12 March 2020
At the time of writing, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within our school or within the local area. However, we want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely.
What is the current risk level?
The UK Chief Medical Officers state the risk to the public remains moderate. However, the risk to individuals is low.
A government ‘Cobra’ meeting is taking place and at the present time there is no further information regarding school closures for us. I have spoken to the Department of Education (DfE) today and there is no immediate plan to close schools nationally. However, this position may change should the government move to the ‘Delay’ phase. The aim of which would be to delay the peak of the outbreak until the warmer months, which can reduce significantly the risk of overlapping with seasonal flu and other challenges that the colder months bring.
What does this mean for our school?
At present, our school will continue to operate as normal. However, we are preparing for a range of possible scenarios.
We are keen to remind all our pupils, staff, and visitors of the importance of good hygiene – in particular, regular hand washing. We have also distributed additional supplies of hand sanitisers around the school. Please support us by encouraging your child, and family members, to follow this advice at all times.
The NHS’s dedicated webpage provides a wealth of information, including what the symptoms of coronavirus are, how the virus is spread and what you can do to avoid catching or spreading germs.
What happens if a parent/carer, child, member of staff or visitor tests positive for coronavirus?
If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus amongst our school, we will immediately update our live risk assessment and follow advice from the Public Health England local Health Protection Team. A decision on whether it is necessary to close will be based on this assessment and the decision communicated to all parents and carers immediately.
What will happen if the school closes?
In the event of a partial or whole-school closure, we will communicate to you again with any specific arrangements as a result. We are likely to use our school website, ParentMail and Dojo to distribute learning resources and work that pupils can do from home, where possible.
In preparation for a closure we are:
We should have two points of parent/carer contact information for you child – this should include an email address and phone number (preferably a mobile number). If this requires updating please let us know. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or provide us with a hardcopy written letter.
If you do not have internet access at home, please inform us, and we will endeavour to provide hardcopy resources where feasible.
Trips and residentials
Within our school, we have a number of trips planned. At the present time, there is no plan to cancel these trips but we are constantly reviewing this and will remain in contact with parents/carers should situations change.
If you and/or your family are planning a trip abroad, please ensure you are aware of the current advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before you depart. See: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
For returning travellers who have visited areas affected by coronavirus, please see the government’s advice: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public#returning-travellers.
Please note that these webpages are regularly updated and so it is important you check the information frequently.
Higher Risk Children
For children who may be at higher risk, should there be an outbreak at the school, we will be contacting parents individually to keep them updated more frequently. If you believe your child may be at higher risk in the event of an outbreak but we may not be aware of that, please contact the school to register for individual updates.
Parents evenings and school events will continue as planned until guidance from the DfE, NHS or government indicates otherwise.
Thank you for your continued support in this matter.
The Department for Education have launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours – 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you are worried about any symptoms, please call NHS 111. Please let us know if you or any member of your immediate family have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity.
Mrs Michelle Bates