Coronavirus - General Information

Dear parents and carers,

As reported cases of the Coronavirus increase, we want to reassure you that we are following all the latest government guidelines in all our schools and are working very closely with the DfE and NHS so that we are abreast of any updates at all times. Our pupils, families and staff well-being is our highest priority and we all need to be sensible and avoid risks, whilst ensuring we do not compromise the education of our students.

Please find below general information to support you.


What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, Coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of Coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

There are things you can do to help stop viruses like Coronavirus spreading.

Do

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
  • before leaving home
  • on arrival at school
  • after using the toilet
  • after breaks and sporting activities
  • before food preparation
  • before eating any food, including snacks
  • before leaving school
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Don't

X do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

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.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:

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

What to do if you or a member of your family suspect that you may have the Coronavirus

If you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child or colleague, please call NHS 111.

Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

See further information on the Public Health England Blog and the NHS website has more information about how you can reduce the possible spread of infection.

Please also notify the school with all the relevant details so that we can take the appropriate action to ensure that all staff and students can stay safe and we minimise risks as much as possible.

For any parents who are concerned about their children in our educational settings, please be assured that we are following all the latest guidelines and will keep you updated with any new information. Unless you are told otherwise, please continue as normal in sending your child/children to school.

Government Guidelines

There has been a lot of information in the media about the Coronavirus and what preventative measures we should be taking.

The government is issuing guidance daily to educational establishments which we are sharing with Headteachers to cascade to staff. Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. At the moment the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.

There is currently a list of countries/areas (detailed below) where the Government is advising people to self-isolate and work from home for 14 days even if they DO NOT have the symptoms. These are only if you have returned from these specific areas since 19 February 2020. If you have visited any of these areas you should call the NHS on 111 to inform them of recent travel.

These countries currently are:

  • Wuhan city and Hubei Province (China, see map)
  • Iran
  • Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea, see map)
  • Any Italian town under containment measures (see map)

You do not need to undertake any special measures if you have visited the following countries in the last 14 days, however if you develop the symptoms you should self-isolate and call the NHS on 111.

Cambodia

  • China* (except for areas of the country specifically referred to on the map above)
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy: north* (except for areas of the country specifically referred to on the map above)
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Republic of Korea* (except for areas of the country specifically referred to on the map above)
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The key message is we do not want to take risks but also need to be sensible so that the education of our students is not compromised.

Travellers returning from abroad

The government is carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from the affected areas. Passengers will be told how to report any symptoms they develop during the flight, at the time of arrival, or after leaving the airport.

Commuting

For your information, this is the advice we are giving to staff and students about commuting.

Currently guidelines state - there is “a lack of scientific evidence on the impact of internal travel restrictions on transmission” and it concludes that “for these reasons, the working presumption will be that the government will not impose any such restrictions” on travel in a pandemic situation.

However, we would urge staff and students who commute to ensure they wash their hands immediately upon arrival to work/school and must ensure they are aware of all the precautions mentioned above in the good hygiene section.

As mentioned above, please rest assured that we will continue to follow the latest guidelines and

unless you are advised otherwise, please continue as normal in sending your child/children to school.

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:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is 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)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information: