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Covid-19/Coronavirus Update 19.03.20

Dear Parents and carers

Following the government’s announcement yesterday, I am writing to you to confirm that our school will remain open for all of our pupils until further notice. This is because all of our pupils have an EHCP and therefore fall into the category of vulnerable groups outlined by the government yesterday. Read More ...


We will need to ensure staff and pupils follow the guidelines published by Public Health England, so that we can keep everyone as protected as possible. Therefore, if you or your child is self-isolating because you have a dry persistent cough and/or a fever your child will need to stay out of school for the duration of the recommended isolation period.

Where to find the latest information:

Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Health guidance:

· If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

· If you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

· For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

· A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

· A new, continuous cough

What will happen next at our school:

At school, we understand and appreciate that everyone is very worried about the current situation. We are working hard to support our pupils and our staff, especially in relation to following advice about regular handwashing and social distancing.

This week we have had a number of pupils and staff away from school as they are self-isolating or have underlying medical conditions. However, we have continued to operate as normal.

Some pupils are not attending due to individual or family circumstances, or particular anxieties that are affecting them, but do not have symptoms and are not unwell. We understand that this may continue to happen at the current time. We would like to reassure parents / carers that pupil absence will not be penalised.

If you do wish to withdraw your child from education during this period, we ask that you inform us of this of this on the first day of absence. We will authorise this and provide resources to support learning at home. You will also be informed that we will require 5 days notice if you then wish for your child to return to school. This is needed to give us sufficient time to put arrangements in place in this rapidly changing situation. I am sure everyone will appreciate that our staffing numbers are very likely to continue to fluctuate during this period and as a result, we may not be able to be as flexible as we would ordinarily like.

Where there are particularly high levels of need or we have significant concerns about a child, we will contact the parent / carer individually to discuss what arrangements can be put in place to support either their attendance at school, or learning at home.

As everyone might expect, we are unlikely to be able to offer our usual timetable and provision if high numbers or pupils and staff are absent, however we will try to keep everything as normal and familiar as possible in school. We are communicating with the Local Authority and Department for Education to ensure that transport arrangements remain in place during this period. School lunches will be provided in school as usual and we will try to ensure that free school meals are provided to eligible pupils even where they are self-isolating or not attending. We will share further details about this as soon as we can.

Easter

The government have asked that schools like ours who are remaining open for vulnerable pupils, will continue to operate throughout the Easter holiday wherever possible. We will be planning how to do this over the next few days. However, we can say that all the holiday club activities that we have previously offered at our school will now be cancelled. We plan to offer some provision but may not be able to operate for every single day of the holiday as we would like to ensure there is time to complete deep cleaning where it is needed. We will let everyone know more about these arrangements as soon as we can.

We would like to take a moment to say thank you to our incredible staff, pupils and parents and carers who have shown support and determination throughout this period. Our staff in particular, continue to ‘keep calm and carry on’ and we are hugely grateful to them for all their efforts so far.

Please note that all the information in this letter is accurate at the time of writing but may be subject to change should further announcements happen.

With kind regards,

Natalie Shuttleworth       and       Richard Preece

     Head of School                     Executive Head / CEO