Letter to parents/carers of pupils spending some time in school from 20th or 21st April 2020
We have been working hard to plan for the return of both pupils and staff to the school site. It does feel strange, as we have all become so used to isolating over the past few weeks. I think all of us are a little anxious about the return, as any contact outside of our home does present a higher risk. To reassure all and keep everyone as safe as possible, we have therefore put many measures in place; for example, I previously mentioned that we will be operating in very small segregated groups during the day. I do however need to ask for your cooperation in agreeing to certain measures for when your children come back to school:
A. Children (and staff) may only come into school if they are fit and well. This includes other illnesses aside from Covid-19 symptoms. We need to keep everyone as fit and well as possible;
i. to ensure they do not have any other illness if they do contract Covid-19
ii. to ensure that we have enough staff to meet all the children’s needs.
iii. to keep any potential spread of bodily fluids to a minimum – eg via ordinary colds or tummy bugs.
iv. To try to ensure that no-one with Covid-19 comes to school
We will be very strict on this and therefore if your child (or a member of staff) shows signs of being ill during the day we will insist that they return home
B. Nobody who has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 in particular a high temperature or a persistent cough should be in school or indeed out of their house. If anyone has symptoms, they must stay at home and isolate for 14 days.
C. Children (and staff) should not be coming into school if anyone in their household has the symptoms of Covid-19. If anyone in a household has symptoms, the whole household should isolate for 14 days. This was explained in the leaflet that was sent to all households recently by the Government.
D. To run a check on whether all (staff and pupils) are well enough to be in school, even if they do not have immediately visible symptoms, we will be taking everyone’s temperature first thing in the morning and again at lunchtime. Anyone that shows signs of having a high temperature (37.8 degrees C or above) will be isolated, with the support of staff, until they can leave the premises.
E. As the Coronavirus can linger on clothes, we are asking that everyone (children and staff) come to school in clothes that are all clean on that day. If anyone comes to school in visibly dirty clothing or is clearly something that has been worn previously, they will be asked to change.
F. To ensure clean clothes are always available in case there is any need to change; for example if clothing became soiled with any bodily fluid during the day, please ensure that your child has a complete change of clothes with them each day they are in school.
NB We are advising all (staff and pupils) that it would be a good idea to change into a clean set of clothes as soon as they enter the house after school just in case, despite our best efforts, there has been any contamination during the school day. Ideally, to kill the virus, clothes need to washed at 60 degrees C, but this is not possible for all fabrics – please ensure a minimum of 40 degrees therefore. You may like to know that tumble-drying will also kill the virus.
G. The first contact of the day for many will be getting onto the bus. The bus staff will therefore be checking with you that your child is well and may also ask whether all in your household are well. They will also have a visual check that the child is in clean clothes. They would reserve the right to not accept a child onto the bus if they had concerns. Please understand that they have been asked to do this and that it is for the safety of all. It does not imply any criticism of you or your household. There should only be a maximum of 4 children on each school bus. This will allow them to sit separately and be as safe as possible on the journey.
NB You should know that the transport companies are following all current Public Health England guidelines and that the vehicles will be cleaned between the morning and afternoon runs, as well as at the end of the day.
H. In case any issues do arise during the day, we need you to make sure that you can be contacted at all times by telephone. This should be the case on any school day, but is particularly important at the moment. Please ensure that we have any updates on the best number to call or if any numbers have changed recently. If we do call and ask for your child to go home for any of the above reasons, please be understanding and know that we will only ask this if we feel it is linked to the safety of all.
I am sorry if all this sounds a bit officious, but it is important to be clear and that we all behave in a way that keeps us as safe as possible. Despite all this, we are really looking forward to seeing your children again – it will be different to our normal school days, but we will be planning some fun and enjoyable activities for everyone to get involved in.
School meals: Vanessa, our usual cook, will be in school and preparing hot meals, so all can order dinners as usual. Any families who receive Free School Meals will receive vouchers for the days the children are not in school.
School Uniform: We leave it up to you to decide whether your child comes in school uniform or not – either is fine with us.
Please let us know if you have any issues that you would like to discuss ahead of, or when your child returns to school. The school phone will be answered during the day when the pupils are in school and is still being checked for left messages when the site is closed. The firstname.lastname@example.org email will also continue to be checked.
Pam Ashworth – Headteacher