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Coronavirus Update

13th March 2020

Coronavirus -  Update

Dear Parents, I am sure, like me, many of you watched with anticipation as the Government outlined their proposals as the country moves into the next stage of ‘Delay’ with Coronavirus.

Given the uncertainty around the impact of the Coronavirus, we have been monitoring the situation closely. While we cannot control what happens with the spread, we can control how we respond to it. As with all schools and educational settings, the priority is the safety of the school community. At the outset of the virus, as a school, we completed a comprehensive risk assessment which is updated daily as more guidance is released into schools from the Department for Education and Public Health England.

The well-being of our school community is our absolute priority and you can be assured that health and safety has our complete attention.

All staff and children are fully aware of the current requirements and  at school we are undertaking extreme levels of health and safety procedures to ensure that the highest possible hygiene standards are maintained throughout every aspect of the school. We are in close communication with our cleaning company to ensure that extra cleaning of specific high risk areas, door handles, tables etc. is taking place.

Any member of staff retuning from the affected areas abroad, or those who have family members recently returned have been asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days.

To date, the government has not made the decision in the United Kingdom to close schools, however the new guidance is now telling:

‘Anyone with a new persistent cough or high temperature will now need to self-isolate and stay at home for seven days ….’

With this new advice, it may be at some point, due to staffing levels, that we may need to close or partially close the school, we will only do this as a last resort. In order for the school to stay open we need the full support of the entire school community. We have a minimum number of adults that are needed on either site to ensure the safety of the children whilst on site and it is imperative that for the school to remain open we maintain staffing levels.

With this in mind we have introduced the following precautions:

  • We are asking parents to take their child’s temperature each morning before sending them to school. If the children have a temperature above 37.8°C , then please keep them at home.
  • If your child is ill in any way, then please keep them at home – this is not just with regard to COVID 19 symptoms.
  • If any child becomes ill during the school day with a headache, stomach ache or generally complaining that they feel ill we will send them home immediately and ask that they remain at home until they are well.
  • If you have returned from any category 1 or category 2 areas, then again we are asking that you keep your child at home for an additional 14 days even if they are not displaying any symptoms.
  • We are cancelling any external visits or visitors to the school and in some cases that may mean professionals who are delivering intervention programmes. This is due to the fact that these professionals visit a wide range of other schools and educational settings and our priority is to keep the children at St James & St John School safe.

Whilst 95% attendance is the national expected level for all children the current circumstances globally are exceptional and whilst we will be monitoring attendance we will be mindful of the current situation and ask that you keep us updated of any illness or travel.

At this current time, we are still panning to go ahead with the ‘Mother’s Day Assembly’ and the Year 3 and 4 production. However, the invitation will only be extended to parents/carers of the children in our school community. We will not on this occasion be extending the usual invitation to other family members including grandparents We also respectfully request that if you are feeling unwell, you do not attend either event. We will also ensure that for parents coming into school there is hand sanitiser available. This decision will be reviewed regularly in line with government guidance.

We will continue to follow developments on a daily basis with intense scrutiny and any new information regarding Coronavirus can be found under the parent tab on the school website.

Thank you for your continued support,

Kind regards,

Gill Pedder & Jo Coxall

(Headteacher) (Chair of Governors)