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Coronavirus March 12, 5.30pm update

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update 2 - 12 March 2020   

Dear Parent,

We are not aware of any cases of suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) at the UTC

Following the government COBRA meeting this afternoon, England has now moved to the ‘delay’ phase. This means advice to schools and parents has changed. Schools are to stay open, but you now need to take different action if you experience certain symptoms.

We are not aware of any cases that affect our school community currently. However, the government advice is now that staff and students must not come into school if they have the following symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Persistent dry cough
  3. Shortness of breath

If any of these symptoms are present your child should not come to school for seven days. 

This advice may change so please monitor our website for further advice. Staff and students with mild symptoms are asked not to call 111 as this will clog up the system, however if symptoms are severe or you are worried in any way that you or your child may have contracted coronavirus you should contact 111 to seek advice. Please then notify the school about the action you have been asked to take.

Cases of coronavirus are now predicted to increase. This means the likelihood of a pupil or member of staff testing positive or being in contact with a confirmed case and being advised to self-isolate is increasing. The current situation is that if there is a confirmed case at school then Public Health England (PHE) will advise on the appropriate and proportionate steps to take. Where a pupil or staff member is self-isolating due to contact with a confirmed case the current national advice is that schools should remain open.

I would like to reassure you that the health and wellbeing of students and staff is our top priority. Having carefully considered the current situation, we are going to take the following measures with immediate effect:

  1. We will review whether parents’ meetings scheduled for later this month take place. Please book appointments as normal at this time and we will inform you if we need to postpone. 
  2. We will review whether sixth form admission appointments are conducted face to face or over the telephone. Please attend for your appointment until advised otherwise. 
  3. In discussions with employers we will review the Year 10 and 12 work experience weeks scheduled for the week before and week after the Easter break and inform you of the outcome of those discussions as soon as possible.   
  4. Trips and visits where travel is abroad will be cancelled or postponed in line with the government’s advice. All other trips will be assessed on an individual basis. It is important to stress that a decision may need to be made at short notice regarding trips.
  5. We will review whether sports fixtures go ahead and inform teams as soon as possible. It is likely that all sports fixtures will be cancelled.
  1. We will minimise visitors to school. Anyone who does come into reception will be asked to sanitise their hands and be shown a copy of the Public Health England leaflet ‘Advice on coronavirus for places of education’.
  2. We would ask you to consider carefully any travel arrangements you might be planning over the Easter holidays. Please be aware that the guidance about this, which can be found on the Foreign Office website, frequently changes but it could mean that a period of self-isolation might be necessary on your return. Please notify us immediately at the start of the summer term if this is the case.

In addition to these actions, we have put in place a number of measures with the students. This includes briefing them in tutor time and assemblies, reminding them to wash their hands frequently, putting notices and signage up in around the school to encourage good hygiene and regularly checking the soap dispensers to ensure that there is always an adequate supply.

We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and follow the advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education. The Department for Education’s advice page for schools can be found using the link below:

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

The most important advice is to limit the spread of the virus. Health-care professionals stress the importance of hygiene and hand washing. They recommend:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Catch it, Bin it, Kill it: Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin
  • People who feel unwell should stay at home

Students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:

  • After using public transport
  • Before leaving home and on arrival at school
  • After using the toilet
  • After breaks and sporting activities
  • Before eating any food, including snacks

We will continue to highlight this important advice to students. If circumstances do change in anyway then we will contact you immediately with any arrangements that may have to be put in place.


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