Covid-19 Letter to Parents 16.3.2020
16th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to you in extraordinary times which none of us, not least our children, have experienced before. I know you will have heard and read distressing news over the past days, and I want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep the pupils safe and prevent the spread of the virus.
We have had no cases of coronavirus in the school nor, as far as we can reasonably know, in anyone connected to the school. We continue to take extra precautions when cleaning the school sites and encourage pupils to wash their hands thoroughly and hand sanitisers are available on entry, around the building and in classrooms.
How is the situation currently affecting the school?
We have taken the precautionary measure of cancelling all school trips and visits up until the Easter break on 3rd April. This blanket cancellation includes all sports fixtures. This is, as much as anything else, about protecting staff time during a period where cover may be extensive.
You will know that we ran an applications process in the secondary phase to win a place on the Outward Bound trip to Snowdonia, due to start on April 20th. Successful applicants were informed last week and a letter will follow to parents soon. At present, the plan is for that trip to go ahead. If we need to postpone it, the same pupils will be selected to attend the rearranged trip.
We will contact you separately should there be any changes to the Somme trip in May.
Will the school close?
You will have heard the news conference conducted by the Prime Minister last week. The situation remains uncertain with regards to both the spread and the predicted peak of the virus and schools have been asked to remain open for now. It is important to us to remain open for as long as possible, and we will continue to do so unless we are asked to do otherwise by the Department of Education and Public Health England or factors outside of my control mean that we cannot.
If the school were to close either fully or partially, we would notify you via My Child At School. It is imperative, if you have not done so already, that you sign up to this service. We send messages through this platform on a routine basis. We will also post a notice on our website and pupils will be informed in a separate assembly. In the event of a closure, your child would be sent home with a pack of schoolwork and instructions for how to access more online, on our website, or via email. You will still be able to contact the school via phone and email.
What can I do to support?
The most helpful thing you can do is to ensure that they can access a computer to work on should the school need to close. This would enable them to access materials online and via email. It does not need to be an expensive device: a chromebook or similar that has internet access would suffice. If you are unable to provide your child with a computer to use, please let us know so that we can try to make alternative arrangements. We are not in a position to be able to provide devices but will do all we can to provide work via an alternative method should that be the case.
What if my child is ill?
If your child does not display any symptoms and has not visited a high-risk area, please continue to send them to school. The latest NHS guidance states that anyone with a high temperature and a new, continuous cough should stay at home for seven days. If your child displays these symptoms, please keep them at home and contact the school as you usually would. The current government advice suggests that children are not particularly vulnerable to the virus.
Our twin priorities are ensuring that we keep your child safe and continue to educate them. Please take care of yourselves and rest assured that we are doing all we can to achieve these aims. I will keep you updated with any further developments.
With all best wishes,
Dr. L Foley