Latest Covid Update
With the Covid situation in Shropshire increasing, I would like to set out some of the guidance that we are following as a school to keep you, your children, staff and extended families safe. I hope this will then reassure you that we are taking action in a positive way to try and manage the situation in the best way possible.
The guidance states that you should not send your child to school if:
To ensure we limit the risk, if your child has spent a prolonged period of time in the 48 hours before family members display symptoms with that family member or in their home, we would ask that you do not send them in to school until the member of the family has taken a test and received a negative result.
Where a staff member is showing any symptoms or is feeling unwell we will be asking them to take a test as soon as possible. They will be asked to remain at home until results come back. If a staff member is confirmed as being positive, school leadership will contact the DfE and NHS helpline. A full case history will be provided and a risk assessment will be completed by someone who has medical knowledge and experience. School will then follow the guidance given by the experts. If the advice is to close a bubble you will be contacted immediately to collect your children.
Staff members, like everyone else, are prone to winter bugs and flu. Information about the personal medical history of a member of staff will not be shared with parents as it is confidential to that member of staff. If you have any concerns about this please direct them to Mrs Lynch.
Where a staff member has been contacted by the Track and Trace NHS App they will need to isolate for the period of time directed by the App. During this time they will be working from home and will still be planning the learning for the class. Some of this, where possible, will be delivered by video link if it is appropriate. Any staff member identified by Track and Trace will take a test, however, even if this is negative they will still have to isolate for the period of time directed by the NHS. Anyone not following the guidance on the Track and Trace App is liable to a large fine.
The Guidance for Opening School document, produced and updated by the DfE is being used as a basis for all decisions made in school, section in italics below come directly from the document. The key aspects we would like to remind you of are as follows:
- In primary schools where social distancing is not possible in areas outside of classrooms between members of staff or visitors, for example in staffrooms, headteachers will have the discretion to decide whether to ask staff or visitors to wear, or agree to them wearing face coverings in these circumstances.
This is the reason we are asking all parents to wear masks on school grounds and limiting the number of adults within the school building. Can I remind parents they will need to wear a face covering as soon as they enter the school grounds. There are only a very small number of people who are mask exempt for medical grounds and we would ask parents to, where possible, wear masks at all times. Asthma.org.uk states on their website:
‘Most people with asthma, even if it’s severe, can manage to wear a face mask for a short period of time, and shouldn't worry if they need to wear one. Wearing a mask does not reduce a person’s oxygen supply or cause a build-up of carbon dioxide. You may have read stories that say that it can, but this isn’t true.’
- ‘It is still recommended that children and young people limit the amount of equipment they bring into the setting each day, to essentials such as lunch boxes, hats, coats and books.’
As a school we are asking that children limit the items they bring in and out of school as much as possible. PE kits should be brought in to school in a small, drawstring bag at the start of the half term. These should then stay in school for the half term and will be sent home on the last day before a holiday for washing. We ask children do not bring PE kits in on a daily basis as this increases the risk.
Books are allowed to go between home and school. We have systems in place which ensure reading books are kept for a 48 hour period before being given to the next child. We also, where the cover allows, wipe down books between sending them out again.
- The guidance does state that, ‘Bags are allowed now.’ However, where possible, large and unnecessary bags should not be brought to school. This is because we have limited space in cloakroom areas and this can impact on the ability of the teacher and the class to socially distance, as bags take up floor space in the room. By bringing in bags, children are encouraged to bring in extra things to school and to support us in limiting the amount of equipment they bring in, we ask that they try, where possible, not to bring a bag.
Our risk assessment is updated and reviewed regularly in light of new guidance and changes in the National picture, such as lock down. We make every effort to be reasonable and fair in applying these guidelines so we can balance convenience with safety. School leaders are doing a great deal of research to be able to keep our schools systems up to date and as straight forward as possible. If you have concerns with the way we are doing things in school, please address these with staff.
Stay safe and well and take care of yourselves.