If you’ve been reading previous updates, you’ll know that schools receive a daily update from the Department for Education about coronavirus. Today’s update focuses on the news from yesterday afternoon about self-isolation:
To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.
The symptoms are:
A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
A new, continuous cough
You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
The email also presents the government’s rationale around keeping schools open:
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.
Separate to the update from government, we have three things to say…
Thank you to the parents who have expressed some sympathy and understanding about the situation for schools, such as ‘I appreciate it must be a very busy and challenging time’ – we’re grateful that our parents are so supportive.
- If you do notice it’s taking us a bit longer to respond to you, please bear with us.
- And to help us, if you do have general questions about the outbreak, do consider contacting the national hotline, which might well be able to provide you with better answers than we can.
Some of you have let us know your child’s hands are dry because of all the hand washing. If this is the case, your child can bring in some hand cream – please let staff at the school office know.
A small number of you have asked what our governors are doing about the outbreak. Guidance to governors is:
The best and most appropriate way for governing boards to support their school leaders is to allow them to manage the school’s response without the involvement of the board, unless it is requested. School leaders themselves are guided by public health advice.