On Sunday 10th May, in a broadcast to the nation the Prime minister announced the reopening of schools to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children from 1st June 2020.
Safety – the methodologies for keeping your children as safe as possible on return to school:
Children and adults who are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus will not be allowed in school and will be sent home for the required period of self-isolation if any symptoms are noted. Children and staff WILL NOT be allowed to return until the specified number of days of required self-isolation have expired. The school will be very rigid about this.
The education secretary has announced that all school staff and school pupils can be tested for Covid-19 if they develop symptoms, when they return to school . We will inform you of these details once they have been fully published.
There will be additional cleaning of the school in the middle of the day, this will include toilets and learning spaces, all handles and doors.
Children will be taught in groups of 15, at the most, with a limited number of adults, this will be their ‘school family’ and they will not be exposed to a wider group of people than this.
Children will not be participating in any large group activities i.e. assembly, lunchtime in the lunch hall. All activities will be in their ‘school family’ base.
Handwashing regimes will be supervised and regular. Handwashing before eating food, in addition to the start of the day and after being at play, will all be part of the school’s regime.
Playtimes will be on a rota and ‘school family’ groups will not mix at playtime.
Pupils will not be sharing any equipment, each child will have their own desk, and their own equipment.
Children will not be gathering in close contact in cloakrooms, all coats and bags will be kept by the child in the classroom.
Entry to and exit from the school site will be via a one-way system.
There will be a flexible start, with children entering school immediately – no waiting for the school bell!
The day will have different end times, to ease the crowding as people exit the site.
Classrooms will be very well ventilated, we are lucky that our wonderful building has classrooms with windows on two sides of the room, so that ventilation is excellent. These windows will need to be open all of the time, so please make sure your child has a cardigan or a sweatshirt with them each day.
School will continue to provide key worker care from 1st June. Please ensure school is the LAST RESORT for your child's day to day care. If you are working from home then please keep your child/children with you. We are prioritising childcare for those whose work is critical to the fighting of COVID-19.
Assessment Arrangements 2020 - The Secretary of State for Education announced on Wednesday 18th March, that the 2019/20 national curriculum assessments will not take place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This means the following assessments planned between April and July 2020 are cancelled:
- Early years foundation stage profile for Reception
- Phonics screening check for Year 1 and some retakes of children in Year 2
- End of key stage 1 assessments for Year 2 (including tests and teacher assessment)
- Multiplication tables check for Year 4
- End key stage 2 assessments for Year 6, (including tests and teacher assessment)
- All statutory trialling
Performance measures for the academic year 2019-20 will not be published.
Department of Education - The DFE have asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
The following Q&A should be read alongside the:
Why do we have to prioritise children?
The first aim of the partial school closure measures set out by the Secretary of State for Education is to reduce the overall population of children moving around local areas as far as possible, in order to further reduce the number of social interactions and thus flatten the upward curve of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the second aim is to continue to care for children who are vulnerable, or whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response, so that they can continue to work where alternative childcare arrangements cannot be made.
How are critical workers defined?
Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place, so long as their job cannot be done from home.
Many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
How are vulnerable children defined?
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children with an education, health and care (EHC) plans.
Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)
On the 16th March the Prime Minister announced new measures to deal with Covid-19 which includes the following:
If anyone in your household is suffering with symptoms the whole household should isolate themselves for 14 days.
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
- if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
- for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
- Pregnant women, those over 70 and those with underlying serious health conditions should take additional care.
- People within the high risk group will be asked to isolate for 12 weeks.
- Everyone should avoid non-essential social contact and non-essential travel.
The symptoms are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Hand washing advice
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to hand washing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19: