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Saturday 10th October - Show around for Parents of Children Starting in Reception September 2021 - Please call for more information. See Key Information > Coronavirus page on website for updates.

Coronavirus

Dear Parents/Carers,

I would like to reiterate my thanks to each of you and your children for your positivity, adaptability and understanding as you continue to support both home learning, and the phased return of some pupils back into school.

 

I would also like to thank our school leaders, teachers, support staff and administrators for enabling such a positive and smooth transition for families and pupils who have recently started to return to school. The children who have attended school have responded so well to the changes and expectations around health, safety, and hygiene, especially their social distancing skills.

 

Balancing home learning and work commitments is a considerable challenge. I know that supporting your children’s learning at home can be a joy but can be equally demanding.

 

Many of you may be aware of the announcement on 9th June that the Government’s aim for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break, was no longer considered feasible. However, as a Trust, we are committed to doing all we can to support all our pupils and families in these circumstances.

 

It has also been announced that the Government is working towards all primary children being back in school in September and potentially some form of ‘summer catch up programme’. Schools have not been given any details at this time but, whilst we await further Government guidance, we are working on our plans for September which includes; the curriculum, children’s wellbeing and how we support children to catch up in their learning.

 

The Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust in consultation with Head teachers has been considering ways in which we can support pupils not currently in school in Years 2 ,3, 4 & 5.

 

Our aims for the remainder of this term are as follows:

  1. To continue the full-time provision for children of key workers and those in vulnerable groups until the end of the summer term.

 

     2.To maintain each school’s current provision for pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1, and as far as possible in Year 6 until the end of term.

 

 

     3.To provide additional support for those year groups that have not had the opportunity to attend school since the lockdown. Pupils from   

        Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 will be supported in a variety of other ways, details of which will be provided by your school’s Head teacher.

 

     4.To continue to develop the provision for home learning.

The additional contact that schools provide to pupils in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 before the end of term is intended to:

  • Enable all pupils to understand the new routines in school to keep them healthy and safe, as this is likely to be a feature of school for some time.
  • To discuss children’s learning and progress at home and any additional difficulties that the school need to be aware of.

At St Mark’s the arrangements will be as follows:

Friday the 26th June will be the Year 6 children’s last day at St Mark’s. They have been taught across four ‘bubble’ groups in recent weeks. On Monday 29th June, the Year 5 children will form four new ‘bubble’ groups and they will be taught by the year 5 and 6 staff.

 

The home learning and videos will continue for Years 2, 3, 4 and 6 and any children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 5 whose parents have chosen for them not to attend school. 

 

Year 6 are having a virtual leavers’ service on Friday 26th June. For the other year groups, your child’s current teacher will upload a video to the school website to say goodbye and good luck during the week commencing 6th July.

 

Your child’s class teacher for September will upload a welcome video to their new class introducing themselves and conducting a virtual tour of their classroom the week commencing the 13th July.

 

All teachers will write to their new class via the school app during the week commencing the 6th July and they will invite the children to respond with a letter about themselves or a picture.

 

Rather than children taking part in a ‘change over’ morning before the summer we will hold a ‘change back’ session early in the Autumn term so that the children can have an opportunity to see their old teacher.

 

This remains a time of uncertainty, and I would like to thank each of you for your continued understanding and support. 

 

We will keep you informed following any further Government guidance, along with our response to their plans for schools over the summer period and at the start of the autumn term. In the absence of firm Government guidance, we will share our plans as soon as we can, so that you have time to prepare for the summer and autumn term arrangements

 

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs Bath via the school office.

 

Kind regards,

Philip Bowditch CEO

Update - June 4th.  St Mark's will open to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children on Monday June 8th.

 

Mrs Bath writes: 

Dear parents 

 

I am writing to confirm that St Mark's is opening on Monday 8 th June. As detailed in the letter from Philip Bowditch, which will accompany this App, we have received information this afternoon from the Local Authority following analysis of the North Somerset data, carried out by Public Health England, that there is no increased risk of Covid - 19 in the local population connected to the outbreak at Weston General Hospital. 

 

All the arrangements that you have been informed about via video or in writing remain the same, other than the need today to put some changes in staffing in place to meet the requirements of the increased numbers of the children of the keyworkers. 

 

The children who were going to be in Mrs Rooke's & Mrs Boley's bubble group will now be taught by Mrs Burton Monday - Wednesday & Mrs Boley on Thursday & Friday afternoons. 

 

Please remind your children about the need for social distancing. My staff & I will make every effort to encourage social distancing in school however, as you will be aware I cannot guarantee that children will always remain 2 metres apart on site within their bubble group. It remains your decision whether or not you decide to send your child to school. 

 

Keep safe & well. 

 

Mrs Bath 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I would like to thank you and your children for your positivity and support, and for engaging in home learning with such enthusiasm and dedication. I appreciate how difficult it can be to balance this alongside work and home life.

 

I would also like to thank our Headteachers, teachers, support staff and administrators for their positivity, flexibility and resilience during these challenging times. They have been highly dedicated in all that they have done and continue to do to support your children and the school community.

 

We now plan to increase the number of pupils in St Mark’s Primary School to include those in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

 

This will begin from Monday 1st June 2020 unless government guidance changes.

 

The Government’s position in relation to the return of other year groups is not yet clear, other than there is an aim that these children should return before the summer break. We will of course communicate as soon as we have more information.

 

The school has been and will remain open for the children of Key Workers and vulnerable groups. As you are aware school is closed though next week for the half term break.

The School’s Senior Leadership Team, Governors and the Trust have taken much time and consideration over the planning of a phased, further opening of school.

A number of factors have informed our decision about when, and how to open the school to these year groups.

 

We have been planning stringent health, safety and hygiene practices to ensure the school environment is as safe as we can make it.  This is complex, detailed and requires training for all staff on the necessary changes to the school’s working practices.

 

We have also considered:

  • The number of pupils likely to return to school
  • The number of staff available
  • The size and number of rooms we have to accommodate groups of no more than 15 pupils

 

Following detailed planning, taking in to account these factors we will be operating the approach detailed in the most recent videos that Mrs Bath has put on your school website www.saintmarks.co.uk and in the most recent newsletter.

 

 

 

It is important that you are able to make an informed decision as to whether you feel it is right for your child to return to school. Attendance is optional, so please be reassured that you will not be fined at this time. I completely understand and respect any decision you make.

 

Teachers have valued the supportive and collaborative way in which you have worked closely with them to support pupils learning at home. There has been an enormous amount of positive feedback about the high quality of this. The school will continue to provide support for learning at home for pupils not attending school, and those in the groups not included in this phase of re-opening. We are trying to do all we can to continue the high standard that has been established.

 

The videos that I referred to earlier are a summary of the detailed arrangements that will be in place when we reopen to these year groups. The plans that are in place are as a result of thorough risk assessments. If you have any questions about these measures, please contact Mrs Bath and they will be more than happy to provide additional information or clarify any of the arrangements.

 

The school’s strategy in re opening to these year groups is informed by the following Aims.

To:

  1. do all we can to protect and support the health, safety and wellbeing of all pupils and staff,
  2. organise school provision so that it supports families returning to daily life and work as soon as practically possible, within the constraints of staff availability and Government guidelines,
  3. provide a working environment that is clean and as safe as it can be,
  4. support pupils and staff positively and successfully back into school routines,
  5. support those who may have experienced difficulties or bereavement during the period of school closure,
  6. understand and respond to each individual pupil’s needs, both personal and academic given the variation in circumstances,
  7. learn from and draw on the successful practice developed over this period including home school communication, parental involvement, the effective use of ICT and further develop engaging and creative ways of delivering the curriculum.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. I appreciate that there is a lot of information to process and that there will be some unanswered questions. Please do use the school email (office@stmarks.bwmat.org) to forward any queries you may have. The school will collate these as a question and answer section on the school website during the first week back or Mrs Bath or a member of the Senior Leadership Team will contact you by phone or email to discuss your queries.

Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation very closely, listen to your feedback and respond accordingly.

 

We will continue to keep you updated through regular communication, as well as through school website.

To those children who may be coming back to school, your teachers are very much looking forward to seeing you. To those who will be learning at home, the school will always be there to guide, encourage and support you.

My very best wishes to you and your family,

 

 

Philip Bowditch

CEO of The Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust

Dear Parents,

 

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. You may well be feeling bombarded with all the information about our country gradually coming out of lock down and what the impact of this will be on the planned partial re opening of schools from June 1st.   Please watch the video, which I prepared for you earlier today outlining the provision we will be implementing at St Mark’s, so that you can make an informed decision about what is right for you and your child/children at these unprecedented times.  Click link:

 

https://stmarkssomerset.primarysite.media/media/mrs-bath-explains-the-planned-partial-re-opening-o

 

The video can also be accessed via the Home Learning Advice for Parents and Children page:

 

https://www.saintmarks.co.uk/home-learning-advice-for-parents-and-children/

 

The plan that I outline in my video is for the first three weeks of Term 6 only. We await further details from the Government about how the remainder of the term will look.

 

On Monday, a survey will go out via The School App for all parents to respond to the following questions:

 

1.  I would be interested in sending my child into school on a part time basis as outlined in the letter from school. (Letter to go out Monday but all information detailed in the video.)

 

2.   I would prefer to keep my child at home and educate them myself.

 

3.   I currently use the key worker provision and would like that to continue during Term 6. 

 

Hopefully over the weekend you will have time to consider the best option for you and your children.  Please can you respond to the survey by 3 pm on Tuesday if possible.

 

Thank you for your patience. I wanted to formulate a plan that myself, the staff, the Chair of Governors and the Trust felt would help keep our school community safe.  As you can imagine, it has taken many hours this week to put our plans in place. I can only plan for what we know 'for now'. If, and when, any circumstances change then I will update you accordingly. 

 

Take lots of care

Mrs Bath 

YR, Y1 and Y6 PARENTS, PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO COMPLETE THE RETURNING TO SCHOOL SURVEY:

https://forms.gle/SY4jUYNpeCRJzW8aA

Please complete the survey by 12 noon Friday 22nd May 2020.

                                                                                                                                    11th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to thank each of you and your children for the positivity and adaptability you have shown in engaging and supporting home learning. I appreciate how difficult it can be to balance this alongside work and home life.

I would also like to thank our teachers, support staff and administrators for their positivity, flexibility and resilience during these challenging times. They have been professional, measured and simply inspirational in all that they have done and continue to do to support pupils, families and the communities they serve.

I am sure like me, many of you will have watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday evening. 

The Prime Minister indicated that the government believes it may be possible to begin phased re-opening of schools from 1 June, starting with pupils in reception, year one and year six.  This is part of the government’s conditional plan which it says will remain under regular review and could be delayed.

I would like to reassure you all that the health and safety of each of your children and school staff is always our absolute priority. All our planning for any return to school will have this as our main aim.

At this stage, the school’s position is simple - in the short-term, nothing has changed, the ongoing home learning will continue, as will the key worker and vulnerable group provision each day. 

There are many questions for us all at this moment and we await further detail from government. However, much planning has already taken place in preparation for this by the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust, headteachers and teachers and we now have some time to organise the detail carefully.

We will provide further information in the coming days and weeks once we are able to do so. We will try but may not be able to answer all your questions at this time.

Overall, our school’s strategy is informed by the following Aims.

To:

1. protect and support the health and wellbeing of all staff and pupils

2. organise school provision so that it supports families returning to daily life and work as soon as practically possible within the constraints of staff availability and social distancing guidelines.

3. provide a working environment that is clean and safe with appropriate social distancing given the circumstances at the time

4. support pupils and staff positively and successfully back into school relationships and  routines

5. support those who may have experienced difficulties or bereavement during the period of school closure

6. understand and respond to each individual pupil’s needs, both personal and academic given the variation in circumstances

7. learn from and draw on the successful curriculum work developed over this period including home school communication, parental involvement, effective use of ICT, a broad balanced and inspirational curriculum

Thank you to every one of you for your patience and understanding – we will continue to do our very best to support you, your children and the community of St Mark’s Primary School.

Kind regards

Philip Bowditch

CEO Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust

Updated 6th April

Updated handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often. Soap and water and regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds is the best way of staying safe. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

A video on hand washing can be found at:

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 and at home:

Update 1st April

Update on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online

We have updated our information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:

Updated 26th March

Update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

On 24 March, we published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:

It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing:

School governance update

We have published an update about school governance which includes guidance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19):

Guidance for commercial suppliers

You may be aware that Cabinet Office has issued guidance on providing support to suppliers during and after coronavirus (COVID-19).

A Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 220 sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity:

We are aware of the high number of requests you have already had from your suppliers requesting support in line with the PPN. Please make sure you are familiar with this guidance before agreeing any support with your suppliers.

Contracting authorities, including the Department for Education (DfE), are considering how to respond to suppliers at risk, so that they are in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the outbreak is over.

We are working to provide more detailed advice and guidance to you on what this means for the suppliers that support you.

Please direct any questions to the DfE Commercial team by emailing:

  • PPN0220.SectorQuestions@education.gov.uk

Resources for educational settings

We have updated our guidance for schools and other educational settings on how best to provide advice about coronavirus (COVID-19). A new poster resource is now available:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK:

Handwashing 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 handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

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)

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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:



 

Updated 25th March

Update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

We have published new guidance on how to implement social distancing in education and childcare settings. This guidance also gives advice for individuals in vulnerable health groups:

It is important to read this alongside the overall guidance for social distancing:

How to submit the daily online attendance return to DfE

Thank you to all the education settings that submitted their status and attendance information to the online form yesterday. For those settings that need more information on how to do this, we have developed a short tutorial video to guide you through the process:

The short tutorial video can be found at:

The online form can be found at:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK:

Handwashing 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 handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

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)

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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:



 

Updated 24th March

 

Update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Staying at home guidance

Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.

The full stay at home guidance is available at:

Guidance for early years and childcare providers

We have published new guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19):

Guidance for further education providers on maintaining education and skills training provision

We have published new guidance which explains what further education providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision:

Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations

We have published new guidance which outlines the changes that we are making to the apprenticeship programme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

Employer support in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has published a full range of support measures for UK employers and employees:

The information outlines how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Changes to attendance registers and daily online return to DfE

Thank you to all education settings that submitted their status and attendance information to the online form yesterday. For those settings that need more information on how to do this, we have developed a short tutorial video to guide you through the process:

The short tutorial video can be found at:

The online form can be found at:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK:

Handwashing 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 handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

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)

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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

Please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

Daily update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

Yesterday Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23 March.

A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office later today. We will share this with you once this information is made available.

Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.

Further details on this announcement can be found here:

The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.

Update on assessments and examinations 

Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve.

New free school meals guidance

We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.

Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

Full guidance can be found here:

Update on school funding

We will put in place new measures, to reimburse schools for reasonable, additional costs that they face in order to stay safely staffed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Funding for all schools and colleges (including maintained and academy special schools, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, pupil referral units, general further education colleges and special post-16 institutions), whether from local or central government, will be maintained and not reduced because many pupils are not in attendance (either because of self-isolation, or where the institution has closed). This includes top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people, which will still be needed by the school to keep their staff in employment.

Handwashing 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 handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

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)

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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:



 

Updated 16th March

Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.

What you need to know:

  • staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
  • if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
  • clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
  • supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

The updated guidance can be found here:

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

Recording school pupil absences

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.

Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.

Handwashing 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 handwashing 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:

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)

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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

Updated 13th March 2020

Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase

Yesterday, the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

COVID-19 travel guidance for the education sector

The Government has issued new travel guidance for the education sector. This advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18. This does not apply to domestic trips, or overseas trips which are already underway.

The full guidance can be found here:

Handwashing 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 handwashing 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:

Educational resources

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)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls 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.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

Updated 12th March 2020

 

Government coronavirus action plan

The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next.

The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.

The action plan can be found here:

Action plan recap

The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.

The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:

Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

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)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. Your call will join a queue and we will answer as soon as possible.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

Updated 11th March 2020

Government coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the Contain phase – the first phase in the government’s coronavirus action plan.

The coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes.

The action plan can be found here:

Advice from Public Health England continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, unless advised otherwise. We are continually reviewing how best to support all educational settings and the impact of any measures will be considered carefully before being implemented.

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

The importance of hygiene 

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.  

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water 

In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at: 

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available. 

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now 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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources

Latest Department for Education information:

Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About School (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

 updated 6th March 

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages:

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

Educational resources

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:

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

The advice remains the same for travellers returning from the lockdown areas of Italy, that you should self-isolate even if you are not showing symptoms. The advice for other parts of Italy has been expanded to cover the whole country: if you have returned from anywhere else in Italy outside of the lockdown areas, you should self-isolate if you develop symptoms and call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now 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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Latest Department for Education information:

Updated 4th March 2020
 

 Update on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Government Coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

The document includes:

  • what we know about the virus and the disease it causes
  • how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak
  • the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak
  • what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes
  • the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

Current advice remains in place: No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

On Monday we 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
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

 
 
 
 

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Public Health England advises that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.

Advice for those who have travelled recently

Yesterday, the Chief Medical Advisor for England, Chris Whitty updated advice for travellers returning to the UK from specific areas affected by COVID-19, which you can find at:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Please share this guidance with your staff and cascade as appropriate.

If you have returned from the following specific areas since 19th February, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy (see link to maps below)
  • Special care zones in South Korea (see link to maps below)
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days – see link to maps below)

If you have returned from the following areas since 19 February and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111:

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini – see link to maps below)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

If you have a cough, or fever or shortness of breath and have visited any of the following areas in the last 14 days, stay indoors and call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel:

  • China, apart from Hubei province (see link to maps below)
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea, apart from special care zones (see link to maps below)
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

Maps showing affected regions of China, Republic of Korea and Italy

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas

Advice for those who have travelled recently in a group, such as a school trip

There is no need to manage returning groups any differently. Pupils, students and staff returning from trips to the countries specified above should follow the same advice.

Where to find the latest information

Public Health England blog:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Guidance for educational settings
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

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