Why does the school remain open if there is a suspected/confirmed case?
The advice from Public Health England is that schools can remain open providing that anyone that has been in close contact with a confirmed case self-isolate for 10 days. This reduces the risk of cross transmission and means a school can remain open providing it is deemed COVID secure. If a school develops multiple cases where cross transmission is a factor, then Public Health England will advise if a partial or full school closure is required.
Is the school being deep cleaned when you get a suspected/confirmed case?
As part of our COVID secure procedures we have put in place additional cleaning routines throughout the day to ensure that high contact areas are regularly cleaned. Each evening the school is being cleaned more deeply than usual to prevent the virus remaining present on surfaces. As a final precaution where there is a suspected or confirmed case the area affected is isolated and then cleaned in line with guidance from Public Health England. All these measures ensure that the school does not need to close to be cleaned.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 that I should monitor my child for?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
● a new continuous cough
● a high temperature
● a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
What additional measures are the school taking to prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
The school has already put in place a series of measures to limit the risk of COVID-19 being spread within the school. This includes additional hand sanitizer stations on entry to the school and throughout it. We have also put in place more regular and deeper cleaning regimes as well as signage to ensure movement around the school is done in a way that maintains social distancing where possible. In classrooms pupils are allocated into bubbles that are designed to stop the transmission of COVID-19 across the wider school. Student use hand sanitiser on entry and exit from the classroom. Classrooms have also been rearranged to avoid students sitting directly face to face and being in close contact with each other. Surface and work areas are cleaned and wiped down at the end of each lesson. Whilst it is not possible to ensure 2m distance at all times the other measures in place reduce the risk of transmission when contact is less than 2m, it is therefore important that students regularly clean their hands throughout the day as this is the most important way to control the spread of the disease.
How do bubbles work within the school?
Bubbles are ways of reducing transmission of COVID-19 by minimising contact between students to essential groups only. Your child may be allocated to either a classroom bubble or a year group bubble as necessary for the delivery of the curriculum. Where a COVID-19 confirmed case occurs, we will risk assess with Public Health England whether students need to be self-isolated by classes or year group bubbles depending on the circumstances of the case. Within the bubble students, especially older ones, are expected to still socially distance as much as is practically possible. This does not mean that they cannot go within 2m of other students but that any close contact should be limited as much as is practically possible. Where they are within 2m of each other they should avoid face to face contact as this type of close contact is more likely to spread the disease. Teachers can operate across different bubbles; however, they should remain at least 2m away from other staff and students when teaching at all times to avoid any close contact with others. If you have any questions or concerns about how the bubble your child is in is operating, you should contact the school.
What do I do if my child develops symptoms of COVID 19?
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to update us.
Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. It is important that your child is tested so we can take any further measures needed if they are confirmed to have COVID-19. All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.
Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community. If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
What should I do if my child has been in contact with someone that is self-isolating?
If your child has been in close contact with a person who is a confirmed case, we will notify you accordingly and ask your child to self-isolate for 10 days. If your child has been in close contact with someone that is self-isolating as a precaution (and has not yet tested positive) then your child will not need to self-isolate as it is most likely that the person who is self-isolating will be infectious whilst they are at home (should they develop the disease).
If my child is asked to self-isolate do they need to keep self-isolating if they receive a negative test result?
If your child is asked to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with a confirmed case they must remain in self-isolation until the end of the 10-day period, even if they test negative during the 10 days. This is because even if you test negative you still may incubate the virus later in the isolation period.
Should I be worried about my child getting COVID-19?
For the majority of children and a significant proportion of adults, COVID-19 appears as a mild illness that does not require any specific treatment If, in the rare case, your child does develop more serious symptoms you should contact 111 for further advice.
What will happen if I do not send my child to school as I am worried they may be infected? From September, the usual rules on school attendance will apply. Unless you are notified that your child needs to self-isolate, they should continue to attend school as normal. If we believe that your child may have had close contact with an infected person and needs to self-isolate, we will provide virtual learning to them at home for the period they are self-isolating which they can undertake providing they are well.
How can I help to prevent COVID-19 spreading into my home?
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
● wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds ● use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
● ensure your child washes their hands as soon as they get home
● ensure that everyone covers their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not your hands) when they cough or sneeze
● put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash hands afterwards
How can I help to prevent COVID-19 spreading within the school?
o help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the school you should remind your child of the importance of good personal hygiene and social distancing. You should try and ensure that they wash their hands before leaving home and on arrival back. You should also try and limit social gatherings outside of school in line with the current government guidance. Most importantly you should not send your child to school if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms listed above and instead arrange for them to be tested at the nearest testing centre.