Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
I am writing to update you about the school’s current position regarding Coronavirus and to let you know what we are doing in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our school community keeps safe and calm.
We would like to reassure you that we are taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government and Durham Local Authority. We take the health and safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff very seriously, and, as such, we want to reassure you that we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education (DfE).
What we are doing to protect and support children and staff
To prevent the spread of any infection in school and to reassure you that we are taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community we will follow these general principles in school to minimise spreading any respiratory virus and we are sure you will be doing the same at home:
- Washing hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer as required which is provided in every classroom and on entry to school
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and do not attend work or school
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then place the tissue in a bin and then wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects such as light switches, handles and surfaces
- If anyone develops a temperature and/or a new continuous cough during the school day we will follow the guidelines and make necessary arrangements for them to go home
- Our cleaning schedule will be rigorous and continually assessed to ensure deep cleaning where necessary
- Lessons and assemblies for pupils about hygiene and how to deal with anxiety
What we need you to do:
- If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible via the school office on 01388 832576 or send a message on the school app to Copeland Road Primary School.
- Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It is a scary time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety
- Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we will contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough)
What happens if the school has to close?
We will only close if we are either officially advised to do so or we do not have enough staff to run the school.
In either case, we will inform you in our usual way through:
- text message (until the end of March)
- school app Newsfeed and messaging
- school website
- Durham County Council School Closures Page
- We will use the same communication tools to inform you about the school re-opening following a closure
- We are currently making plans for supporting your child’s education should a closure become necessary and will keep you informed on this. We are currently planning and working on using a Home Learning section on the school app. Please download the school app if you have not already done this, help is available in school if you need it, let us know as soon as possible so we can make sure we are well prepared for remote learning if the school does need to close at some point.
Please keep in mind that we are only sending out this information to help the school community prepare. There are currently no plans to close.
Symptoms to look out for
The most recent UK government advice (12.03.2020) is that anyone with a new continuous cough and a high temperature should self-isolate for seven days.
If you or your children have returned from abroad in the last 14 days, please follow the link below for advice about category 1 and 2 countries.
If you have returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries, look out for the following symptoms:
Difficulty in breathing
Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses. Please see the link below for information about self-isolation.
- Call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention)
If you have any questions
Please consult the:
- School office on 01388 832576 or send a message on the school app to Copeland Road Primary School, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
- NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111
- Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
- Government’s travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you’re taking abroad should go ahead
It is a tricky time and we know you are worried about the impact this might have on our community. It is important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.
As I mentioned, we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the DfE, but this is being updated regularly in response to the changing situation. We will monitor and follow the national guidance as it is updated and would urge you to do the same.
Thank you for your continued support.