Coronavirus Help and Information
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The risk of getting the illness in the UK is moderate.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.
The GOV.UK website contains more information about the government response, which they will update as necessary.
As ever, please inform the school of any travel arrangements so that we can respond accordingly and protect the school community as soon as possible.
We will keep you informed about any developments and ensure we are keeping the school clean to help prevent the spread of any virus. Thank you for your co-operation as we all work together to support the children to feel happy and safe.
The actions the school is taking in line with advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England.
Government coronavirus action plan
The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next.
The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.
Action plan recap
The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.
The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.
As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.
Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy
Public Health England has updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.
The latest travel guidance can be found here and for and further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice
As of 10 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated advice about travel to Italy. The FCO is currently advising:
against all but essential travel to Italy
against all travel to Hubei Province, in China
against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19.
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 importance of hygiene
As a school:
There are ongoing discussions with the children about how we keep the spread of any virus to a minimum through good hand hygiene.
Although these discussions happen on a daily basis anyway, we are redoubling our efforts and reinforcing the key messages.
We are ensuring that our supplies of soap and other sanitizers remain at an appropriate level.
We are encouraging all pupils and staff to follow CATCH IT, KILL IT, BIN IT whenever they sneeze!
The school toilets are cleaned twice daily as part of our cleaning contract and all shared surfaces at least daily.
Our cleaning contractor has completed awareness training with members of our cleaning team in line with public health guidelines.
There are many additional resources available to support you and your child – here are links to some of them:
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
A new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687 Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)