28 February 2020
I understand that COVID-19, or coronavirus, is causing some concern and I wanted to reassure you that we are doing all we can to keep the students safe.
The UK Chief Medical Officer has stated that the risk to individuals remains low and government guidance is frequently being updated to maintain it at this level. We are monitoring this guidance as it emerges in order that we can act swiftly and in accordance with the most relevant advice. A copy of the most recent guidance can be found here.
This guidance focuses on the dangers posed by travellers returning to the UK from one of the high risk countries or areas where the number of cases is high. A list of these countries can be found here under the category 1 section.
Anyone returning from these places must call NHS 111 and self-isolate (quarantine) for fourteen days.
The guidance for people returning from category 2 destinations is different because the risk is not as severe. Anyone returning from these areas since February 19 should self-isolate if they exhibit symptoms. For details of symptoms visit the NHS website:
Government reports indicate that there is currently no good evidence that people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others.
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued specific guidance for schools. Any decision about the safety of the pupils at the academy will always be made in accordance with this guidance and in consideration of any local factors. The DfE guidance states that pupils should self-isolate if they become unwell and they know they have been in contact with a confirmed case. There are currently no confirmed cases at the academy.
The DfE guidance is different if a case of Corona Virus is suspected in a school, which is not currently the case at the academy. If a pupil or member of staff feels unwell in these circumstances where there has been a case of the virus, they should not be in school. You should call NHS 111 for next step instructions. Until any diagnosis is confirmed by an NHS laboratory test, the DfE states that no restrictions or special control measures are required at the academy. There is no need for pupils to be sent home or for the academy to close in these circumstances. For details of symptoms visit the NHS website:
Of course, we will keep you fully informed of any changes in the current situation. A copy of the current DfE guidance can be found here.
We recognise that families may be already anxious about arrangements for the Easter break. Advice is changing so frequently that it is likely to be different by the end of next month. I am sure you are making plans; I would encourage you to refer to the relevant advice and take sensible precautions if you are hoping to travel.
Our aim will always be to protect the health of our pupils, employees and the wider community.