Dear Parents and Carers,
I wanted to inform you personally that Ashford is on the list of areas within England whose primary schools WILL NOT be opening on Monday 4th January. Like you, we have only just been notified and both myself and my team are busy reading the documentation , provided by the government moments ago. I will be in touch with more details over the next few days.
From Department for Education:
Guidance on what the new national restrictions mean for education and childcare settings
We have published information on what the new national restrictions mean for education and childcare settings. This guidance is for early years providers, schools, further education providers and children’s social care settings.
We have also published information for higher education providerson how the new national restrictions affect the higher education sector.
Guidance on school attendance
Our guidance on the new national restrictions makes it clear the government is continuing to prioritise the long term future of children and young people therefore early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
It is very important for children and young people to attend their education setting for their wellbeing and long-term development.
School attendance continues to be mandatory although the expectations have changed for children who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Schools should consider any concerns from pupils, parents and households, who may be reluctant or anxious about attending school and put the right support in place to address this.
The usual school attendance powers and duties continue to apply, including schools and local authorities’ ability to use parental responsibility measures, such as fixed penalty notices, where appropriate.
Further information can be found in our guidance on recording attendance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.
Guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable staff and children
The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).
This guidance advises individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home and not to go into work. Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP. Staff should talk to their employers about how they will be supported, including working from home where possible, during the period of national restrictions.
All other staff should continue to attend work, including those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
We now know more about the virus, and most children who were identified as clinically extremely vulnerable at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are no longer identified as such. Schools should encourage parents to speak to their GP or specialist clinician, as soon as possible, if they have not already done so, to understand whether their child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Where a conversation with a GP or specialist clinician has not taken place, the public health advice is that the child is still clinically extremely vulnerable and they are advised not to attend school. In these situations, we expect schools to be able to offer clinically extremely vulnerable children access to remote education, in line with previous guidance.
Guidance for clinically vulnerable staff and children
Staff and children who are clinically vulnerable or have underlying health conditions but are not clinically extremely vulnerable, may continue to attend early years, childcare and school settings in line with current guidance.
Trainee teachers are critical workers and able to go on placement in schools
Initial teacher training trainees are classed as critical workers and are therefore able to undertake practical training experience in schools and to travel to and from their placement, in line with the arrangements agreed with their host school. We are asking local authority public health teams to ensure they make this position clear in their discussions with schools.
Covid Alert Levels
Return to School Handbook
DfE Announcement 24 January 2020
|Department for Education|
|Further coronavirus (COVID-19) measures announced by the Prime Minister|
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced further national measures to address the rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in England. These measures will begin to come into force from Thursday onwards. It is vital that children and young people continue to receive an education, therefore, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
Full details of the new measures and when they come into force can be found in the guidance on what has changed: 22 September.
We are reviewing our guidance, in particular on the rule of six, to understand where further clarity is needed on how it applies in education settings, such as group indoor sports in further education colleges and universities.
Guidance on the use of the NHS COVID-19 app in schools and further education colleges
On 24 September, NHS Test and Trace will launch the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It will do this by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action. The app will be available to download for anyone aged 16 and over. This means that some students in year 11, students in years 12, 13 and in further education colleges will be eligible to use the app and benefit from its features. We have published guidance for school and college leaders and staff on the use of the NHS COVID-19 app in schools and further education colleges. This guidance provides information on how the app works and sets out actions required to use it within schools and further education colleges in England.
Guidance on ordering additional coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits
Anyone who experiences any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms should get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test at a testing site or at home. This includes all pupils, teachers, and staff. All schools and further education providers have been provided with an initial supply of 10 test kits to complement these main access routes.
These test kits should only be used in the exceptional circumstance that an individual becomes symptomatic and you believe they may have barriers to accessing testing elsewhere. Access to these tests will help symptomatic staff who test negative, and are not close contacts of confirmed cases, to get back to work as soon as they feel well enough.
Schools and further education providers should order additional test kits if they have run out, or are running out, of test kits.Additional test kits can be ordered online and will be supplied in boxes of 10, with one box provided per 1,000 pupils or students.
You will be able to make a new order for test kits 21 days after you receive a delivery confirmation email telling you that your previous supply of test kits has been sent.
Further information on how to order test kits can be found in the guidance on test kits for schools and further education providers.
Updated guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
We have updated our guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include information on the use and disposal of face coverings, the safety measures required during visits from parents, external professionals and non-staff members, and guidance on the use of private and public outdoor spaces.
We have also provided information on the re-establishment of supervised toothbrushing programmes and supporting staff and children’s wellbeing.
Full details of the changes that have been made are listed at the start of the guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Helpful links from the DfE
Details on Phased wider opening of schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/details-on-phased-wider-opening-of-schools-colleges-and-nurseries
Parents may wish to discuss Coronavirus with their children to alleviate growing concern, BBC Newsround have a friendly and informative page with child appropriate articles and links that we recommend – Please click here for BBC Newsround
For the latest information from Public Health England regarding COVID-19, Please click here
Public Health England have a comprehensive list of guidance that can be found here : Please click here for Public Health England
Keeping children safe online during COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-online?utm_source=b7f7afa2-831f-4e7f-ab12-e1b27917d611&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:
The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home: