OLC & Post 16 are currently: open as usual.

LATEST UPDATE: 18/03/2020 22:10pm

We are currently looking carefully at the revised guidance for school closures issued by the government this afternoon and will provide a response to all parents/carers as soon as possible.

At this stage it seems we are able to remain open to students and will not close.

This will of course be subject to:

  1. Staffing levels – number of staff off due to either COVID-19 and/or childcare issues caused by school closures.
  2. An outbreak of COVID-19 within school.

My focus today, supported by my Senior Leadership Team and fantastic team of teachers, support staff and pastoral staff is to:

  1. Get a clear picture of the impact on our staff of school closures on child care (do teachers in an SEN school count as Key Workers?)
  2. What the implications and plans for the governments announcement of no exams for Year 11 students will mean for our students.
  3. Make plans to keep school fully or partially open for as long as possible whilst continuing to create and upload resources onto our Virtual Learning Environment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents/carers for your support of the school and for making sensible decisions regarding your children’s attendance so we avoid any infection within school for as long as possible. 

I would also like to publicly praise my whole staff team for the huge amount of extra work and planning they are putting in at this time so we are best able to support all of our students and their families at this difficult time.

Symptoms & Self Isolation

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

    1. recent onset of a new continuous cough
    2. and/or high temperature.

If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation.

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact:

NHS 111 website.

If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

NB: We are asking all students, parents/carers and staff to adhere to this advice to help prevent any possible spread of the virus within school.

Social Distancing

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  1. are 70 or over
  2. have a long-term condition
  3. are pregnant
  4. have a weakened immune system

NHS advice is to:

  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
NB: The new advice on social distancing is likely to impact on our staffing numbers. We have plans in place for reduced timetables or partial closure if we need to implement them. We would ask all parents/carers to consider how they can support the school by implementing social distancing for students outside of school hours to help reduce potential risk of infection.

Hand Washing

Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water.

Hand washing is particularly important after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so.

Use hand sanitiser if you do not have access to soap and water.

NB: We currently have plenty of stock of hand washing materials for all students and staff.

Sneezing & Coughing

To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue.

If you use a tissue, throw the tissue away immediately.

Wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel after sneezing/coughing.

NB: We have tissues and hand gel available in classrooms but would be happy for parents/carers to provide students with their own personal pack of tissues if desired.

Cleaning

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

NB: We have implemented an enhanced cleaning regime, particularly around high risk areas such as desks, work tops, keyboards/mice, door handles etc. We have stocked up on required cleaning products/materials.

School Plan

As per Government & Public Health England advice our school remains open.

We are however making contingency plans which are reviewed regularly as the situation develops.

Depending on staffing levels due to new self-isolation advice and/or government advice/directives, we may need to initiate:

  1. A reduced timetable: For example, different year groups attending on different days
  2. A partial Closure: For one or more sites leading to students attending different sites to normal
  3. A full closure: Either due to national advice OR local advice should we have an outbreak within school.

To support this, we are continuing to prepare online materials to support students learning from home, particularly our Year 11 students in the run up to their exams.

Last week, we created an online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which will allow student teaching staff to upload work for students to access via any device with internet access. Teachers have already been busy uploading content onto this platform – focusing on Year 11 Students initially. Other year groups will follow this week. This VLE is in addition to a number of other online resources/systems already in use by students.

This will support students who may have to self-isolate OR any form of school closure.

Communication

We will continue to make use of the following methods to communicate any updates and/or changes to students/parents/carers:

  1. Text Message Service
  2. Email
  3. School Website – specifically this webpage

NB: The education@newforestschool.co.uk email address will continue to be monitored daily even if the school closes.

To aid communication please could parents/carers ensure we have the most up to date phone & email contact details.

Year 11 Exams

Currently advice for all schools is to continue preparing for exams as normal.

JCQ who oversee all the exam boards are currently making plans for any disruption to the exams which are due to start mid May.

We will of course update all Year 11 students and parents/carers if relevant information becomes available

Useful Links

The following external links provide access to useful information on COVID-19 Coronavirus:

Coronavirus