Letter to parents from the Government with regard to getting a Coronavirus Test
Date: 23 September 2020
Dear parents and guardians,
This is an important letter to share some information on how we can work together to make sure we can continue to give children and young people the best education in the safest way possible.
One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, students, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with COVID-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.
Therefore, I ask that you all follow these principles:
you should only book a test if your child has any of these 3 coronavirus symptoms:
No one else in the same class or bubble as the symptomatic person needs to take any action unless advised by the school or college. Schools and colleges have detailed guidance and access to a Department for Education and Public Health England helpline for advice and support.
Contacts of a person who has tested positive must follow the guidance carefully and in full, which means they must stay at home for 14 days. This is because it can take several days following contact with an infected person before an individual develops symptoms or the virus can be detected. Students should only book a test if they get symptoms.
The NHS has produced some guidance to help parents understand when their child can and cannot attend school which you may find useful.
It is vital for children and young people’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to school and college. It is therefore vitally important that all we work together and do our bit to make this possible.
Professor Viv Bennett CBE
Chief Nurse and Director Maternity and Early Years, Public Health England
Dr Susan Hopkins
Interim Chief Medical Officer, NHS Test & Trace
Deputy Director, Public Health England
Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology, Royal Free, London
Keeping my child safe online
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
School will be closed from the Friday evening.
We aim to operate a partial school care provision for parents with roles as front line NHS staff, police and emergency services, teachers, key delivery drivers and those parents of pupils with Educational Health Care Plans or current social service involvement. This temporary schooling provision will only support families who work in front line services and do not have capacity to provide care for their children at home whilst at work. This will enable front line staff ability to continue in their essential work roles.
We will run a scaled back school service in order to support those parents and families. Please note the school will only operate with a limited staff compliment due to staff child care, vulnerable adult family care and staff who are in vulnerable groups who will not attend school. Children of vulnerable adults will also be unable to attend school (see vulnerable groups list on the reverse of this letter). To plan for this, please let us know whether you require schooling care provision and for which days of the week or sessions in a day for your child by completing the attached form.
Following receipt of this information we will plan our provision and make arrangements for partial scaled back schooling. We will contact you following receipt of this form to outline the care provision we can put in place. Please note this provision may change following staff self- isolation.
See the letter attached below.
To support with children's mental health and well-being please find the links below
A message from the school in relation to your children being at home.
Our children are just as scared as we are right now. They not only hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for now sounds great, they are probably picturing a fun time like the summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you may see an increase in behavioural issues with your children. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest this may be in response to changes to normality. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean not worrying them too much with schedules and doing what can be done together. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing. Below you will find a set of year group activities some of which may be relevant at this time to do at home.
Please don’t worry about them not succeeding their year group expectations in school. Every single child is in the same situation, they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all of course meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! What-ever happens try to be the keepers of peace in such uncertain times especially when the children refuse to do their work and not follow the schedule of activities set.
If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your children’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks absent from school. So keep that in mind, every single day.
Take care, stay safe and remain positive with a smile.
If your child has symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, they should stay at home for 7 days. Symptoms include new continuous cough and/or high temperature.
This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, will be making a statement to the House of Commons at 5pm. Further updates will be circulated following this statement.
Information was released yesterday on the COVID-19 Emergency Bill, which is to be published later this week. The Bill will include:
The measures in the Bill are temporary, proportionate to the risks, will only be used when strictly necessary and will be in place only for as long as required to respond to the situation.
This Bill will ensure the government has the powers it needs, when it needs them, to allow our vital public services to keep functioning and to save lives.
Further detail will be available when the Bill is published later this week.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately (from 17 March) and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
The latest travel guidance can be found here:
Updates on COVID-19:
Following news of the World wide Coronavirus outbreak, we would like to reassure our parents, staff and visitors about the precautions we are taking to protect our school community.
The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad.
The overall risk of Coronavirus to the UK remains moderate. However we understand that people may be concerned about the health of their children and we would like to reassure you that we are monitoring the situation daily.
Latest information and advice can also be found at:
We have spoken to all staff and pupils about ways to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread. This includes not sharing food or drink and ensuring coughs and sneezes are caught in a tissue and washing hands regularly and thoroughly. We also use a limited supply of hand sanitises but these do not replace good hand washing and encouraging children not to touch their eyes and nose.
You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.
There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal. If your child is unwell and you feel they may have contracted the virus, self isolate and call 111 for further support. Please keep the school updated with events.
What action you can take
A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.
In addition, the Department for Education has 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)