As you are all aware, the situation regarding the Coronavirus is changing on a daily basis. We are closely monitoring advice from the Department of Education and Public Heath England.
The Government have issued a number of guidelines regarding steps to take to avoid catching the virus, including what to do if people have travelled from specific countries. Up to date information regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Latest advice is that any pupil (or adult) should self-isolate if:
a) they have a temperature above 37.8C
b) they have a continuous cough
Self-isolation is for 7 days (including weekends). Self-isolation requirements can be found on the link below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection. Can I remind parents/carers that it is vital not to send into school any child who is showing any of the above symptoms or who is generally unwell. If a child becomes unwell during the school day we will contact parents to collect them.
The advice regarding self-isolation also stands for adults therefore we are anticipating reduced staffing in school with those having a temperature or cough having to self-isolate for at least 7 days. In cases such as these, we do have contingencies in place which include closing specific year groups or classes and asking those pupils who are particularly vulnerable to stay at home. Should we need to shut part or all of the school, we will post a notice on the school website, inform parents via ClassDojo and post a notification on the Kent Closures website: https://kentclosures.co.uk/.
To manage the risks safely we have decided to alter some of our processes in school. No further external training or non-essential meetings will be held until further notice. This will include some meetings that have already been booked, including Annual Reviews. Obviously we will be in touch if any meeting is to be cancelled. Consideration is being given to meetings, where possible, being held remotely.
We will be cancelling off-site activities for the time being, including East Kent College, Forest School, swimming, horse riding, supported internship and work experience. We are also reducing contact with people coming into school, again ensuring this only happens when essential.
We are being mindful of pupils being in close proximity and, where possible, have introduced elements of social distancing. This includes cancelling all assemblies, avoiding social gatherings, identifying alternative lunchtime dining arrangements for some groups of pupils and staggering playtimes. As from next week, after-school clubs will not be running until further notice.
As a school we have our own ongoing risk assessment which states all actions we have taken to avoid the Coronavirus within school. This is based on our own assessment of the needs of our pupils and the advice from PHE.
As we are all aware, good hygiene is imperative. Washing hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water for 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser, is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection.