COVID19

Dear Parents
 
Please find information relating to the outbreak of COVID-19  and all actions being taken as a school. We aim for the school remain a calm and disciplined environment. Hygiene and hand washing is being promoted within school and we ask for your support with this.
 
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
 
If you have any of these symptoms, get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result, even if the symptoms are mild.
 
The government no longer recommends that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that ‘bubbles’ will not need to be used in schools. As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume and y schools no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch.
 
It is recommended that schools ought to make sure that contingency plans (sometimes called outbreak management plans) cover the possibility that it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups.
 

Close contacts in schools are now identified by NHS Test and Trace and education settings are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing.

As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case or their parent to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.  Parents may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport.
 

Control measures

  1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone.

  2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.

  3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.

  4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

 Admitting children into school

In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a pupil with symptoms should not attend the school, given the potential risk to others.

If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending your school, you can take the decision to refuse the pupil if, in your reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19. Your decision would need to be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and current public health advice.

Attendance

School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.

 
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

There is a  helpline available to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Where to find the latest information

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Public Health England blog:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Guidance for educational settings

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Government Coronavirus action plan

This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources