Coronavirus/Covid 19 update Monday 23 March, 2020
Please see important letters regarding the Y11 and Y13 external summer exams to download and view at the bottom of the page.
As of Friday last week the school has been instructed to close until further notice.
However, as advised by the government, we intend to open for the children of key workers and those children identified as vulnerable. As of late Thursday night, Key workers are defined as those who are maintaining essential public services during the Covid-19 response. The definition of key worker will be flexible and dependant on the circumstance and requirements over the course of this critical period. There will be flexibility shown on the definition of key workers to ensure all those who need support receive it. The list is not prescriptive. However, to give some guidance the following outlines the broad categories of what would be defined as a key worker;
• Health and Social Care. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector
• Education and childcare. This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response
• Public safety and national security. This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles
• Transport. This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response
• Utilities and Communication. This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the Covid-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery, services and waste disposal
• Food and other necessary goods. This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g hygiene, medical etc)
• Other workers essential to delivering key public services
• Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response
The aim is to keep the number of pupils coming into schools to a minimum and a complete list is due to be published later today. Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home from Monday.
In order to plan for this, it is very important that you email email@example.com by close of play FRIDAY 20 March if you work for one of the above listed key occupations and would like your child to come to school from Monday 23 March:
Can you also email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child meets any of the following criteria and you would like them to come to school from Monday 23 March:
- Children with an EHCP
- Looked After Children
- Children with a social worker
- Children who are vulnerable for other reasons (please note that we will assess such requests on a case-by-case basis).
Please note that you are not obliged to take up this offer if you would rather keep your child at home. The intention is that we will be providing these children with a safe space to go during school hours. We will not be teaching normal lessons in school, but will be supporting them with the work that has been set by their teachers online. Further details about this provision will be given when they become available.
All other students should be studying at home. In my letter sent on Tuesday, I gave full details about what our teachers are offering in terms of online learning and what we expect of students. In this regard, please remember that
- Our aim is for students to be set work in line with their school timetable. We feel that this will both support their learning and progress, and also help by providing a consistent routine for them.
- Please remember that the RM Unify and the VLE are the main learning platforms. Please refer to ‘Accessing the TCSND ICT systems from home’ guide sent with Tuesday’s email and also available to download below.
- We aim to support our students in whatever way we can: we are providing laptops for students without computer access, Sainsbury’s vouchers for students in receipt of Free School Meals, and trying to support all students’ welfare and wellbeing through a remote version of our pastoral systems.
- We have been asked by our Safer Schools Officer to inform you that, between the hours of 9am and 3pm, our students are still in education and Police will be carrying out truancy patrols. Any student found out in public during these hours without a valid reason will be treated as a truant as per normal and taken home by the Police.
There are two weeks of normal term time left until the Easter holidays. We will review how things are working during that time and assess whether any changes are required to improve teaching and learning if the school is still closed after Easter. As part of this process, we will seek your views through an online survey.
As you know, it was also announced that GCSE and A-Level exams will not take place in the summer, but, frustratingly, no further details have been provided at this point. We know that Year 11 and Year 13 students are stunned and shocked by this announcement, and we have worked hard today to support them through this incredibly challenging and uncertain time. We do not yet know what the government will decide, but rest assured that we will do everything in our power to make sure that their futures are not affected by this. We will update you when we know more.
We hope to remain open for all year groups tomorrow, but, due to staffing capacity issues and in order to give our staff the time to plan effectively for the school closure, we have taken the decision to close the school at 12.10pm. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but we hope you will understand our reasons for doing this.
Finally, this is certainly the most challenging situation that we have faced as a society for a very long time. I will be communicating regularly with you over the coming weeks, but for the moment, I send my very best wishes to you and your family, and wish you all health and happiness.
Christian Hicks, Headteacher
The instruction in case of suspected Coronavirus infection is now to stay at home for 14 days if you or someone in your household have either:
- a high temperature (above 37.8)
- a new continuous cough
- Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women
- People should work from home where they can
- People should stop all unnecessary travel
- People should avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres. This applies especially to those in London which is "a few weeks ahead" of the rest of the UK
- By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions should be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.
In addition, in order to avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If your child or any relative has an underlying health condition that makes them more vulnerable to Coronavirus, please contact the school.
Full advice on what to do if you are worried about you or a member of your family becoming ill from Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
General advice, guidance and latest updates on Coronavirus can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19.
The Department for Education has a helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).