We understand that COVID-19, or coronavirus, is causing some concern; please be assured that the Trust is doing all we can to keep our staff and students safe and we are developing actions plan to minimise risks associated with the spread of the virus.
Communication Method for Parents
If you are not already registered with MyChildAtSchool please do so, so that you can stay up to date with the current school information and arrangements.
Please click here to find the MyChildAtSchool guidance document, with details on how to register and how to use the app.
Further information regarding MyChildAtSchool can be found via www.parent.dret.cloud
Good hygiene practices
Hand washing/personal hygiene campaigns should be promoted in all schools. Staff should be leading the way in supporting students to ensure that they are washing their hands well and regularly.
Respiratory hygiene campaigns should also be promoted in all schools using the NHS Catch it, Bin it, Kill it resources. Again, we are asking staff to lead the way here. Encourage students to cough or sneeze into the inner elbow if they do not have access to the preferred tissue method. Catch, bin, kill posters should be clearly displayed across schools in all bathrooms, mention during assemblies and school broadcasts.
Most Recent Government Guidance
The UK Chief Medical Officer has stated that the risk to individuals remains low and government guidance is frequently being updated to maintain it at this level. We are monitoring this guidance as it emerges in order that we can act swiftly and in accordance with the most relevant advice.
Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Health advice for people with asthma: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/
High Risk Areas
This guidance focuses on the dangers posed by travellers returning to the UK from one of the high risk countries or areas where the number of cases is high. These high risk areas now include Iran, Hubei province, lockdown areas of Italy and special care zones in South Korea. Anyone returning from these places must call NHS 111 and self-isolate (quarantine) for fourteen days.
The Government has identified a second group of countries with a lower risk level as follows:
- Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
The guidance for people returning from these areas is different because the risk is not as severe. Anyone returning from these areas since February 19 should self-isolate if they exhibit symptoms.
DfE Guidance for Schools
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued specific guidance for schools. Any decision about the safety of the pupils at the academy will always be made in accordance with this guidance and in consideration of any local factors. The DfE guidance states that pupils should self-isolate if they become unwell and they know they have been in contact with a confirmed case. There are currently no confirmed cases at our academies.
The DfE guidance is different if a case is suspected in a school. If a pupil feels unwell, they should not be in school. You should call NHS 111 for next step instructions. Until any diagnosis is confirmed by an NHS laboratory test, the DfE states that no restrictions or special control measures are required at the academy. There is no need for pupils to be sent home or for academies to close in these circumstances.
We will keep you fully informed of any changes in the current situation. A copy of the current DfE guidance can be found here.
The DfE has now set up a Coronavirus helpline for schools:
We are also thinking carefully about the overseas visits already on our calendar. The Foreign and Commonwealth office issue guidance about travelling abroad and we are monitoring this advice in order to make decisions on planned school trips.
We recognise that staff and student’s families may be already anxious about arrangements for the Easter break. Advice is changing so frequently that it is likely to be different by the end of next month. We would encourage anyone making any plans to travel to refer to the relevant advice and take sensible precautions.
Public Health England and the Foreign Office have issued advice for anyone travelling to the area. This can be found at:
Foreign travel advice – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china
Latest information and advice can also be found at:
Advice for parents/guardians
You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.
There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.
We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice via the link above.
What action you can take
A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.