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Coronavirus

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Coronavirus Update March 18th

18 March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

The UTC remains fully open and we have no confirmed cases of coronavirus. I would be most grateful if you would read all of this letter carefully. We currently have 3 members of staff and approximately 30% of students self-isolating/not attending. 

Our first priority throughout the coronavirus situation is to support staff, students and parents to take sensible and proportionate steps to support the health and well-being of our whole community. 

We will proactively advise staff, students and parents about self-isolation in line with the daily guidance we receive from Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE). We will put measures in place to encourage everyone to follow this guidance. We will then risk assess whether the UTC can remain open and ensure the health and safety of our students. 

If the UTC needs to close at any time we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible and we will put in to place measures to ensure learning continues.

The most recent advice from PHE and the DfE regarding precautions and self-isolation is at the end of this letter.

Students or staff with any of the symptoms must self-isolate. Students who develop any of the symptoms during the school day will be isolated and parents will be asked to collect them from school and then ensure they self-isolate. Recommendations regarding the length of time to self-isolate and family self-isolation are at the end of this letter in the PHE advice. The symptoms are: 

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

In addition: 

  • All student absence linked to coronavirus self-isolation will be authorised.
  • Staff absences as a result of coronavirus/self-isolation will not count towards any triggers in sickness absence. Staff will continue to receive full pay throughout any absences or school closures related to coronavirus.

We are working hard to put in place appropriate measures for distance learning should the school be forced to close either because we are so short staffed we cannot guarantee student safety or due to a PHE or government directive. We will inform you of the detail of these measures as soon as possible but they will include: 

  • Ensuring that appropriate and high quality work is available in a format that is accessible to all students in all year groups so that students can continue to learn. This will mean a blended approach of online, video, email and paper learning accessed via our website and via student email.
  • Ensuring that a remote, well-resourced learning timetable, which includes student remote access to teachers, is put in to place.
  • Ensuring that parents are fully informed how and when their children and they can access learning and staff.
  • If any student does not have access to a computer or laptop to access learning we will loan laptops to parents.
  • Providing all free school meals students with vouchers which can be used to pay for lunchtime meals.
  • Identifying students who are a safeguarding risk or who are otherwise identified as being vulnerable. These students will be contacted as often as possible by our support staff.

In the meantime we also recognise the significant additional strain on staff in implementing the above measures, whilst continuing to attend work, and by necessity not being able to undertake social distancing (at work) whilst maintaining a stable learning environment in exceptionally challenging circumstances. The following measures have been introduced to provide staff with the time and space for these key priorities:

  • All formal quality assurance activities will be suspended until further notice.
  • All non-essential meetings and CPD will be suspended until further notice.
  • All planned Parents’ Evenings will be postponed until further notice – this inlcudes the Parents’ Evenings and days planned for next week (25, 26 and 27 March).
  • All planned trips and sports fixtures will be cancelled until further notice.
  • All planned absences for CPD (e.g. training courses) will be cancelled until further notice.

Thank you for your support during these difficult times and I trust that, by following all the relevant advice, as many of us as possible will stay healthy.

Yours faithfully

Cherry Tingle

Principal 

                 

Public Health England/Department for Education Advice 

 

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are: 

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

Students who have these symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate. Students who develop either of these symptoms during the school day will be isolated and parents will be asked to collect them from school. The following table is useful in helping to know how long you should self-isolate. 

COVIDADV 

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can also be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

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. PHE 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. 

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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