Coronavirus Update 20/03/20
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you all for the magnificent way you and your children have responded so far at this difficult time.
Schools are closing for the vast majority of pupils from the end of today until further notice. We know this is especially tough for Year 11 and Year 13. We will let you know about any test and examination arrangements as soon as we can. They are incredible young people and we are very proud of them. We very much hope to see Year 11 back in the sixth form next year. In the meantime, we wish them all well.
Please visit the school’s website regularly. We will update this with key messages from next week onwards.
Further general information for parents and carers is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
Information is now available about who qualifies as a key worker. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
The guidance clearly states that children should remain at home if possible. If you cannot keep your child safe at home, and you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, then your child will be prioritised for education provision:
· Health and social care
· Education and childcare
· Key public services
· Local and national government
· Food and other necessary goods
· Public safety and national security
· Utilities, communication and financial services
There is more detail about this below and in the link above. Please do not assume that you qualify as a key worker without checking this detail.
If you fall within the critical categories you should confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
If you have already completed our form yesterday or earlier today then you do not need to take further action.
If you have not completed a form, and having looked at the above think you qualify, then please complete the form urgently. Please use the updated form using this link and not the one sent yesterday. https://bit.ly/2J0lgT4
Other children who may attend
A small number of other children will be able to attend if they meet separate criteria published by government. We are contacting those parents or carers directly.
Some specifics for those children who will attend
The time of the school day will be as normal. As usual, breakfast will be served from 8.00am for those students who need it.
All students should come to the Bexton Road site and sign in at the main entrance on Bexton Road. They will be met there.
Students are not required to wear school uniform but should dress appropriately. They should bring their books, planners and pencil cases as normal.
We will provide lunch for those who wish to purchase it. Children may also bring packed lunches if they prefer.
It would be helpful if your child can let us know which days they will attend on. We know that some of you work part time. We will ask them this on Monday or as they attend.
Many of your children travel to school with Elite coaches. We have been in contact with Elite who in turn will be getting in touch with parents to ask whether they are a key worker and need continued transport for their child.
We are expecting to be able to provide some care not yet clear on what the arrangements are for keeping the school open for children of key workers over the Easter holiday. However, we will let you know as soon as we can.
Do take care.
Knutsford Multi-Academy Trus
Definition of key workers
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
Please click on the link to open a letter from Mike Cladingbowl, Executive Principal, which outlines the plans as the Academy prepares to close at the end of the school day tomorrow – Friday 20th March. https://www.knutsfordacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Letter-regarding-closure-of-school.pdf
Further to the announcement from the government this evening regarding the closure of schools at the end of the school day on Friday, we will send out further communications over the next two days as we receive details ourselves, in terms of keeping the school open for children whose parents are key workers and vulnerable children.
We have run MS Teams workshops for all students in school today explaining the process for school work in the event of school closure. We have also attached a link to the student guide that has been produced which explains how to access and use MS Teams from home. https://www.knutsfordacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Teams-Student-1.pdf
Please also note the following:
- All Parents’ Evenings are currently postponed including Year 7 scheduled for Thursday 19th March
- All up and coming school events including Beswick Music Festival, Dance Festival, DofE Evening and Heart Screening day have been cancelled together with theatre trips and the Geography field trip
- Where trips have been cancelled refunds will be issued in due course and will be made via parentpay – however some trips are subject to payments from insurers where the monies would need to be received first, we are awaiting details on the timescales for this.
- All after school clubs and sports fixtures are cancelled
- Assemblies and staff meetings will only be held if essential to communicate key advice or messages
- All practicals in food technology lessons will not proceed and students are not required to bring in ingredients
Please find attached a letter sent to all parents yesterday which provides details if we have to take the decision to close the Academy. https://www.knutsfordacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Planning-for-close-of-school-parent-letter.pdf
Further to the announcement from the Government yesterday we have provided an update on the NHS guidance regarding self isolation.
You MUST stay at home and self isolate for 7 days if you display any coronavirus symptoms, these are – PLEASE NOTE this is now 14 days and includes everyone in the household as per the announcement on 16th March from the Government:
- a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher)
- a new, continuous cough
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Further details on the link below
- Key messages
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- This action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.
- Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
- Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
- Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
- Sleep alone, if that is possible.
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
- Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
- You do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Please find below responses to questions we are receiving from parents, staff and students.
1. What is the latest advice and guidance being given to schools?
- Government Action Plan:
- Guidance for educational settings:
- Importance of hygiene:
- Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
2. What action has the Academy taken since the last communication with parents/carers?
- Fitted additional hand sanitiser dispensers across the school site including reception areas and food outlets
- Continued to promote the importance of good hand hygiene with staff and students, the practice of catch it, bin it, kill it if you sneeze or cough, we have also explained the symptons of Coronavirus and what action needs to be taken
- Door handles are being cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis
- Encouraged students to take the situation seriously but not to overly worry or spend time talking about it on social media
3. Do you have any staff or students confirmed as having the virus?
- At this point we have no staff or students confirmed as having the virus.
4. What should I do if I am concerned that I or a member of my family may have symptoms linked to the virus?
- Please call NHS 111 and seek advice.
- Do not go to your GP surgery. Students should not attend school in these circumstances (if you have not yet spoken to NHS 111 and been advised there return is permitted) and you should keep the school informed.
5. Will Year 7 Parents’ Evening go ahead on the 19th March?
- We will monitor daily but it is currently planned to proceed unless we receive advice from Public Health England to not proceed with the evening
- In line with many organisations, we have asked staff to refrain from greeting parents/carers with a handshake, so please do not be offended by the absence of this gesture.
6. What will happen to my child’s education if the school is instructed to close?
- We will do all that we can to keep the school open. The school will only close if we are advised to do so by Public Health England. In that event, we will have a plan in place that will ensure that students will continue to have access to learning resources via MS Office 365
- The school continues to prepare as normal for summer examinations.. A statement has also been issued regarding this by the Government
We are continuing to promote and raise awareness of personal hygience on an ongoing basis with all students including regular hand washing for 20 seconds, the use of hand sanitiser, and what to do if you cough or sneeze – catch it, bin it, kill it.
Below are some further links to information provided by the Government.
Updates on COVID-19 from the Government:
Guidance for educational settings:
The Department for Education have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.
Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows: Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday
We have had a few enquiries related to coronavirus and the possible impact on Knutsford Academy. Please be reassured that no one in the school is presenting with coronavirus symptoms.
We continue to receive and follow regular advice from Cheshire East, Public Health England and NHS 111. As the situation develops, guidance is updated daily.
If you or your child develops flu-like symptoms you should contact NHS 111 and follow their advice in line with the national protocols. More information can be found on the NHS website www.england.nhs.uk/, Gov.uk http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/health and Cheshire East website www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/home.aspx
Prevention is always better than cure, so, as with the flu virus, the most effective way for people to protect themselves from coronavirus is to adopt good respiratory and hand hygiene to prevent the risk of infection and a ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach to coughs and sneezes.