WSCC / DfE / PHE Updates
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)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils
Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.
As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs.
We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories. This can be via email, text or phone call. We would appreciate a response by 2pm this afternoon in order for arrangements to be made.
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday, 23rd March onwards.
Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by website, email and text following any instruction from the government.
What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home
Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn. A separate letter is being sent home today outlining expectations. VLEs have been updated and will display all the information you will need.
If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information when the government has announced its intentions.
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via parentline or phone.
And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
- 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.
The symptoms are:
- A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
- A new, continuous cough