At 5.15pm yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday.
Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals. We are expecting a definition of ‘key worker’ today from the Cabinet Office. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision.
Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. You will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.
The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. Our school response is yet to be determined.
I will be working with my senior leadership colleagues, and all staff, to clarify as best we can what this announcement means for the school, for our pupils and for you. I anticipate providing more details later today and/or tomorrow. Although school will be making contact today to ascertain possible key worker’s children and those who are vulnerable.
Thank you for your support and for your patience in the meantime.
For the next two days, pupil attendance is expected to continue as normal within the COVID-19 Public Health England guidance.
17th March 2020
It is hard to keep up with the advice on coronavirus. Originally we were dealing with multiple directives and sources of information, now we await the daily news feeds that you are aware of. I understand that this is a worrying time and am happy to talk through any of your concerns, however we are not withholding information regarding the virus or school closures and would appreciate you keeping this in mind when speaking with staff.
A learning pack has been produced for children and will be sent home today. This will also be available to download from the website under the Parents and Families tab, ‘Home Learning’. We are also trying to organise access to on-line learning platforms, although as you can imagine with every school also doing the same, this is not as easy as it sounds.
Regular communication will be kept through the My Ed app and the website. Please ensure you have access to these.
Here is what we know so far:
Coronavirus: Key symptoms
From now on, if one person in a household starts to display flu-like symptoms – defined as a fever of above 37.8 degrees or a persistent cough – everyone in the household must stay at home for 14 days. You can notify school of self-isolation by using the My Ed app or telephoning.
PUPIL ATTENDANCE REPORTS WILL NOT BE AFFECTED WHEN SELF-ISOLATION HAS OCCURRED.
Guidelines around self-isolation include:
In school, we are being vigilant with looking out for new and continuous coughs and have a thermometer should we need to check for a high temperature. We have established a safe area for any child who is unwell and may show symptoms of the virus. Following the guidance given to schools, this room has a shut door and an open window for ventilation. A child will be safe in this room while parents/carers are called.
In these difficult times, our only interest is for our children, staff, parents and carers. I ask that you continue to support us and recognise that not all decisions are in our control.
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=this downloadable comic&utm_campaign=Weekly-03-03-20&t=1583271654945