Coronavirus update from our Trust
Coronavirus Update - potential school reopening – May 13, 2020
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday, the Department for Education published revised guidance to schools on Monday evening outlining the gradual and phased re-opening of schools from next month.
The Trust board and the Headteachers at the Charter Schools Educational Trust are working together with the school leadership teams to plan for and manage all aspects of the process for any reopening of our schools, all the while applying the government’s guidance to the context of our individual schools, our students, staff and families.
We are determined to take decisions in accordance with the following key principles:
- Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all on the school sites. Our school communities’ safety comes first, and we will only invite more students back into school when and if our assessment of the risk is that it is safe for both them and staff to do so.
- Maximising the effectiveness of teaching and learning provision for our students, both in school and at home using best practice principles.
- Listening to the feedback we have received from our parents/carers and staff to ensure that their concerns have been taken into account before making any final decisions.
We are extremely grateful for our parents/carers continuing support as we aim to deliver high quality lessons to your children at home and appreciate the challenges that you and your children face in these extraordinary circumstances. We can reassure all parents/carers that we will continue to provide high quality, accessible home learning for all students during this phased reopening. We all want to see students back in our schools at the earliest opportunity in the interests of their education, personal development and emotional health and wellbeing, but only when it is safe to do so.
Secondary schools have been advised to prepare to begin some face-to-face time in school for Y10 and Y12 students as these are the year groups that are due to take external exams next year. Parents/carers will recognise that a return to a full school timetable will not be possible at this point in the crisis, and instead we are carefully planning for meaningful opportunities to come into school and meet their teachers as a supplement to their online lessons, as soon as it is judged to be safe to do so. However, this will not be before June 1.
The government guidance has also indicated that KS3 students will not be returning to school until September at the earliest, meaning that children in years 7-9 will need to continue to engage with their online lessons and the schools will be continually looking at ways to improve and enrich this provision. The Heads will be in contact before the May half term to give greater detail regarding what might be possible in terms of face-to-face sessions for year 10 and year 12 and improvements to our wider remote learning offer.
This continues to be an anxious time for everyone, and we understand the need to ensure that our plans and intentions are clearly communicated with students, staff and parents/carers. We will build on our existing plans over the next few weeks, following the latest government guidance as it is updated and will share more information with you as soon as we are able to.
In the meantime you can read the governments guidance for parents on the proposed reopening of schools online HERE.
We thank all our families for their continued support.
Please see the individual school websites for further updates.
General Guidance and advice
The Department for Education has a dedicated helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).
In addition, updates on Coronavirus can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus, and guidance for educational settings at www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19.
The guidance states that if students or staff are feeling unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus, they are advised to contact the NHS Helpline 111 and to keep away from others and stay at home to stop the infection spreading. The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has the Coronavirus:
- Fever/ High Temperature
- Dry Cough
- Difficulty in breathing/ shortness of breath
To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, students are reminded to:
- wash their hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
- In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, pupils should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.
- cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue before throwing it in a bin (‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’)
- to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Parents are requested to:
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
- If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
- Reaffirm with your sons/daughters the importance of hygiene as listed in the student reminders above
If any students and their families have specific concerns about Coronavirus and any ongoing or underlying medical conditions, they should speak to their GP or their specialist healthcare professionals to seek advice and guidance on how to minimise the risks. Otherwise the general NHS guidance applies.