We will continue to keep you updated daily through our website. Please note that as of today (18th March) we only have a small number of staff absent staff as a result of them being in a vulnerable or high-risk group required to self-isolate, which is why we are able to operate as normal and remain open for all our students. You may have heard of other schools closing or partially closing (sending certain year groups home) but the reason for this will be that there are not enough staff and for no other reason. The Government are keen to keep schools open as long as possible because the impact on the country of whole scale closures is significant. In the event that we do need to close. either partially of fully, we will send a text message, update the website and share the details on our social media pages at the earliest opportunity.
We will contact parents/carers if children present themselves as sick (as per normal procedure) and may send your child home. Please then inform school either later in the day or the following morning to let us know if your child is experiencing symptoms or not and what you intend to do. These are difficult times for all but I want to reassure you that we are trying to carry on as normal for as long as possible.
For details of the symptoms of the coronavirus and the latest advice on how long you should stay at home please refer to the NHS guidance online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. If you need more specific assistance then you should also refer to the NHS 111 online service at www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
We are working closely with the Department for Education (DfE), the Local Authority (LA) and Public Health England (PHE), and are receiving daily updated guidance.
We are reinforcing with the students that a simple and effective way to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus is by ensuring that you wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are unwell make sure you catch your coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissues away and then wash your hands. Please reinforce this message at home and the advice is to wash hands on arrival at home.
If there is a confirmed case in our school, Public Health England will advise on the next steps. Plans are in place for continuing children’s education in the event of a forced school closure. This is particularly important for year 11 students with the GCSE examinations starting in a couple of months. Over the coming days we will be informing students how to access work online in order to continue their education.
For additional information the following sources are available:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus