I am sure that you will be asking what our academies are doing about coronavirus and what we would do if a case of coronavirus/COVID-19 was confirmed locally or in one of our academies.
I want to keep you informed of what we are doing and how we are preparing. We will follow the advice of the Department for Education and Public Health England. We are managing the risk and we have to be very careful about the potential consequences of any decisions that we make.
We will continue as normal in our academies – unless we are specifically told to close by Public Health England. You can help manage that risk by continuing to encourage good hygiene and getting children to regularly wash their hands. They should also cover their mouths if they have a cough and use and throw away tissues.
We don’t want children to miss any lessons and we don’t want to put parents under more stress having to make childcare arrangements. Our academies are also very aware that if we close for any reason, we may be putting children at risk in a different way when so many parents and carers have to go to work.
Our cleaning staff will wipe down surfaces and clean toilets thoroughly as part of the normal cleaning routine. This is why we emphasise the importance of good hygiene. We are teaching pupils, in an age-appropriate way, about risk, being responsible and doing our best to keep everyone safe.
What you should do
If your child is ill and needs to stay off school, please inform the academy as normal. If you think that this may be coronavirus, follow the advice of Public Health England and isolate your child at home in a ventilated room, and make sure they have their own towels. You can call 111 for further advice.
If your child has been in contact with someone who is thought to have coronavirus, there is no reason to keep them at home and they should continue to attend school/college. If they begin to show symptoms, isolate them and take medical advice by calling 111.
If your child has been in contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, follow Public Health England advice, isolate your child and phone 111.
What we will do
If a child in one of our academies or a member of staff is confirmed to have contracted the virus, we will be advised by Public Health England’s advice. Currently, the advice is that schools should not close. If that changes, we will follow all the advice given. At this point, we will move onto “Learn at Home”.
If Co-op Academy Swinton has to close, we will make learning resources available via the following link to our website. Information will only be published here in the event of a school closure. https://swinton.coopacademies.co.uk/parents/school-closure-support/
All our schools have also put in place things to enable you and your child to keep in contact with academy staff in case of a safeguarding need. You can find these on the website.
In situations like this, where there are a lot of things that we do not know, it is particularly important that we work together, in the interests of children. We will inform parents and carers through our website, social media, emails and texts, if there are any changes.
The academy or college may be told that students and staff need to be sent home for only a few days, but we have prepared for that and we will continue to work to support education and safety.
I want to thank you for continuing to work with us and for your support, the safety of our children is the most important thing for us.
Ian Burchett, Chief Education Officer