You will be aware of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent confirmed cases in Europe. At the Northampton Primary Academy Trust, we take our responsibility for the health and safety of our pupils, visitors and staff very seriously and so we would like to share with you the guidance from Public Health England which was issued to schools and to let you know the steps we have taken as a trust in an effort to minimise the risk.
Our teachers have been through the information below with our pupils, which follows the guidance recently issued by the government for all educational settings. It would be wonderful if you could also go through the points with your child at home to encourage thorough and frequent hand washing as a means of helping to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses.
There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Washing your hands often - with soap and wate or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important before eating and after taking public transport.
- Catching your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin or flushing it down a toilet. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
Pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
- before leaving home
- on arrival at school
- after using the toilet
- at breaks and after sporting activities
- before food preparation
- before eating any food, including snacks
- before leaving school
We also ask you to talk to your children about avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.
The following poster may be useful for you to print out and use:
Guidance for those who have travelled
With regard to recent travel, if you (or any members of your immediate family) know that you are going to travel abroad, please notify the school in advance and you will be given guidance on a case by case basis depending on the most recent guidance. In the case of unplanned or last-minute trips, please notify the school as soon as you are able and before you return to school.
Symptoms to look out for:
If you’ve returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries (Click here for an up to date list of affected areas and countries), look out for the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
According to other official guidance, while you wait for further advice:
- Avoid contact with others
- Stay at home – don’t go to work or school
- Don’t travel whilst feeling ill or sick
How You Can Help Us
- Please can we ask that you do not come into our schools if you have any flu like symptoms such as a new persistent cough, a fever or difficulties with breathing.
- If your child has any flu like symptoms such as a new persistent cough, a fever or difficulties with breathing, please can we ask that they do not come into school for seven days. Please continue to report absence in the normal way.
- The latest guidelines from Dr Jake Dunning (Head of Emerging Infections) are that there is "very little evidence of a widespread benefit" in members of the public wearing masks. Most of the paper options do not have a respirator to filter out infectious air particles and if they are not worn properly and are loose fitting, bacteria can easily access the nost and mouth. We are therefore asking parents not to send their children into school wearing masks at this stage.
Reporting an absence
If pupils are going to be absent from school, please follow the normal absence reporting procedure by contacting the school providing reasons for the absence. Please note that all absences under guidance from a medical professional (including Public Health England) will be recorded as an authorised absence.
To provide some reassurance to you, we have plans in place to cover the absence of any staff who have to self-isolate for seven days. Please can we ask that you remain supportive of any steps we may need to take to accommodate this.
Please be reassured that the trust is keeping a close eye on daily updates and is following guidance from both the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Public Health England and will continue to do so going forward. To date, no students or staff from any school within the trust have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Should you require any further details, there is a wealth of information available online through the link button below.
Chief Executive Officer