You have probably seen the news that the government announced some new measures to deal with COVID-19 and also a change to its overall response, moving from the ‘contain’ to the ‘delay’ phase of its plan. As before, the advice remains that effective hand hygiene and using a tissue when coughing or sneezing are some of the most effective ways in which we can help reduce the spread of the virus. The school is continuing to do all that it can to minimise the spread with good hygiene and is following all the advice from Public Health and Herts County Council.
Self-isolation and staying at home
As you know the government has widened their advice on who should self-isolate to include those that have coronavirus like symptoms – a new or continuous cough or a high temperature, however mild – should stay at home for at least 7 days to protect others and help slow the spread of the disease. All our staff will be expected to follow this advice, and we ask you to ensure that your children do so too. If your children are absent from school because they are ill, please continue to call the school every day on 01992 583244.
Further advice for self-isolation can be found here.
There has been updated guidance on school trips and the government has advised that planned school trips outside the UK should not go ahead. The government advice is that school trips within the UK can at present go ahead safely. As the COVID-19 situation in the UK is changing rapidly we will review the risk assessment for each trip before it goes ahead.
The possibility of school closure
Some parents have asked whether we could choose to close the school now. If we are ordered to close the school by Public Health England, because there is a risk to children/students and staff we will do. If the government make a decision to close all schools we will do so, otherwise our intention is to stay open and operate as normal. The Government has made it clear it expects schools to remain open unless public health advice has been given to close. This is based on the clear advice from the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallence, on how best to manage this epidemic. We are sure that you will be supportive of this.
We are however preparing in case the school closes and we are looking at ways for managing a remote curriculum and contingency planning is underway regarding public examinations. We recognise that if closure is necessary this will have significant implications for many of our families with issues ranging from the loss of free school meals to problems for families finding suitable childcare.
In addition to these preparations I would like to make you aware of a few changes we are making at school.
- I have cancelled all assemblies, in an attempt to limit the number of opportunities children have of being in large groups.
- Children who have packed lunches will have their lunch in a classroom so that we can allow more space while children are eating in the dining hall.
- Music celebration assembly on 23rd March has been cancelled.
- Sports will be affected at school and within the local area. The Hertford and Ware School Sports Partnership have made the decision in line with the School Games directive and postponed district events. You will receive an email from Mrs Tilbury if this directly affects
you. At this moment in time, all of our after-school clubs are small in number and in an attempt not to disrupt busy lives, we will continue to offer these clubs unless the provider makes a decision to stop.
- All PFA events this side of the Easter holidays will be cancelled and this will be reviewed after the Easter holidays.
Please continue with all the NHS best practice guidance regarding hand hygiene and find the most up to date information here.
Don’t forget to sign up to the Everbridge 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, thank you to everybody for you continued support. If you are unsure about any information please do not hesitate to contact the school and we will do our best to help.