I am writing this update to ensure that you can access the latest information from government bodies regarding the ongoing response to Coronavirus COVID-19. Our current status remains the same and we remain open. I refer you back to the statement that I issued on Monday 9th March 2020. If our school situation changes I will inform the whole community using ParentMail & the Hertfordshire County Council School Closure Notification System – Everbridge.
I understand that this issue has caused worry and I know that many of you were not happy with my initial statement. As I have said on many occasions this week, you are entitled to this view. My role as the Headteacher is to manage the operational running of the school and this includes its response to a whole range of incidents. I would like to assure you that the safeguarding of the children, staff and whole school community are paramount in every decision that I make.
My statement on Monday was carefully scripted with the help and support of many agencies including Public Health England, Hertfordshire Public Health Service, Hertfordshire County Council Communication Team and NHS111. It provided necessary information and explained what was undertaken within the school, based on current advice from these agencies. As you can understand, no member of my team will comment or provide any information that will make public, individuals that may have been affected by the virus. The information we have is controlled for good reasons and is part of the approach for ensuring we deliver a measured and appropriate response.
As well as my responsibility to our school community it is also important that we play our part in this widely-publicised public health issue and ensure we are part of the local and national response. Together with the agencies I have listed above, I am also in contact with local Headteachers, to ensure that we adopt a consistent approach where possible.
Over the past few days myself and members of my team have fielded a large number of enquires about COVID-19, and our response has remained resolute. It has been carefully measured and in line with national guidance.
A number of our community have been less than supportive and on occasions rude and this is something that nobody wants to have to deal with. I appreciate that feelings run high in situations like this, but I would like to remind everyone that at a basic level we are all human, in the same situation and deserve to be treated with respect. As you know, members of my team are also parents and are working hard in a situation that, at times, is less than clear. Every member of the Abel Smith team has continued to attend school ensuring that the education of the children in our community remains as consistent as possible. I would like to remind you that comments on social media or communication apps need to be tempered, as they have not helped the situation and have led to ill-informed and incorrect information being circulated.
Since starting at Abel Smith one of the things I have noticed is how supportive our school community is. Now more than ever, is the time for all of us to support each other. Support for my team and all those who are working hard to manage the current situation is imperative along with consideration for those who are sadly affected by the virus. I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank all those parents who have been in touch with messages of support and best wishes during this time.
As part of my school response and continuity plan we will be undertaking two important elements of work, which requires your help.
Action 1 – Ensuring your contact details are as up to date:
Every year in September we ask you to update your contact details, but we know that things change and we rely on you taking the time to inform us. Sometimes, due to the busy nature of life, we might forget to do this.
If you think that your contact details have changed I ask that you update the school office via emailwith your new information as soon as possible please. This is so that you can continue to receive updates from school.
The important pieces of contact information that we need from you are as follows:
1. Home address
3. Mobile telephone number
4. Home telephone number
Action 2 – Sign up to the Hertfordshire County Council School Closure Notification System
This system is used in the event of severe weather, emergency closure and any other unplanned event that affects the day to day running of the school. Sign up using this link:
Finally, if you feel that you or a member of your family start to exhibit flu like symptoms you should call 111 to get bespoke advice. Please continue with all the NHS best practice guidance regarding hand hygiene and look on http://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the most up to date information.
Remember we are here to support each other and ensure that we work positively together in a calm and measured way. If any member of the Abel Smith team can be of help please to do not hesitate to contact us through our normal channels of communication.