Coronavirus – Frequently asked questions

 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help parents during this difficult time. If you still have further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Will schools close?

We intend to stay open unless we are required to close by the Government or are unable to open due to a high number of staff either self-isolating or socially distancing themselves from others. This may be as a part of a measure to close all schools or advice from Public Health England which may only apply to some schools.

How long will schools close for?

It is very hard to say. We will follow Government advice and close for as long as needed.

How will schools communicate a closure with us?

This will be shared via the normal school communication methods, such as school apps, texts, and the website.

At what point will schools close because of staff absence?

We are very closely monitoring this to ensure that schools are working within health and safety ratios. If the ratios became untenable, the school would follow procedures to alert parents of a school closure.

My child only has a slight cough or fever. Is it OK for them to come to school?

No. It is important that everyone follows Government advice and that your child stays at home. This is in the best interests of the child as well as the school community. Current guidelines indicate this should be a 14 day self-isolation for the entire household.

My child had a cough but is feeling better now, can they now come back to school?

Current Government and NHS guidance states that anyone with symptoms, along with all household members, must self-isolate for 14 days from the day illness began in the first person to become ill.

I do not want to send my child to school. Is that OK?

Children should continue to attend school as normal unless they are self-isolating or socially distancing themselves from others. The advice from Government is that your child should attend school as normal and continue their learning.

Will school closure affect my child’s attendance record?

No. Also, if a pupil is self-isolating, it will not impact their attendance.

My child has underlying health conditions. Can I keep them at home?

The latest advice from the Government is that individuals (of all ages) who fall within a vulnerable group (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people) should follow social distancing measures.  If you are uncertain, discuss with the teacher or principal.

Will the school be providing work for pupils who are self-isolating?

Work will not be provided during self-isolation. Work is being planned for pupils should the school need to close, for a directed period of time.

My child is sitting their GCSE exams this year. What should they do?

The current advice for pupils is to carry on preparing for exams as normal. We will provide further information as and when it is released.

I’ve heard that exams are going to be cancelled / delayed. Is that true?

There is no firm decision from Government at the moment. It is best not to speculate and wait until the Government makes a formal announcement. We will try and let you know as soon as possible.

My child is very worried about coronavirus. Who can they speak to?

Many members of the school community are available for additional support. Children should speak to their form tutor, teachers, Assistant/Head of Year, any member of staff. We also plan to run a daily support helpline for children and parents should the schools close

What is the school doing to keep pupils safe?

We have increased the amount of cleaning that takes place during the school day, particularly in areas that have high contact for students. All visitors to the school have to declare that they have not visited a high-risk area or have any known symptoms, all visitors must use hand sanitiser when they arrive.

In addition, we are:

  • Sharing information to educate students about the virus and the steps that we can all take to prevent infection via our tutor time.
  • Operating a campaign of advice posters around school in washrooms.
  • Refilling soap dispensers daily.
  • Updating the website with the most relevant, up-to-date information.
  • Sending information home to parents.
  • Pastoral system of experienced tutors, heads of year and leaders who you can go to for advice and help if feeling worried.

Are trips still going on?

No. Trips abroad have been cancelled.  In line with the most recent advice against all but non-essential travel and gatherings, there will be no further trips taking place at all until further notice, and information about refunds will be communicated as necessary.

What can I do as a parent?

Please speak to your child about the coronavirus and reiterate the key messages we have covered in assemblies about staying safe. They are:

  • Additional hand washing, especially before eating and after using toilets.
  • Always coughing / sneezing into a tissue and disposing of it in a bin immediately.
  • Avoid touching their face, and especially their eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid contact with others by not shaking hands, etc.
  • Don’t share drinks, bottles or plates.

How will my child continue learning if the school is closed?  

As a parent, the easiest way that you could support your child is by making sure that they have access to a computer (any device with internet access should be sufficient) and a quiet space to learn. This will enable them to access online materials and emails from their teachers so that they can continue their learning as best as possible in the given circumstances. This week, we will be passing many resources to pupils so that they can continue their learning at home if the school were to close. We will be making further information available on our website on a subject by subject basis in due course; please continue to check our website regularly.

If I don’t have a computer at home, how can I help my child continue their learning?

Your child will already have some resources with them which they can use. Many of the online learning can take place on a smartphone or via an app as well that pupils will be able to download. We will provide more details in due course.  We will provide paper based learning resources for those who need it.

We are due to go on holiday over Easter. Should we still go?

The latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office now advises British People against all non-essential travel worldwide. The latest advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus , with guidance on what steps people must take if they have to cancel their travel plans.

My child is currently seeking a school place. Can they start at your school?

As per advice issued by the admissions team at the Local Authority, there will be no new school allocations until after the Easter holidays.

How long will this last for?

It’s very hard to say, but it is likely disruption will last for many weeks and maybe months. Please continue to check our website and the Government’s websites below regularly.

Where can I get more information?

We encourage parents to access information via the Government webpages below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

 

 

 

19th March 2020
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