Dear Parent/Carer

Please see below guidance from Public Health England regarding Coronavirus. If you think your child may have been affected, please contact the school.

The information is updated regularly and if there is anything additional that parents/carers need to know then we will communicate this as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Karen Sudworth
Headteacher


DOE logo
Department for Education

 

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

· if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

· if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

· for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

· A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

· A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

· https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

· https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

Temporary suspension of Ofsted inspections

Ofsted is to temporarily suspend routine inspections of schools, colleges, early years settings, children’s social care providers and local authorities to reduce the burden on staff who are providing vital services to the nation in response to coronavirus.

The current medical and scientific advice is for schools and other educational establishments to stay open. If this changes and the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser say closing schools, colleges, and early years settings is in the best interests of children and teachers the Department will take that step.

The full announcement made by Gavin Williamson can be viewed here:

· https://youtu.be/UkW7QcTsBcY

· https://www.gov.uk/government/news/routine-ofsted-inspections-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus

Updated guidance on recording school pupil absences

No school will be penalised for the impact on school attendance of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please record absences as follows:

· Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as would normally happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.

· Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.

· Where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be marked as absent. We back headteachers’ judgement and to be pragmatic – having spoken to parents – on whether to authorise such absence, taking into account individual circumstances. We expect, in particular, headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.

What you need to know:

· staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal

· if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home

· clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products

· supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

The updated guidance can be found here:

· https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19#contents

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

Recording school pupil absences

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorde das unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.

Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.

 

Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase

Yesterday, the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:

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

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

• A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
• A new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

COVID-19 travel guidance for the education sector

The Government has issued new travel guidance for the education sector. This advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18. This does not apply to domestic trips, or overseas trips which are already underway.

The full guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and 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.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Exam preparation and Ofqual advice

We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.

Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.

The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus

 

The importance of hygiene

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.

In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages:

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

Educational resources

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

The advice remains the same for travellers returning from the lockdown areas of Italy, that you should self-isolate even if you are not showing symptoms. The advice for other parts of Italy has been expanded to cover the whole country: if you have returned from anywhere else in Italy outside of the lockdown areas, you should self-isolate if you develop symptoms and call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Where to find the latest information

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

Latest Department for Education information:

https://twitter.com/educationgovuk
https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/