Coronavirus Update - Letter dated 11 March 2020
I am writing to you with an update about Coronavirus and the school’s current actions and plans to deal with the growing concerns in our community. We have already established a working group which now meets daily, to consider the risks posed by any potential outbreak locally. Two factors are central to the planning. Firstly, the health and well-being of staff, students and the wider community. Secondly, the continuity of education, especially preparation for and the sitting of, external examinations for Years 11 and 13.
Students are being addressed in assemblies this week, highlighting the low risk posed to the school’s staff and student community by the virus, but also the need to be hygienic and not spread the virus amongst our wider community, where there are more vulnerable people. Resources are being deployed so that the issue can be discussed in form time in the next few days. The message is, “don’t worry unduly about the risk, but be responsible.” Needless to say, we have significantly increased our cleaning and monitoring of facilities, for example, checking for cleanliness and provision of soap.
Next week, we will be training all students in using tools needed to continue learning remotely, such as videoconferencing. If the need arises, we will also be informing them of other arrangements, such as providing them with learning materials and having completed work marked. Staff are also being trained to further develop their skills and knowledge in this area.
In the event of us being affected, we are planning on the basis that, as a minimum, timetabled lessons will be delivered to examination groups. This would be either in school or, if needed, via video-conferencing.
We have a full plan in relation to public examinations. We are training all teaching staff as examination invigilators, so that examinations can be supervised, even if the school is otherwise closed. In the unlikely event of the school not being able to hold examinations at all, we will constantly be reviewing JCQ’s advice on this matter. In that event, all schools will be told what they are required to do; we do not yet know what that would be. The standing advice is as we have previously published: follow the government’s growing suite of guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
If you or any member of your family have any concerns that you or they may be displaying symptoms of the virus, please call 111 for advice.