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DMA letter to parents 18/03/20

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:08 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:08 ]
Dear Parents/Carers                                                                                                                          18th March 2020
 
As the Government has updated its advice on how they are dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak, I thought parents/carers would appreciate an update from the school. We have been following the advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education. Their advice has been around the importance of hygiene and how students and staff can reduce the spread of any outbreak. Posters and information have been publicised around the school
 
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.” Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.”
Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
 
On the 12th March 2020 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offered the following travel advice. The FCO has advised:
Against all but essential travel to Italy
 
Against all travel to Hubei Province in China
 
Against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
 
Against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea
 
Self-Isolation
 
You are probably aware that the Government has requested that anyone who has a high temperature or a new continuous cough should self-isolate for 14 days.  Any pupil absence should be reported in the usual way and if you have made the decision to self-isolate the absence will be recorded as an authorised absence
 
Will the school close?
 
At the moment, in line with the vast majority of schools, we are open.  We expect to remain open and can adjust as and when required.
 
How will I find out if the school closes?
 
If the government places restrictions on all schools we will all be told through public information.  I would expect to be in a position to inform parents and we will use the website, emails and if possible, a letter. The letter will include arrangements that we would put in place in terms of providing students with work, the priority will be Years 10 and 11 in view of public examinations.
 
What will happen to public examinations for Years 10 and 11?
 
At the moment, these year groups are very focussed on external examinations. Any decision and information about what would happen would be made by OFQUAL (Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). They will be very mindful of the need to balance health with educational considerations.l V
Why had some schools already cancelled all school trips abroad?
 
Some schools had made the decision in response to FCO advice.  We did not have any trips planned to Italy or China for example.  On the 12th March the Government announced that all school trips abroad are banned. This will mainly affect Activities Week and we will look at the implications for this.
 
What about school trips in England?
 
Any decision here will be made with Public Health England and FCO advice. At the moment we have cancelled the planned rewards trip to Thorpe Park.
 
Will there be an Activities Week this year?
 
Given the announcement about school trips abroad it will be different this year. More information will need to follow.
 
What will happen to any events with large amounts of people?
 
Clearly all events are under consideration. We will need to review the Presentation Evening on 6th May 2020.
 
Is there soap in the toilets?
 
More frequent checks and replacements are being made.  In the event that there is an issue, pupils should alert the School Office who have additional supplies.
 
Should I bring my own sanitiser in?
 
This seems a very sensible thing to do alongside having your own supply of tissues.
 
What information should I believe on social media?
 
Misinformation and rumour are not very helpful.  Only trust credible sources such as HM Government and Public Health England.  School will contact you as mentioned earlier.  Don’t assume that lack of information means that we are trying to hide something. Any information we share will be carefully considered.
 
This is clearly an evolving situation and the school will respond appropriately.  In the meantime, the key messages are around hygiene and public health.
 
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating
to education and childrens social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
 
Phone: 0800 046 8687
 
Yours faithfully

Mr D. Mayhew

Headteacher