Please be assured that we are keeping up-to-date with guidance as it is issued from the Department of Education, Public Health England and Camden. We are strictly following the Government's guidance for schools.
We to continue to operate as normal in the current circumstances. However, circumstances may change quickly and we will keep you informed. Our priority is to keep all in school safe and to continue to educate students.
Toilet facilities are being checked regularly to ensure that soap dispensers are full. Students are being directed to wash their hands before entering the canteen.
On Thursday 12 March the Government announced that we are moving into the Delay Phase of its COVID-19 Action Plan. Here is a link to the Government Action Plan. At this time the Prime Minister made an announcement about schools: “We are not - repeat not - closing schools now. The scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good at this time. But we are of course keeping this under review and this again may change as the disease spreads. Schools should only close if they are specifically advised to do so. And that remains our advice.”
On Monday, 16 March the Prime Minister made an announcement which made an important change to the guidance about self-isolation.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature and/or
- a new continuous cough
LATEST GUIDANCE ABOUT SELF-ISOLATION
If one person in any household has a persistent cough or high temperature, everyone living in the household must stay at home for 14 days.
This means that if any person in your household has these symptoms, then your son or daughter should not attend school for 14 days.
For most people coronavirus will be a mild illness
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
Visit NHS.uk/coronavirus to check your symptoms and follow medical advice
If you have symptoms, avoid contact with older and more vulnerable people
Visit the 111 website rather than calling
Please contact the school and let us know the reason for absence. It is vital that parents/carers share relevant information with the school.
Absence from school
As stated above students should not come to school for 14 days if they have, or anyone in their household has, the symptoms of the virus. Parents should seek medical advice if their child has underlying medical conditions or is immunosuppressed. We appreciate that some families have also chosen to self-isolate because members of their household have underlying health conditions or are immunosuppressed.
Please continue to report absence in the usual way by contacting the school attendance officer.
IBUPROPHEN - WARNING
The World Health Organization recommended on Tuesday 17th March that people suffering COVID-19 symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen, after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen effects of the virus.
The warning by French Health Minister Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice including:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work (school)
- Use hand sanitiser if soap and water unavailable
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Preparing for school closure
Given the increase in COVID-19 cases and the new guidance about self-isolation we anticipate that we will have considerable staff absences in the near future. Without enough staff we may have to partially or fully close the school. We may also be directed to close the school.
Given the rapidly changing situation, decisions about partial or full school closure are likely to be at short notice. I ask that you check the school website daily (any announcement about a school closure will be on a banner at the top of the page), and that you regularly check for emails from the school.
Please also ensure that we have up-to-date contact details for you.
Partial school closure means that we will close the school to certain year groups. We will prioritise keeping the school open for Year 11, Year 13 and for our younger students.
Setting work for students in the event of full or partial school closure
All of our students have access to Microsoft Office 365. This will be the main vehicle for students to access work should we need to fully or partially close the school.
Parents/carers have been sent an email with their son’s or daughter’s username and password.
Teachers are endeavouring to put work on 365 now for students currently not in school but, whilst school is open, teachers need to prioritise teaching those students who are in school.
Parents/carers will be sent guidance about how to support students to continue their education in the event of school closure.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
The DFE has a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.
Telephone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
Coronavirus - 'What You Need to Know' - FAQ for the public
'Stay at Home Guidance' for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (updated 16-03-20)
Government Coronavirus Action Plan
5 things you can do to protect yourself and your community
Public Health England coronavirus resource pages
Guidance to educational settings about COVID-19 (updated 16-03-20)
Want to learn more about COVID-19?
The London School School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is offering a free three-week MOOC (mass open online course) on the topic of COVID-19 beginning 23 March.
The course is open to all ages and would welcome secondary-school students.
The link below provides more details about the course and registration.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.
SCHOOL TRIPS AND EVENTS - Updated 17th March 2020
All events and trips planned up until Easter will now not go ahead. This means, for example, that the Year 10 Parent-Teacher meeting will not happen this Thursday, 19th March. This decision is a response to the most recent Government guidance, and it enables us to use staff time to make provision for possible school closure. Decisions about events and trips in the calendar after Easter will be made at a later date.
The school continues to closely following the guidance that has been issued. The Government issued travel guidance for the education sector. This advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18 for 30 days. As a result of this recent advice we cancelled the school ski trip due to depart on 1st April. An email has been sent to parents/carers about refunds.