The Priory School 146

Coronavirus Update

Dear Parents / Carers

The coronavirus issue is a fast-moving concern for all organisations and we are reliant on the expert advice from Public Health England, the NHS and the Foreign Office. As with any largescale health-related issue there will be justifiable concerns and anxiety amongst the community.

The Priory School has kept the school community informed of all relevant advice and guidance to date. I wish to take this opportunity to reinforce the facts in terms of what has been said previously and what our position currently is.

The facts

  1. The Sorrento (Southern Italy) trip that went out on Friday 6th March was going to an area that had no Foreign Office restrictions placed upon it. This was then updated to a Category 2 area where travellers were advised that on returning to the UK they should self-isolate if they had flu-like symptoms. This information was shared with parents on 6th March.
  1. On Monday 9th March the Italian government announced that restrictions were going to be placed on the whole of Italy to start on Tuesday 10th March. The Sorrento trip left Italy early evening on 9th March as planned and arrived back at school at around 10.45pm. Foreign Office advice was updated late last night (9th March) advising that all people returning from Italy should self-isolate. This advice was initially not reflected in the information updates from Public Health England.
  1. Students and staff returning from Sorrento are currently in self-isolation. This information was shared with parents early this morning (10th March). They will be in self-isolation for the next 14 days.

Moving forward

  1. The school will be providing learning resources for those students who are currently self-isolating. This will be up and running in the next 24 hours.
  1. Students who are self-isolating will be coded for their attendance as being absent for ‘Exceptional circumstances’.
  1. Current Public Health guidance is that other members of the family household do not need to self-isolate unless there is specific advice given by NHS111 or Public Health England. Based on this information all siblings should be in school. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/)
  1. The school is currently looking at what needs to be implemented if the Government decides to close all educational institutions as part of a national strategy to delay the spread of the coronavirus.

The vast majority of parents have been positive and openly supportive of the actions the school has taken, and where concerns have been raised the communication has been courteous. However, there are a minority of parents and members of the local community who need to reflect on their communication with the school and on social media. We all have a social responsibility not to share inaccurate or false information and to have an understanding that what we write has consequences, particularly on students’ wellbeing. Threats of verbal and physical abuse against staff and even young people has no place in a modern democracy.

Part of ensuring that all members of the community have an updated understanding of where we are at is to access information about the coronavirus from reputable sources. The links below give you access to the current advice:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

As stated in my letter dated 6th March, the decisions made by the school are based on the advice from experts in the NHS and Public Health England. If and when additional advice is presented we will notify you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Geraint Edwards

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