Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice

6.00pm 19th March 2020

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update

Dear parents/carers,

Firstly, we’d like to thank you for your support, understanding and offers of assistance in recent days. Thank you for your patience in waiting for responses, we know you understand that we are equally waiting for guidance from the government.

Due to the gravity of the current situation, the local headteachers within the Penair partners in Truro met today to discuss all the issues involved and to ensure a consistent approach for all our families across Truro. We have recognised that public services are now at crisis point. The education system is committed to supporting frontline workers in stemming the spread of coronavirus and therefore, we will be implementing our crisis management plan. This entails offering emergency access to school for children of key workers and targeted vulnerable children only.

Currently, this emergency provision is for:

  • Children of identified key workers where both parents are required to work simultaneously whilst working their shifts e.g. you may only require your child to be in school between 11-2
  • Children of key workers who are single parents whilst working shifts.
  • Children with EHCPs or who have an assigned social worker.

Please do not be offended if we have to seek clarification of working hours from key workers.

We would urge parents of these children to consider whether them being in school is absolutely necessary, as being in a social group potentially raises the risk for the child and staff of transmission. The scientific advice is that in order for schools to keep safe, numbers attending must be kept to an absolute minimum. Our school will be operating on a skeleton staff to ensure we are not exposing staff to risk any more than necessary, in order that we can keep staff well and ensure the school stays open under these circumstances. We ask that parents who are key workers and families of vulnerable children only send their child to school next week if absolutely necessary.

The clarification of what constitutes a key worker has not yet been offered to headteachers from the government; we expect this shortly. We do know that it includes NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers. We will be open for keyworkers from 8.45 – 3.15. I will be texting to find out if those keyworkers will be sending their children in next week so we have an idea of numbers.

In this every changing world of government updates it is hard to stay ahead of the curve. Thank you again for your patience and take care.

Warmest regards,

Mrs L Jeffries

Headteacher

19th  March, 2020

 

 

ClassDojo - Communication app for the classroom

https://www.classdojo.com

17th March, 2020

 

Dear parents/carers

Given the current situation and the possibility of school closures, in order to be able to communicate with you and as part of our blended home learning approach, we have set up ClassDojo for parents and pupils to use at home.

 Class Dojo is a communication tool for the classroom, it connects teachers, parents and pupils to share learning and messages, creating an online classroom.

 Please download the ClassDojo app to your phone or tablet. You are also able to access ClassDojo from a computer connected to the internet. All pupils will be given a unique code to login to their ClassDojo. Teachers will be uploading messages, activities and home learning if and when the school closes. Teachers will update/upload at least three times a day, if we close.

However, we will also be sending home paper-based home learning packs as part of our blended approach; we understand not everyone has access to the internet. We will make sure the packs are available for you to pick up from school in the event the school closes if your child is already absent. Any children leaving the school from today and needing to self-isolate at home will take their pack with them.

We will still be using all existing forms of communication (text, FB and our school website) to communicate with you at this difficult time.

I want you to know that the school recognises the challenges parents will now be facing. We are a community and I want you to know that we care about everyone within that community. These are very distressing and sad times, the world feels quite a different place. Take care of each other. I will be updating the website and sharing any updates we have.

Mrs L Jeffries

 Headteacher




16th March, 2020

 

Dear parents/carers

Following the latest updates from the government and possible actions they are yet to take we are considering the potential risks. I would like to share with you our planned risk assessment and plans for future learning opportunities.  At this current time, we have no need to implement all of these stages but should matters change you will be aware of the actions we are likely to take.

In EYFS our legal minimum ratios are 1 adult to 13 children (children aged 3 and above).  There are also legal requirements regarding qualifications and suitability of staff which can be found here: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596629/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf

In our Area Resource Base the ratio of adults to children is: 1:2  

In KS1 and KS2 ratios are less fixed. However, we do not want to create large classes where the risk of passing on infection becomes greater. Therefore, we still intend to have 1 teacher to 30 children or 2 TAs per 30 children. We also have vulnerable children who cannot cope in large classes, so we will need to consider ratios when we are thinking of those children.

Risk Assessment  

Lack of adequate staffing due to self isolation/sickness. 

Actions:

  1.  We will endeavour to use all our contacts to find suitable supply and volunteers (supply agencies, partner schools, casual staff on our books and existing volunteers)

a)    We will have assemblies in classes rather than gathering large numbers together in the hall

b)    Children will continue to handwash frequently

c)     Visitors will be asked to wash their hands before coming into school

  1. In the event that action 1 is not successful we will consult with our chair of governors and together we will decide to close the school on the grounds of health and safety
  2. The school will close if we are directed to do so from the Department for Education
  3. Work will be sent home for children to complete and the website will be updated to share further learning opportunities remotely

 

In the event of an enforced school closure, we are committed to providing remote access to learning and we are preparing to launch a distance learning platform for our children. Should the need arise for this provision, we will ensure a blended approach that continues to inspire all children to learn with a range of activities both online and offline. We appreciate that whilst this may at first feel like a novelty for our children, maintaining the interest and impact will be critical - and it will also need to work alongside your own challenging situations, which may mean balancing your child’s distance learning with your own work. We will strive to issue comprehensive advice and ongoing support in the event of an enforced school closure. 

As I’m sure you will appreciate, we are currently dealing with a complex and rapidly changing situation. My first priority will always be the health and safety of the pupils and staff in our school. Now, more than ever, this remains our primary focus. This is an entirely unprecedented situation and we are following official advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England. This advice is being added to on a daily basis and we are monitoring and responding to that as it is published. This official advice will underpin all of the actions we take. 

Whilst I appreciate that there will be a wide range of different views about how we should be responding and what action should be taken, I hope you will understand that I am duty bound to follow the official advice from government.

To this end, we are keen to seek your feedback and would appreciate you completing the attached questionnaire and returning it to the school office no later than 10:00am on Wednesday 18 March 2020.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.  Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Mrs L Jeffries


 Headteacher

 

 

 

                                             

 

COVID-19 Response - Questionnaire

 

YOUR CHILD’S FULL NAME -                                                                               YEAR -

 

Question 1 - 

Does your child have access to a home broadband internet connection?   

 

YES / NO

N.B - Please circle ‘no’ if you rely on mobile broadband or hotspot connectivity.

 

Question 2 - 

Does your child have access to a suitable* shared digital device?   

 

YES / NO

*N.B - Suitable shared digital device includes shared laptop, shared Chromebook or shared tablet device or desktop computer. Please circle ‘no’ if the only shared digital device available is a shared mobile phone, shared games console or shared digital TV.

 

Question 3 - 

Does your child have access to a suitable* personal digital device?   

 

YES / NO

*N.B - Suitable personal digital device includes personal laptop, personal Chromebook or personal tablet device or desktop computer. Please circle ‘no’ if the only personal digital device available is a personal mobile phone, personal games console or personal digital TV.

 

Questions 4 -

Do you have comments, feedback or suggestions?

 






 

Your Name: ______________________________  

 

 

Signature: ____________________________                                  Date: __/___/___

             

PLEASE RETURN THIS PAGE TO THE SCHOOL OFFICE NO LATER THAN 10:00AM ON WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH 2020

 


 

CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

8.15 pm, 12th March

Given the latest advice we have received from the government the school will remain open until we are advised otherwise.

Anyone with a "new, continuous" cough or a high temperature is now advised to self-isolate for seven days, as the UK government moves to the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus. We will be taking temperatures of children at school if we suspect they maybe unwell, if their temperature is high we will send them home for seven days. If your child has a new cough and / or a temperature please keep them at home for seven days.

 We have also been advised to cancel any trips abroad.

 Overseas trips for children under 18 organised by education settings

“The government advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18. This is because trip leaders would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare, should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate.”

Sadly, this means we will not be able to continue with our Paris trip. We will, of course, be contacting those parents of children who have booked the trip with more information in due course.

 Thank you for your patience and support during this testing time. We will continue to teach your children and take the greatest care of them. We will also text you and update the website with any new information.

 

This guidance will assist schools and other educational settings in providing advice for pupils, students, staff and parents or carers regarding:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19,
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19,
  • what to do if someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 has been in a school or other educational setting, and
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled from specified countries or areas within the last 14 days, including school trips

With regards to travel information for specified countries/areas for pupils or students resident or boarding in the UK, we recommend following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) country advice pages.

1. Information about the virus

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 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:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever

Generally, these infections 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 is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.

2. How COVID-19 is spread

From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.

There are 2 routes by which people could become infected:

  • secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs
  • it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).

There is currently no good evidence that people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others.

3. Preventing spread of infection

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • people who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting
  • 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
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • 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 UK website.

PHE has a suite of materials that contains public health advice about how you can help stop the spread of viruses, like those that cause COVID-19, by practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene. To access, download and share this information you will need to register for an account which only takes a couple of minutes.

Face masks for the general public, pupils or students, or staff are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.

People who have returned from Category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days should self-isolate. This includes avoiding attending an education setting or work until 14 days after they return.

People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms. All other pupils or students and staff should continue to attend school or university, including their siblings attending the same or a different school (unless advised not to by public health officials).

4. What to do if children, pupils, students or staff become unwell and believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 (either through travel to a specified country or area or contact with a confirmed case)

Call NHS 111, or 999 in an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk), and if appropriate, explain which country they have returned from in the last 14 days. You can do this on their behalf if this is easier. People who become unwell should be advised not to go to their GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

Whilst you wait for advice from NHS 111 or an ambulance to arrive, try to find somewhere safe for the unwell person to sit which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a shut door, such as a staff office or meeting room. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation. They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the bin. If no bin is available, put the tissue in a bag or pocket for disposing in a bin later. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. The room will need to be cleaned once they leave.

If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.

Make sure that children and young people know to tell a member of staff if they feel unwell.

5. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is suspected in your childcare or education setting

If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home. As a precautionary measure, the NHS are currently testing a very large number of people who have travelled back from affected countries, the vast majority of whom test negative. Therefore, until the outcome of test results is known there is no action that staff members need to take apart from cleaning specific areas (section 13) and disposing of waste (section 14).

Once the results arrive, those who test negative for COVID-19 will be advised individually about return to education.

6. What to do if a case of COVID-19 (pupil, student or staff) is confirmed in your childcare or education setting

The childcare or educational setting will be contacted by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken. An assessment of each childcare or education setting will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with relevant staff. Advice on the management of pupils or students and staff will be based on this assessment.

The Health Protection Team will also be in contact with the patient directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts, and will be in touch with any contacts of the patient to provide them with appropriate advice. Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as classrooms, changing rooms and toilets will be given by the Health Protection Team and is outlined later in this document.

If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.

7. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your institution are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 who was symptomatic while attending your childcare or educational setting

The definition of a contact includes:

  • any pupil, student or staff member in close face-to-face or touching contact including those undertaking small group work (within 2 metres of the case for more than 15 minutes)
  • talking with or being coughed on for any length of time while the individual is symptomatic
  • anyone who has cleaned up any bodily fluids of the individual
  • close friendship groups
  • any pupil, student or staff member living in the same household as a confirmed case, or equivalent setting such as boarding school dormitory or other student accommodation

Contacts are not considered cases and if they are well, they are very unlikely to have spread the infection to others, however:

  • they will be asked to self-isolate at home, or within their boarding school dormitory room, for 14 days from the last time they had contact with the confirmed case and follow the home isolation advice sheet
  • they will be actively followed up by the Health Protection Team
  • if they develop any symptoms within their 14-day observation period they should call NHS 111 for assessment
  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be tested for COVID-19
  • if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of potential contact with COVID-19
  • if they are unwell at any time within their 14-day observation period and they test positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated for the infection

Family and friends who have not had close contact (as listed above) with the original confirmed case do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities such as attending childcare or educational settings or work, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell, they should call NHS 111 and explain their symptoms and discuss any known contact with the case to consider if they need further assessment.

If a confirmed case occurs in an educational setting the local Health Protection Team will provide you with advice and will work with the headteacher, principal and or management team of that setting. Outside those that are defined as close contacts, the rest of the school does not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities attending educational establishments or work as usual, unless they become unwell. If they become unwell they will be assessed as a suspected case depending on their symptoms. This advice applies to teaching staff and children in the rest of the class who are not in a close friendship group or children undertaking small group work. The decision as to whether pupils, students and staff fall into this contact group or the closer contact group will be made between the Health Protection Team, the educational setting and (if they are old enough) the student. Advice should be given as follows:

  • if they become unwell with cough, fever or shortness of breath they will be asked to self-isolate and should seek medical advice from NHS 111
  • if they are unwell at any time within the 14 days of contact and they are tested and are positive for COVID-19 they will become a confirmed case and will be treated as such.

8. What to do if pupils, students or staff in your childcare or educational setting have travelled from any Category 1 specified country/area in the past 14 days

If an individual falls into this category, contact NHS 111 for further advice:

  • if they are currently well, they should self-isolate for 14 days and you should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational setting

  • if they become unwell please call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist. You should follow the advice as above for contacts of confirmed cases in the educational establishment. If they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19

9. What to do if a pupil, student or staff member has travelled from a Category 2 specified country/area in the last 14 days

If they are currently well:

  • they are advised to self-isolate only if they develop symptoms
  • they can continue to attend work or education
  • they do not need to avoid contact with other people
  • their family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
  • testing people with no symptoms for COVID-19 is currently not recommended
  • it is useful to always take a mobile phone with them when they go out so that they can contact others if they do become unwell

If they become unwell:

  • they should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as they would with other flu viruses (see this home isolation advice sheet).
  • they (or a family member, colleague or member of staff) should call NHS 111 immediately for them to be assessed by an appropriate specialist, as quickly as possible
  • they should stay at home and should not attend work or education
  • they should not go directly to their GP or other healthcare environment
  • if they require emergency medical attention, call 999 and tell the call handler or ambulance control that the person has a history of recent travel to risk areas for COVID-19
  • see further information and the Public Health England Blog

10. What to do if pupils, students or staff return from travel anywhere else in the world within the last 14 days

Currently there are minimal cases outside the risk areas and therefore the likelihood of an individual coming into contact with a confirmed case is low.

There is no need to advise any of these pupils, student or staff to avoid normal activities or educational settings unless they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact NHS 111 for further advice.

For the latest country specific information please visit NaTHNac Travel Pro.

11. School trips

Pupils, students and staff returning from school trips in specified countries/areas should follow the same advice as given above (sections 89 and 10).

12. What to do with post, packages or food sent from specified countries/areas within the last 14 days

There is no need to change how you handle post, packages or food received from the affected regions. The virus does not survive well for long periods outside the body and so it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through post or packages. It is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food.

13. How to clean educational establishments where there were children, students or staff with suspected cases of COVID-19

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the suspected case has come into contact with must be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice.

These include:

  • all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones

Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected. If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned as detailed above.

14. What to do with rubbish in the educational establishment, including tissues, if children, students or staff become unwell with suspected COVID-19

All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste.

Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste.

15. Tools for use in childcare and educational settings

Use e-Bug resources recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to teach pupils about hygiene. Key sections that may be useful are:

15.1 KS1: Horrid Hands and Super Sneezes

Horrid hands

Super sneezes

15.2 KS2: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene

15.3 KS3: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene

Hand hygiene

Respiratory hygiene