This letter aims to update you on our preparations within school in response to the spread of Coronavirus (Covid 19). Updates from the Department for Education, Knowsley Council and Public Health England have been used as a basis for our planning. We recognise that people will understandably be concerned at this time, therefore we just want to reassure you that the school is monitoring the situation closely, is in regular contact with relevant authorities and has comprehensive plans in place.
Currently, there are no school closures in Knowsley. The Local Authority will continue to advise schools of actions in line with Government recommendations.
Day to Day Response
We are encouraging all of our staff and children to follow Public Health guidance and keep high levels of personal hygiene; this includes making sure that we are directing children/students and staff to wash their hands:
o before leaving home
o on arrival at school
o after using the toilet
o after breaks and sporting activities
o before food preparation
o before eating any food, including snacks
Children can bring hand sanitiser to school with them to use throughout the day if they wish but please be assured that we have plenty of hand wash available in school for children to use.
Our standard cleaning processes will continue however, we are also taking extra precautions within our cleaning arrangements and making sure that frequent contact points such as door handles are cleaned more regularly. Our Cleaning Provider has assured us that plans are in place to provide an enhanced or deep clean quickly as and when required.
We have talked to the children about the virus and how it is spread so that they can make sensible choices and follow the Public Health Guidance and ensure they carry tissues to ‘Catch it, Kill it, Bin it.’
Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
· new continuous cough and/or
· high temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – and it is important to remember that very few cases have been reported in children so far.
If you or a family member present with these symptoms the advice of health professionals is to self-isolate for 7 days.
After 7 days, if anyone is still unwell, then seek medical advice NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access call NHS 111. If symptoms worsen during your self-isolation, seek prompt medical advice.
If children feel better after 7 days and no longer have a temperature, they can return to school. The guidance does say that a cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the Coronavirus infection having cleared.
The procedure for reporting absence remains the same. If your child is showing symptoms of COVID 19 and there is a need to self-isolate, their absence will be recorded as an illness and therefore authorised.
ALL information needed in relation to changes at school will be posted on twitter (@halewoodcofe) and the school website (halewoodcofe.co.uk)
Please do not rely on other sources such as non-school related social media to inform your decision making around attendance and school closure.
Planning in Place:
The Council is working to ensure that any local response to COVID-19 is co-ordinated and services to schools are included in this planning. Contingency plans are in place for Council services to schools and we are receiving regular updates in relation to this.
An important part of our preparations are making sure that we have contingency plans for a variety of scenarios, including a temporary closure if instructed to do so by Public Health England.
We have made the decision to cancel any non-essential visitors to school and staff have been instructed to not attend any non-essential meetings offsite.
Halewood schools have decided to minimise the gathering of large numbers and therefore we will be postponing our PPRD this Thursday 19th March. We have also taken the decision to cancel the EYFS Easter Bonnet Parade, which was due to take place on Wednesday 25th March. Following notification today, all upcoming KSSP sporting events have been postponed. Our after school clubs will still be running as normal unless you are otherwise notified. We continue to monitor the situation daily and take advice from Public Health England and will keep you updated of any further cancellations.
We are also reviewing all trips, events, fixtures and visits and will update as and when decisions are made. At present this will be on a case by case basis.
We hope that implementing such plans will not be necessary but we will always make decisions with the needs, health and welfare of children first.
Thank you for your continued support and your understanding in this matter.