Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you very much for your emails of support in these difficult times. We are remaining open as directed by the Government last night, however the situation in school will be reviewed on a daily basis to see how long this can be maintained. We will give as much notice of school closure as possible. In the past 24 hours we have seen a significant shift in student and staff absence with families taking the precautions as prescribed by the Government, to self-isolate.
I was concerned that there were several comments on Facebook yesterday about the lack of handwashing facilities in school and would like to take a moment to update you:
- Year 7 (boys and girls) are using toilets in the PE changing rooms’ (not the Sports Hall)
- Year 8 and Year 9 boys are using the boys’ toilets near the Red Room
- Year 8 and Year 9 girls are using the girls’ toilets on the Maths corridor
- Year 10 and Year 11 boys are using the boys’ toilets on the Maths corridor
- Year 10 and Year 11 girls are using the toilets in the Sixth Form
There are plenty of toilets and hand-washing facilities on the school site, despite part of the school being closed for roof repairs. There are also several hand gel dispensers around school in key areas for staff and student use and contrary to some of the comments on Facebook, please be reassured that all soap dispensers are dispensing soap in all toilets. These are regularly topped up throughout the school day. The Food rooms are also available for hand-washing if required by students who are nearer those areas than the toilets.
What else are we doing at school to help manage the risk?
I would like to outline the other preventative measures the school has put in place in order to minimise the spread of infection. We are using advice and common sense to implement the following strategies:
· Putting up coronavirus infection control measures information posters around the school
· Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of hand-washing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap in the following circumstances:
- Before leaving home
- On arrival at school
- After using the toilet
- After breaks and sporting activities
- Before food preparation
- Before eating any food, including snacks
- Before leaving school
· Installing alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol throughout the school
· Ensuring pupils and staff understand that they must cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
· Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual and immediately after a child has displayed symptoms of the virus
· Isolating any unwell people in a separate room where they are regularly checked on until a parent/carer can collect
· If you do need to collect your child, please stay outside the school gates and ring the bell for Reception. We will bring your child out to you in order to reduce any further risk of infection
· We have completed a risk assessment of staff and students so that we are aware of individuals who have significant underlying health conditions
· We have prepared work for all students which can be completed at home should the school be required to close. Further information on this will follow shortly. I would ask that parents/carers also make their child aware that marking of that work will be done over a period of time once the school reopens
· We have set up a FAQs link on our school website
· Advising people who have returned from category 1 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days to self-isolate for 14 days before they return to school
· Advising people who have returned from category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days to stay at home if they develop symptoms – the full list of category 1 and category 2 countries can be found on the Government website.
As an important part of our school community, I would ask that you encourage good infection control practices, such as thorough handwashing, at home and keep your child informed about the things they can do to discourage the spread of infection.
If you think your child may have been exposed to or has coronavirus, please contact the school on 0161-980-7173 at the earliest opportunity, keep your child at home and self-isolate. Unless your child is clearly displaying the symptoms of the coronavirus (and hasn’t been exposed to anyone with the virus), they should attend school as usual (unless they are too unwell due to an unrelated illness), as per the current Government advice.
I would like to reiterate that these are only preventative measures, in place to anticipate any occurrences of coronavirus within the school.
We have set up a special email address for parents/carers should you have any queries about Coronavirus. We will monitor this over the next few days/weeks and will aim to address concerns via the daily bulletin. Please remember this is solely for matters concerning Coronavirus and not general school queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-essential school trips which may increase risk of exposure to the virus have been cancelled and Y10 Parents’ Evening will no longer take place next week (26th March). We will advise another date as soon as possible given the circumstances.
We are working hard in the background to keep fully up to date with all the latest advice and guidance and we have a direct line to public health for advice at any time.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Ms K Earle