17th March 2020
Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are sure that you are all aware the HM Government yesterday announced changes to its strategy for minimising viral spread.
The updated guidance introduces important changes that parents and school have to follow. These changes will create some disruption to our normal way of life; however, as was outlined yesterday they are important to ensure the safety of the public as a whole, especially those who are most vulnerable.
If your child or any person living in your home has either one of:
- A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
- A new continuous cough
then they, and everyone in their household, should stay at home for fourteen days and avoid all but essential contact with others (self-isolation), to slow the spread of the infection. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. This is because it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community. For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. During isolation, you are not to leave the house.
You are encouraged not to call NHS 111, but to check online for advice. If symptoms worsen during home isolation, or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Any pupils or staff who present with either of the above symptoms whilst in school will be isolated and, in the case of pupils, we will contact you to collect them as soon as possible. Staff will also be sent home. They should not return for 14 days.
If you phone to say your child is going to be absent from school can we ask you to be specific about what is wrong with your son/daughter so we can log pupil numbers with suspected Coronavirus.
In addition to the measures outlined above, we have cancelled visits, external visitors, and extracurricular activities in line with the Governments social distancing and non-essential travel strategy.
We will continue to follow DfE and Public Health England advice and keep you informed. This guidance obviously also applies to staff and we may have to run school with fewer staff present whilst they self-isolate for 14 days. We currently have seven members of staff absent in self-isolation. The government is stressing the importance of social distancing, please be aware that schools cannot provide this.
For pupils who are self-isolating or in the event of school closure every effort will be made to support learning online via the School360 platform. It is possible that staff will be caring for ill family members or be ill themselves so this will inevitably effect the provision of work at times. We will aim to provide at least 1 piece of Maths and English work daily and update other subjects as regularly as possible. We acknowledge that there may be issues at home with access to ICT, such as sharing a PC with siblings or parents that are working from home, therefore we understand pupils may have time restrictions on when they can access work. If you do not have access to IT facilities at home, please advise us and we will endeavour to provide paper based work in the event of a closure. Please note this will inevitably be a limited amount.
In addition to the School360 codes sent in the previous letter, please find below the codes for Music and PE.
OMS Music – mhgrk6s
OMS PE – gdplad4
We do not have any confirmed cases at present, however we do have pupils and members of staff self-isolating. This is for a number of reasons, including they, or a member of their household is displaying symptoms or they live with elderly relatives or those deemed at risk. If you decide to self-isolate for these reasons you do not need to ask permission or apologise. We understand and just ask that you contact the office via telephone or email to confirm your child’s reason for absence as detailed above.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and ask for your understanding and compliance with the new measures announced yesterday, as we recognise that they may cause significant disruption.