A reminder that the government are continuing to publish daily updates at 2:00pm on the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public. This also details advice to returning travellers from other parts of the world.
In terms of advice to schools and educational settings, the advice is twofold:
- The importance of washing hands;
- Following guidance on ”Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” when coughing or sneezing.
A link to the poster can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/869250/Coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdf.
As a means of supporting this, we are working to ensure that we have a good supply of hand soap as a school, and every toilet facility has hand soap dispensers regularly checked to ensure effective working operation. It is disappointing to report that some hand soap dispensers in some toilets have been vandalised – meaning that these have had to be temporarily closed to enable repairs. We will of course be discussing with our students, the importance of behaving as positive members of the school community, particularly in such worrying times. However, we will undertake the necessary repairs as early as possible to ensure we remain at full capacity for both toilets and handwashing facilities.
We are also employing additional cleaning staff to work over the weekends to ensure that the school environment is as clean and hygienic as possible.
We have been asked if the school is able to provide hand sanitisation for all students and staff. The logistical and financial issues do not make it possible for Wollaston School to provide personal or shared hand sanitisers for nearly 1500 students and 200 members of staff. We encourage students and staff to follow the advice on handwashing and of course, if students and staff wish to bring in their own hand sanitisers, they are welcome to do so.
We continue to monitor FCO advice regarding travel abroad, with specific reference to our planned Ski Trip to Italy in the Easter holidays. Mr Bodicoat will provide regular updates, although there has been no new advice in the last few days.
A final note – the Government has published a long-term plan in response to the potential of a growing impact of Coronavirus. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
As has been widely reported in the media, at some stage this could potentially involve school closures. However, to be clear, the Government have instructed that school should only close under direct instruction from Public Health England. The message from the DfE, Ofqual and all responsible for education is to continue with all educational activities and planning for the rest of this academic year. If anything changes, we will of course let parents know at the earliest opportunity.
If people have any particular concerns, the DfE have also published a helpline to answer questions from staff, parents and young people on 0800 046 8687 /DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and good sense in discussing these issues with your children at what can be a potentially worrying time for all.
Mr J Birkett