Coronavirus update 18.03.20
I hope everyone is in good health and that everyone is doing their best to take care of one another. Thank you for the messages of support for the school – we feel privileged to work with a fantastic team of staff, fabulous children and supportive parents.
Today we had just over 22% of pupils absent in school mostly self-isolating with and without the Coronavirus symptoms. After emailing a number of head teachers in the Birmingham area this morning this appears to be the same as many schools. We also have higher than usual staff absence, some of them within the high-risk category who will be self-isolating for 12 weeks and some staff away for 14 days in isolation. As you can appreciate this is putting a strain on the school.
We appreciate that it is hard for families to make the decision to decide whether their child/children have Coronavirus symptoms, especially now that the testing regime has changed. Only you can make that decision around self-isolation or if you are in a high-risk group - we urge you to follow the NHS guidelines. Excessive questioning of school staff increases pressure. In this current pandemic, we would urge everyone to remain cautious and follow the guidance from NHS 111 online.
If your child or anyone in your household displays Coronavirus symptoms (cough or high temperature) then you should all self-isolate for 14 days. If you are in a high –risk category (pregnant, receiving chemotherapy, diabetic over 70 years old or any conditions where you have a weakened immune system) then you should be self-isolating for 12 weeks. Please be assured that these absences are authorised.
Due the absence rates of staff and pupils, we will have to make some tough decisions so that we maintain safe staff pupil ratios. What this may mean is that children will be combined to form new classes. Where we can, we will keep children within the same year group, however, there may come a time where we have classes of mixed year groups. Naturally we will risk assess these situations in view of the numbers and the size of the room etc.
If matters escalate further, we could be in a year group rotation scenario, where a given year group gets a few days in school a week. We would try and avoid closing a year group down, as we feel it is important to touch base with all year groups in school on at least on a weekly basis during term time. I appreciate that some of this seems extreme but we would rather share this information with you now to keep you well informed during this difficult time. Long term we really do not know what we are dealing with in terms of staff and pupil absences.
Daily Government Briefing
Yesterday's briefing focused on the economic impact on the country and measures to address it.
We have provided all children with home learning packs and exercise books. If you did not receive one, you may collect one from the school office. Remember, the packs are also on our school website, under the children home learning section.
Thank you for your ongoing support and co-operation
Mrs D Fance