Coronavirus Guidance for Schools
THE LATEST GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE ON COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW
Students with parents of essential keyworkers will transfer to Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) from Monday 30th March, as per the Olympus Update dated 24/03/2020 (link above). As all keyworker parents we have contacted thus far have indicated they can drop off and collect their children from BSCS, we have cancelled our usual school bus service. Any urgent queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we're offering everyone Twinkl Ultimate free for a month, to help keep children learning at home. Visit www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and enter the code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS to set up your free month of Twinkl Ultimate.
Staff absence at Winterbourne was slightly higher than usual yesterday but has further increased today (Wednesday). Absences are due to a combination of staff illness, illness of dependants and/or self-isolation, as well as other reasons which do not relate directly to the current public health crisis. We are operating almost “as normal” today but we are anticipating a further rise in absence and we already know that there are no supply staff available to support us.
Although yesterday (Tuesday) at Winterbourne we maintained a relatively high student attendance overall, initial figures show that this has also dropped today.
IMPORTANT: As a result of staff absence, we are planning for partial closure tomorrow (Thursday 19th March) and Friday (20th March), with the school open to years 10, 11, 12 and 13 only. This means that we will have every year group in school other than years 7, 8 and 9 (i.e. Key Stage 3). This measure is to ensure that we can maintain safe operational levels for staff and students alike.
Please note that, if the current situation continues, our intention will be to try, wherever possible, to remain partially open, but that we will rotate year groups in order to maintain maximum continuity for learners. However, this may change if an announcement comes from central government about full closure in the next few days. Either way, we are aiming to give you maximum notice.
Please note that, whilst we operate a policy of partial closure, we will also ensure that:
- children whose parents are front-line emergency service and NHS workers and who cannot arrange alternative child care, will be able to come into school, irrespective of their year group.
- children who are in receipt of free school meals will continue to have a meal provided (including in the event of full closure). We are working Trust-wide to ensure that this can happen
- arrangements for children with significant vulnerabilities are being made as part of our contingency plan
We have already begun surveying parents with respect to extenuating need for child care in lower years, i.e. parents in emergency services and NHS.
Arrangements are being put into place to provide work via our online resources (S-drive) for all year groups. We are also implementing a plan to provide hard copies of work for the small number of families who do not have internet access.
Some important reminders for parents:
- Year 12 parents evening tonight is postponed
- Sports fixtures are cancelled for the foreseeable future
- After-school activities and clubs are cancelled, but period 6 lessons are going ahead as normal for the moment
- DofE has been postponed. Further information will be provided when available
- Year 11 and 13 photos postponed on 30th March
- If a child wishes to contact a member of staff they can do this via Show My Homework or through the teacher’s email (a full staff list is on the website https://www.winterbourneacademy.org.uk/Staff-List/)
- All work should be set on Show My Homework. However, if a member of staff wishes to contact a student directly, they will do this via the parent’s email in the first instance, and not via personal email addresses.
We are constantly reviewing the situation and will aim to provide information regarding next week as soon as we can.
Our staff have been reminded to try (as difficult as this can be) to maintain “business as usual” as much as possible. Our students (and peers) will all benefit from a calm, considered approach.
Thank you in anticipation of your ongoing understanding and support in these times of unprecedented challenge.
With very best wishes,
Here are some key points announced at yesterday's press conference by the Prime Minister:
- Anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days. Clearly this will apply to all siblings of those who are ill and off school. Please can we ask that you do not send in children who show any of the related symptoms, or their siblings.
- People should start working from home where they possibly can
- Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
- Only use the NHS when you really need to
- From 17/03/20, government will no longer be "supporting" mass gatherings using emergency workers
We will update you with any further relevant information as it is announced. Thank you so much for your support at this unsettling time.
- Update from Mr Dave Baker, CEO, Olympus Academy Trust
- Contingency Plan Update - letter to all parents/carers
Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.
What you need to know:
· staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
· if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
· clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
· supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
The updated guidance can be found here:
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.
As I write, we are carefully watching the unfolding situation with respect to Covid-19. Winterbourne is open and functioning as normal, although we have put into place a number of contingency plans in the event of a change to government and education policy as part of the containment /delay procedure. We are regularly updating information on our website and sending a daily email to staff with the latest advice, some of which remains unchanged. The latest guidance can be found here: https://www.winterbourneacademy.org.uk/News/Coronavirus-Guidance-for-Schools/
In the unlikely event of school closure, a priority will be to ensure a level of continuity, particularly for year 11 and 13 who will soon enter the exam season. To this end we have reviewed and updated our online resources and ensured students can access relevant course information for all subjects and all year groups. An overview of these measures will be provided by Mr Peake (Assistant Headteacher) and will be sent out to all parents and staff by email. For any families of year 11 and year 13 students who have or anticipate difficulties accessing online resources, please contact Mrs Webster (year 11 – email@example.com) Miss Jolosa (Year 13 – firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr Peake (Assistant Headteacher – Charlie.email@example.com) as soon as possible.
In the event of school closure, part of our contingency plan will be to ask teachers to always provide a week’s worth of learning resources online for their classes. Further detail on this will be provided in Mr Peake’s update early next week. Tutors will be asked to ensure all students have logged in and know their Show My Homework/Email passwords, and we will resend a full list of logins and passwords to Progress Leads and Tutors. Parents should also check and test their logins for Show my Homework.
With respect to the Prime Minister’s recent announcement regarding school trips abroad, we are currently awaiting further guidance and applying a watching brief. Therefore at the moment, foreign trips later in the year are scheduled to go ahead unless you hear from us otherwise. It is important to remember that planning and organisation are key and we must be calm and systematic as we negotiate and eventually move beyond this challenging period. Equally, we must remember that the contingency plans I have outlined are just that: at present there is no confirmation regarding widespread school closures in England, but this may change. Please continue to check our school website, Facebook page and parental email / text updates for new or additional information.
Mr Jason Beardmore
The Government has announced that we are moving out of the contain phase and into delay, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high.
As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands.
We are asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means we want people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.
The symptoms are: * A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) * A new, continuous cough
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your 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.
In the coming weeks, we will be introducing further social distancing measures for older and vulnerable people, asking them to self-isolate regardless of symptoms.
If we introduce this next stage too early, the measures will not protect us at the time of greatest risk but could have a huge social impact. We need to time this properly, continue to do the right thing at the right time, so we get the maximum effect for delaying the virus. We will clearly announce when we ask the public to move to this next stage.
Our decisions are based on careful modelling.
We will only introduce measures that are supported by clinical and scientific evidence.
Please find as follows the Department for Education's daily email to all education providers to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus):
Exam preparation and Ofqual advice
We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.
Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.
It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.
The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
Today, the Department for Education have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Please see below guidance received this morning from the Department for Education. At their request, this is being sent to all staff and parents and carers for information/action as appropriate:
The Department for Education is continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Public Health England advises that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.
Advice for those who have travelled recently
Yesterday, the Chief Medical Advisor for England, Chris Whitty updated advice for travellers returning to the UK from specific areas affected by COVID-19, which you can find at:
If you have returned from the following specific areas since 19th February, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
If you have returned from the following areas since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111:
If you have a cough, or fever or shortness of breath and have visited any of the following areas in the last 14 days, stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel:
Maps showing affected regions of China, Republic of Korea and Italy
Advice for those who have travelled recently in a group, such as a school trip
There is no need to manage returning groups any differently. Pupils, students and staff returning from trips to the countries specified above should follow the same advice.
Where to find the latest information
Public Health England blog:
Guidance for educational settings