SCHOOL RESPONSE SO FAR
16 March 2020
Dear Parents & Carers
My name is Phil Felgate and my role on the Governing Body of the school is that of Finance and Health & Safety Governor. Due to the recent events regarding COVID-19 I wanted to make sure, for myself, and on your behalf as parents and carers, that we are ensuring the safety of everyone in school. I am working with the school to ensure that we are doing all we can in preventing the Coronavirus from entering the school environment and if we need to make any additional enhancements to what we are currently doing, then we do so. On Friday I undertook an inspection of the school.
The priority for me, as I said above, was to ensure that we doing all we can to prevent the Coronavirus from entering the school environment and I am satisfied that we are. Anyone entering the school is immediately asked to wash their hands and the same applies to the children. Children are asked to wash their hands at the beginning of the day, after every toilet visit, before lunch and break times and after handling anything dirty. By working together at this time within our school community we can do our best to make sure everyone stays well. We are in regular contact with Warwickshire County Council, the Department for Education and Public Health England. It is currently business as usual and we will keep you informed if there are any messages we need to pass on to you.
On behalf of all your Governors we would like to thank you for all your support at this time in ensuring that everyone who is part of the St Giles School community stays well.
16th March 2020
As you will have heard in the news, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is beginning to spread in the UK and there have been confirmed cases in Warwickshire. You will also have seen that schools are closing elsewhere in Europe and Ireland but that is not the approach that the Government is advising for schools in the UK.
I therefore wanted to write to you to give you my assurance that the school is taking all the precautions necessary in order to protect children and staff.
We are in regular contact with Public Health and the Warwickshire County Council, and are acting in accordance with nationally recommended advice. Whilst it is clearly a very concerning situation for all families, the risk remains low to individuals in the UK and the advice from the Government is that wherever possible we should be carrying on as normal which will be best for our children and young people, and our communities.
The school will, of course, follow the national guidance but, at the same time, we are planning to make sure we are well prepared for all eventualities. We are, for example, looking into how we can continue to ensure that children and young people receive some level of schooling in the event of schools having to close for a short period.
I have attached a file which shows the guidance that we are taking to make sure that the children, and the school’s, levels of hygiene are as good as they possibly can be. The actions it details would be equally valid around the home and I urge you to read this and to see if any of the measures it recommends can be part of your home routine.
Due to health and safety regulations under COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health), we cannot allow unauthorised liquids into school including hand sanitiser. Please support us in this by not sending your children into school with any hand gel. We will be encouraging pupils to regularly wash their hands and follow all of the measures that are being recommended to keep us safe.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel that you can call the school to talk to myself or a senior member of staff.
There is a lot of misinformation online about CoronaVirus and much of it is not helpful. Not only is it inaccurate but it serves to increase anxiety and distress unnecessarily. We would recommend you look at the following trusted sources of information to keep yourself informed of all the latest information and advice:
· Detailed information and advice for the public and returning travellers can be found on the NHS.uk website (and will be regularly updated): nhs.uk/coronavirus
· Further information for the public about the situation can be found here (and will be regularly updated): gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public. This will advise you on what you should do if any of your family start to show symptoms.
I hope that this clarifies the current situation. An update will be sent to you again should any circumstances change.