announce that we have worked hard on this throughout the academic year and have been awarded The Rainbow Flag at ‘Outstanding’!

The Rainbow Flag Award encouraged a whole school approach to tackling HBT bullying and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) inclusion, focusing on the following areas:

Red – Skilled Teachers

Orange – Supportive Governors and Parents

Yellow – Effective Policies

Green – Inclusive Curriculum

Blue – Pastoral Support

Violet – Pupil Voice

By achieving Outstanding in all areas, we have met the following:

  • The legal requirement to ensure LGBT inclusion in schools;
  • The Ofsted requirement for us to be effective in tackling HBT bullying;
  • Our moral requirement to meet the needs of LGBT young people, given the wealth of evidence showing that mental health issues and suicide still disproportionally affect LGBT young people.

During the year, we have posted details on the APC web page, which showed some of the opportunities our young people had to learn and respond to the issues raised. We held an LGBT+ Focus Week when all centres engaged in exploring the subject across areas of the curriculum including maths, English, Science, PE and food tech – some very bright and colourful food dishes were created! The students were amazing and opened some very positive conversations with staff and peers.

Looking towards next year, the steering committee, which led the engagement with the award, will take on a new role ensuring that LBGT awareness and inclusion is monitored and developed further.

We would like to thank Reuben Davidson from Allsorts Brighton who has supported and engaged with us throughout and who has delivered outstanding training for staff across all of our centres.

The organisations below can help individuals with issues around gender identity and sexuality. Do not hesitate to contact them; they will be able to give support and they also offer advice and counselling.

SHARP System
SHARP stands for Student Help Advice Reporting Page. It is a method of confidentially logging a concern you may have and is open to students, parents and carers as well as staff and community members.

Click on this link to go to the SHARP System.

Term Dates

Please see below the West Sussex schools term dates.  Additionally there will be INSET days. These are:

INSET Day Friday 20th October 2023– college closed to students.

INSET Day Monday 29th January 2024– college closed to students.

Academic Year 2023_2024

Academic Year 2024_2025

The current term ends on 15th December. Half term is Monday 23rd October to Friday 27th October 2023.


We encourage all our students in KS3 & KS4 to travel to and from school independently. In the majority of cases this will be via public transport. Transport for pupils who live further than 3 miles from their nearest centre will be provided free of charge as per the West Sussex County Council (WSCC) transport policy available here. We appreciate that, for some, travel to our centres can be difficult and to enable the best possible opportunities for our students we work closely with our colleagues at WSCC to offer modes of transport that are suitable. Currently these include:

  • Bus and Train passes
  • Bus and Train Passes for Primary children and their parents to enable them to escort them to and from school
  • Taxi (Limited to special cases only)
  • Bike Scheme – WSCC will provide a voucher for singly registered pupils who live between 3 and 5 miles of the school
  • Parental transport- in some cases we are able to help with the cost of driving your child to school, and will pay 25p per mile to eligible parents/carers. Please see the attached Parent-Carer Travel expenses form.

More information can be accessed via home to school transport WSCC here.


WSAPC has high expectations of our students and believe a good school uniform presents an image of the highest standards and expectations. Uniform is also an expected standard in most schools across West Sussex and in order to support young people to return to their mainstream school, it’s important that an expectation to continue with this standard is adhered to.

We ask for parent/carers commitment in supporting your child / young person to adhere to our policy.

From September 2017, there will be an expectation for singly registered WSAPC students to wear school uniform. Students who come to us on short stay programmes (60 day placements) should wear their mainstream school uniform.

WSAPC Dress Code / Uniform (Primary & Secondary)

  • Black Trousers / Skirt / Shorts
  • APC Navy Sweatshirt
  • APC Navy Polo Shirt
  • Black Trainers / Schools Shoes / Plimsolls

WSAPC uniform can be purchased from Reception. Full details can be found in our Uniform Policy.

Useful Information

There are a number of organisations which provide support for parents, children and teenagers, and information on a variety of issues. Click here to view a Signposting Booklet and click here for help information published in our previous newsletters.

See below for other help and advice which is available.


ParentInfo is a vital resource for parents and carers with easy-to-digest content. The service aims to deliver information on a whole range of parenting themes, the emphasis being on helping parents and carers develop their children’s resilience to the risks and pressures they face in today’s world. The articles and videos cover difficult topics about sex, relationships and the internet, body image and peer pressure, as well as broad parenting topics like ‘how much sleep do teenagers need?’ ParentInfo is a collaboration between the National Crime Agency CEOP Command and The Parent Zone.

Childnet International is a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. Find out more about the resources and information available here.


SafeCall is a missing persons’ service which can be accessed by families who are concerned for the whereabouts of a loved one. Follow the link below for more information.

Sussex police logo

Pegasus card scheme

Sussex Police’s Pegasus scheme is for people who find it hard to communicate with them – they keep your pre-registered information safe on their computer and they can access it quickly if you call them. You don’t need to repeat all your details.

Who can register?
•Anyone who has a disability or illness that may make it hard to communicate with the police in an emergency or difficult situation.
•Registration is free.

Follow this link for more information.


Make Yourself Heard

If you’re in an emergency situation and need police help, but can’t speak, Make Yourself Heard and let the 999 operator know your call is genuine. Click here for more information.

Wellbeing And Mental Health

Wellbeing is when you feel good, things are going well and you enjoy getting on with your daily life.  The attached article gives helpful advice about how to increase your wellbeing in five ways.

New ‘Recipes 4 Wellbeing’ cards have been produced by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, designed to help you support young people experiencing difficulties with their mental wellbeing. There are 15 guides covering a range of support and advice from anxiety, bullying, sexuality, gender identity, transition to schools, loss and bereavement, to name a few.

The Sussex Health and Care Partnership have produced new toolkits, which give top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing and links to helpful resources and tools:

Tool kit for parents and carers
Tool kit for young people

Thought-Full: Mental Health Support

Thought-Full are The Mental Health Support Team in Schools in West Sussex. They are a team of practitioners working in primary and secondary schools supporting school aged children up to 18 years old with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Please see the attached Leaflet for more information.

Chat Health is a text service that School Nursing offer in West Sussex to 11-19 year olds. For more information click to access a YouTube link and a Health for Teens poster.