16th March 2020
Today, we have seen an unprecedented number of contacts from (very understandably) concerned parents. We are aware that in the news/social media there is a great deal of speculation that schools will be asked to close; however, current guidance still remains that schools should stay open. As stated previously, we are continually monitoring advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education, though this is proving not quite as clear as we would like. Therefore, in response to key questions from parents, we have put together some guidance for you to follow in the form of ‘Frequently asked Questions.’
Please understand that we are doing everything we can to safeguard our pupils as well as following the guidance provided. We are very grateful for the calm, measured and positive response from so many of you, and ask that all families follow the guidance given from gov.uk or NHS 111.
Q1: My child is feeling unwell with headaches, slight cough and full of cold, should they be in school?
If your child is unwell and not fit to be in school, they should remain at home until they are better. If symptoms change/worsen, please consult NHS 111. If the symptoms begin to match those of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or persistent cough) then please self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of the symptoms. Your child’s absence will be recorded as ‘illness’.
Q2:My child has a temperature and a dry cough, should they come to school?
No. If your child has symptoms matching those of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or persistent cough) then please self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of the symptoms. Your child’s absence will be recorded as ‘illness’.
Q3: I am a parent of a child in your school and I have come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, should my child be in school?
If you have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, then you should contact NHS 111 for further guidance and self-isolate for 14 days. If you do not show the signs of any symptoms and you are well, then you are not considered a Coronavirus case, and your child is okay to attend school. Please make school aware so that we can monitor their health, and if they become unwell you will be contacted and asked to collect them.
Q4: A member of the family, living in our household, has a confirmed case of COVID-19, should my child attend school?
No, definitely not. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your household, please follow NHS 111 guidance and self-isolate. Your child’s absence will be recorded as ‘enforced closure’ as they will be instructed not to attend school.
Q5: We have members of the family who have serious health issues and/or are currently undergoing medical treatment and therefore we wish to keep our child off school, can we do this?
If you have evidence to prove that your family member is at risk, e.g. from advice given from a health professional, then it is okay for your child to follow self-isolation guidance. Your child’s absence will be recorded as ‘circumstance.’
Q6: We are worried about what is happening and want to keep our child at home, can we do this?
If your child has no symptoms and is fit and well to attend, and there are no other reasons for your child to be absent, then they should attend school. If you choose to keep your child off school, then their absence in this situation will be recorded as ‘unauthorised.’
Q7: My child has come down with sickness and diarrhoea, how long should they be off school?
If your child shows symptoms of a sickness bug, then they should remain at home for 48hours after the last episode of sickness/diarrhoea as per our usual procedures. Should they develop further symptoms such as high temperature/new dry cough then they will need to self-isolate for a further 7 days and seek advice from NHS 111
To keep up to date by reading the government guidance, please follow these links.
The DfE have set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions – from early years up to universities as well as for parents: 0800 046 8687
We have cancelled trips such as Y3 Ballroom dancing, Music festival, Netball tournament. Additionally events such as Open Classroom and Parent’s afternoon/evening are also post-poned. Friday celebration assembly will no longer be open to parents/friends and we will not be attending St Paul’s Church for our usual Easter service. (We will celebrate Easter within school.) The only adults accepted into school for the foreseeable future, will be those vital to running school. We are always very grateful to our volunteers, but whilst this pandemic continues, volunteers are not required in school.
I am sure you have noticed us asking children to use the hand sanitiser after entering the gate. They only need to do this on the way in, not home, as I am sure you will all be asking them to wash hands as soon as at home. Please would parents not send in individual bottles of hand sanitiser as they are not designed for schools. We do not have COSHH data sheets for them and many are flammable/poisonous if ingested. We understand this is a worrying time, so should you wish to send your child in with hand wipes that is fine. Please note:
We have significantly increased the hand washing sessions for children. All classes (including Nursery) have always washed hands before lunch, and after visits to the bathroom, but now they:
- Use school’s hand sanitiser upon entry each morning
- Wash hands after morning break
- Wash hands before lunch
- Wash hands after lunch playtime
- KS1 wash hands after the KS1 afternoon break
We will keep you all updated as and when we have new information. Thank you for your support.
Mrs A. Aylott
Head teacher/ National Leader of Education