10th March 2020
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
Today, the DFE have launched a new 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)
March 18th 2020
Dear Parent / Carer,
We appreciate your patience and support in these unprecedented times. We aim to keep you regularly informed of our situation as the national picture and government advice is changing quickly, so please check our website and Twitter for regular updates.
Following a change in government guidance around staying at home and social distancing, nationally we are all still being asked to keep schools open. The reasons for this are the impact on older carers, the impact on the children and on parents and employers.
Please find the following information from the Public Health England website, which is updated daily.
Public Health England issued advice for educational settings updated on 16th March. Below are extracts for your information. This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.
What you need to know
- staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
- if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
- clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
- supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
- unless you have been directly advised to close by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team, we recommend all education settings remain open
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in educational settings
Education settings can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice.
Staff, children, pupils, students and families should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.
Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.
For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks. Further details can be found here Guidance on social distancing
Staying at home
Government guidance now states:
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- if you live with others and you or one of them 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 full details of the above can be found here.
The school send their best wishes to all families who are self isolating due to this virus and we wish everyone a full recovery. At this stage, we are not sending home additional work for children and ask that parents use the shared learning book as a starting point to undertake spelling and maths learning given previously as well as reading widely. Online websites below will also offer some short-term activities. More detailed work will be sent home to all children in the event of a school closure – partial or complete.
Thank you for your continued support, as we manage changing situations for the safeguarding of pupil, staff and our community.