COVID-19 Updates

As the situation continues to develop on COVID-19 we have created a full page for our updates, which will have a date stamp to show when NEW information has been added.

Coronavirus – Advice for all early years providers, schools and further education providers

The government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to Coronavirus. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

26 March: Important Isolation Links:

(1) Self-isolation: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

(2) Household Isolation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

(3) Social Distancing:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Information on School Governance in the current situation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-governance-update/school-governance-update-march-2020?utm_source=GT&utm_medium=Em&utm_campaign=Mar

Friday 20 March: Today the Government set out its definition of Key Workers. If parents / carers think they fall within the critical categories below they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision.

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

The Government also reiterated the following key messages:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

Government Advice to Education Sectorhttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision)

Information for parents and carers – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Thursday 19 March: Today the Government has sent out it’s first advice on how we may provide Free School Meals to eligible families. Every school in the Trust is now working with their catering supplier to understand how meal provision will be organised for their school. This will be communicated directly to families by the Head Teacher in the next 24-36 hours before schools close.

This morning, 18 March 2020, the BPET Central Team and Head Teachers met, virtually, and have started the process to identify which pupils fall under the categories set out by the Government yesterday, 18 March, so they can then develop a staff rota to open their school Monday – Friday 09.00 – 15.30, as required by the prime minister.

Here are some updated links to official information which may be helpful to our community:

Government Info Service – live map of cases: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-track-coronavirus-cases

Covid-19 advice in 21 languages: Covid-19 Advice in 21 Languages

Here are some Support numbers to share with older people in your life or people in need you will come across during volunteering efforts. 

☎️ @age_uk | 0800 678 1602

☎️ @asthmauk | 0300 222 5800

☎️ @TheBHF | 0300 330 3311

☎️ @DiabetesUK | 0345 123 2399

☎️ @MindCharity | 0300 123 3393

☎️ @scope | 0808 800 3333

☎️ @TheSilverLineUK | 0800 470 8090

Mutual Aid – facebook groups by Borough: Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups: A List

Sadly we are also aware of FAKE News surrounding Coronavirus and would like to share this official update from Barnet Local Authority which is where Watling Park School is located.

Wednesday 18 March: Schools will close from the end of the school day on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice. This will help slow the spread of the virus.

Children should not be left with elderly or vulnerable family members. Whilst extended closure may be frustrating, we need to protect these members of our community.

Exceptions to this are children of key workers,*and in addition to this, is ‘vulnerable children’ which is defined as those under the supervision of social workers and / or those with an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

* 19/3/2020 18:00: We do not yet have a Government List of “Key Workers” but are including the following in our planning:

• NHS staff – practising doctors and nurses, Clinical Practitioners, Primary Mental Health Workers etc. Police, Prison and probationary service workers, Fire Service, Social Care staff – social workers (and Social Work Managers), Early Help practitioners, Teachers and essential school staff, Staff in Children’s Centres, Nurseries and Schools including those offering support for those with an EHCP, Delivery suppliers and drivers, Some store workers and pharmacists, Foster carers, Residential and Domiciliary Care Workers and support staff, Essential local authority workers (e.g. youth offending practitioners, Emergency Planning staff, lawyers, community safety staff, LA Contact Centre worker, Appropriate adult services), Housing staff, Repairs and maintenance staff (office and in homes) – facilities, Refuse collectors, Interpreters, Court staff, Benefit and welfare advisors, Cleaners, Security and Public transport staff.

The government will provide support for schools to provide meals or vouchers for pupils who are entitled to free school meals, i.e. those in receipt of pupil premium.

Every school in the Trust already has Educational Contingency Plans (ECP) in place for at least the next two weeks until the Easter holiday and these will be communicated to every family in the trust directly from their class/year group teachers before schools close.

Monday 16 March, 5pm: In the first of the Prime Ministers Press Conferences the UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said “that while it “may be necessary” to think about school closures, this should only be “at the right stage” of the outbreak.”

Sir Vallance added that “if one person in any household starts to display symptoms, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.” This is increased from the previous advice of 7 days.

Monday 2 March, the DfE have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.

Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday

Ongoing information and advice can also be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Public Health England blog: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

This is the link to the Government Action Plan:

ADVICE AND IDEAS FOR OUR PUPILS / YOUNGER CHILDREN:

This topic can be very confusing and scary for our young people/pupils so we would encourage you to visit the following BBC pages with them:

www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize  and www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51342366

Here is a fun sheet which gives children a challenge of “helping” whilst at home. Perhaps you can create a reward chart and agree something nice, like a day trip, once the rules on social distancing change:

Things to do at home: Giant List of Ideas for Being Home With  Kids

FOR OUR TRUST STAFF WHO MAY BE SELF-ISOLATING OR WORKING FROM HOME FOR LONG PERIODS:

We have collated a list of online training materials which you may wish to use whilst you are away from school to continue your own personal development (CPD). We hope all staff will see these unusual times as an opportunity to enhance skills, learn new things which can be used when we return to school.

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