Federation of Cherry Oak School and Victoria School
Coronavirus update and school plan
14 March 2020
As you’re probably aware, the government’s guidance on the coronavirus has changed from the ‘contain’ phase to one of delaying the spread of the virus. We’re getting in touch to let you know what we’re doing in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our school community keeps safe and calm.
We’d like to reassure you that at both Cherry Oak and Victoria Schools, we’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government (Public Health England and the Department for Education) and Birmingham City Council.
What’s the current situation?
- The school remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given. If too many staff become ill, thus preventing us from safely caring for pupils, we may have to close the schools.
- All school functions continue to run as normal, including After School Club (Cherry Oak) and Club Vic (Victoria).
- Pupils should attend unless they feel unwell – if your child has any of the following symptoms they should remain at home for 7 days:
- a new, continuous cough and/or
- a temperature
- If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally by phoning the school office and leaving a message or speaking to administrative staff, as soon as possible after 8am.
- If your child is particularly vulnerable owing to an underlying health condition and you choose to keep them at home for this reason, please advise the school. Their absence will be recorded as being due to “exceptional circumstances”.
- At this point, all planned trips are going ahead and scheduled examinations will run as planned.
- (Government has advised schools to cancel overseas trips “for the foreseeable future”. Victoria’s planned Year 10 trip to Florida in September is still on as we are hopeful that the Coronavirus pandemic will be over by then. However, as with all of this information, the situation is changing daily, so our plans also need to remain flexible.)
- We’ll keep you up to date with any changes to the current situation
What we’re doing to protect and support pupils and staff
- Any child who presents with a continuous cough or high temperature at school will be sent home for 7 days of isolation in accordance with advice from Public Health England.
- If your child has these symptoms, please do not send them into school until 7 days have passed and the symptoms have gone away. If symptoms worsen during the 7 days or are still present at the end of the 7 days, you should ring NHS 111 or go online at NHS 111 for advice.
- No staff have presented with symptoms but if they do, they will also be required to self-isolate.
- If any child, member of staff or visitor to the schools is confirmed with CIVID-19, we will report this to Birmingham City Council and Public Health England. We will follow their advice in regard to school closure and/or additional cleaning or other precautions. We will inform you if there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19
- All teachers have been provided with extra resources about teaching proper hand-washing. Staff will be closely supervising children’s handwashing and will give extra opportunities for handwashing throughout the day. Supplies of soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues and personal protective equipment such as disposable gloves and aprons are available.
- Educational resources and lesson/assembly plans about Coronavirus have been made available to teachers.
- Extra time and additional sanitizing products have been purchased to enable cleaners to ensure a thorough clean of all “touch points” eg: door handles, taps, light switches, hand rails, etc on a daily basis. If anyone in the school community contracts COVID-19, the impacted area/s will be deep cleaned. A deep clean will be carried out during the Easter holidays.
What we need you to do
- If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible via email or phone:
- Cherry Oak – firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 0121 464 2037
- Victoria - email@example.com ph: 0121 476 9478
- Please complete and send back to the school, the forms authorizing our website to send yu messages via the App, and download the App to your device. You will then receive messages telling you when there is new information on the website. The website will be the main source of education. Until most people are signed up to the App, we will continue to send text messages to alert you to important information. Please check the website regularly.
- Cherry Oak – www.cherryoak.bham.sch.uk
- Victoria – www.victoria.bham.sch.uk
- Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a scary time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety
- Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we’ll contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough)
What happens if the school has to close?
We’ll only close if we’re either officially advised to do so or we don’t have enough staff to run the school.
In either case, we will advise you via Text/Website if/when the school is to close and why. When we are ready to re-open we will again advise by text/website. In the meantime, please check the website regularly for new information.
Teachers / Key Stage Managers will send home appropriate work/activities/websites that will outline learning activities that can be done at home. We appreciate that some parents and carers may also be trying to work from home and that access to the community may be severely restricted, so please take these as helpful suggestions rather than requirements of activities that must be completed.
Please keep in mind that we’re only sending out this information to help the school community prepare. There are currently no plans to close.
If you have any questions
Please consult the:
- School office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
- NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111
- Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
- Government’s travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you’re taking abroad should go ahead
It’s a tricky time and we know you’re worried about the impact this might have on our community. It’s important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.
Thank you for your continued support.
Executive Head Teacher