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Coronavirus Update

Dear Parent/Carer

I am writing to you to give an update on the latest information concerning Coronavirus, including specific advice from Public Health England (PHE), and to outline our plans for the coming weeks and months. 

 

It is very difficult to predict what might happen in the next few weeks, but we have taken steps in school to plan as best we can for future events and would appreciate your support and understanding. Advice is being updated regularly, we shall use the parent text, and email service and the school website to keep parents informed.

 

We are working hard to minimise risk and to adopt a calm approach to the situation.

 

Contacting the School

 

Parents should contact the school about any symptoms their own child is experiencing or about the need for self-isolation. This will help us to plan for any action we need to take.

 

I am sure that you will understand that the school is unable to respond to phone calls or emails from individual parents, which are about other students.

 

Contingency planning 

 

School closure 

The government is planning for a range of future scenarios, one of which includes the possibility of a temporary school closure but to date the government’s preference is to keep schools open, given the knock on effect of parents having to take time off.  If we do have to close, please note the following:

Day to day communication

  • We have remote access to the parent and student database SIMS, and can email parents to keep them updated. This email system, along with our website, will provide up to date information. Please ensure that you check these regularly.

 

Student learning 

 

  • It is vital that if the school closes, students continue to study at home. Whilst there is no substitute for being in a classroom with a teacher, we will set work regularly that is appropriate to the year group, which will be communicate electronically through email and the school website.

 

Staff absence 

It is possible that for a period of time, the school will be open but a higher than normal number of staff may be absent.  If high staff absence does become the case, we will do everything we can to remain open and we reserve the right to open partially for the safety of children. However, this would be a last resort. 

 

If the school kitchen is affected at this time, we may ask those parents who can to provide packed lunches. Where necessary we will provide for those who cannot.

 

Further advice for parents

This is a fast moving situation and at the time of writing this letter, the risk level is deemed low to moderate, although for parents/guardians wishing to keep up to date with the latest situation, the following links may be helpful:

 

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

 

The Government Coronavirus Action Plan; a guide to what you can expect across the UK – 

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

 

Student Welfare 

Students may well become more concerned about Coronavirus as the government has moved into the delay phase.  We all have a role to play in managing this. You know your son/daughter best but together we should:

  • Do our best not to sensationalise or overdramatise this issue
  • Steer students away from some of the newspapers and social media coverage 
  • Not hide information from students but stick to known facts 
  • Not pass our own concerns or stresses to our children/students.

 

At the time of writing, the risk to young people who are not suffering underlying health conditions is very low. There will be a small number of students, staff and your own family members with suppressed immune systems, so please do take advice from NHS 111 and government websites. 

 

Finally, this is clearly a difficult and unprecedented situation for us all and we are doing our very best to react to and pre-empt situations as they arise, so we are asking for your continued support as we take those decisions in order to protect the health and welfare of the Churchend community.

 

Find out how to protect yourself or check if you need medical help on the NHS website

 

Read commonly asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) on Public Health England’s blog.

 

 

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