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Covid-19

Local COVID alert level framework

COVID-19: GUIDELINES FOR VISITORS

As we continue to try to minimise the risk of COVID-19 in all of our schools across the Blue Tangerine Federation, we ask for the support and understanding of our visitors in helping us minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

We continue to take guidance from Public Health England and taking this into account, we are now limiting access to our sites to essential visitors only. If you are unsure as to whether your proposed visit is considered essential, please email the Executive Headteacher's PA on mary.ellis@bluetangerine.herts.sch.uk. If your visit is an essential one, we would nevertheless ask that you refrain from visiting if:

  • You have travelled from or transited through any of the countries or areas that are currently in the 'high' (Tier 2) or 'very high' (Tier 3) areas of the country in the past 14 days.
  • You have developed a fever (above 37.8C), lost your sense of taste and/or smell or have developed a new, continuous cough within the last seven days. 
  • Anyone in your household is required to self-isolate in accordance with Government guidelines.

Visitors to our schools should wear a face covering and wash their hands with soap and water before leaving home and once they arrive. You will also be required to sanitise your hands on arrival.

For the avoidance of potential embarrassment, we would also like to advise you that our schools are currently operating a ‘no handshake’ policy for all members of it's community.

We apologise for not being able to give you our usual warm welcome, but we must take the current situation very seriously and look after the welfare of our pupils and staff. If you have any questions, please contact the member of staff you were due to visit.

'Wash Hands, Cover Face, Make Space'

Open Mornings - Tours of the school - temporarily suspended

We are sorry but the additional government measures prevent us from inviting prospective parents to look around the school.  We hope the website gives you a flavour of the school and we will be updating the information with new images and videos in the Autumn Term.

Covid-19 information in languages other than English

 

Translation of guidance for parents and carers on early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term

We have translated our guidance for parents and carers with children in nursery, school, or college in the autumn term.

The guidance is available in the following languages:

Does your child have Covid-19 symptoms?

What are Covid-19 symptoms?

A raised temperature

A loss of smell and taste

A continuous, new cough

  • We have spoken to PHE about the difference between a cough and a Coronavirus cough as we expect coughs and colds over the Autumn and Winter months . They advised that: 'if the pupil can't stop coughing for up to an  hour (continuous) up to 3 times a day, then it is likely to be a Coronavirus  cough and they will need to self isolate and have a test.'  Coughing doesn't seem to solve the tickle.

Children with symptoms should not come to school but instead, get a test.

When the test result is known then school should be informed.

A positive Covid-19 test:  

  • If the result is positive, the child stays at home to self-isolate for 10 days minimum.  In addition, the child must not be in school 48hrs after the last symptoms have shown.  Depending on the severity, this may be several days.
  • You notify school.   
  • School informs Public Health England's Local Health Protection Teams (PHE).
  • PHE starts the process of track and tracing and tells the school what to do next in terms of closing bubbles/zones

A negative Covid-19 test: 

  • If the result of the child and family members is negative, the child returns to school.
  • If the child is negative but someone in their home has tested positive then, they self-isolate for 14 days as the virus may incubate for this amount of time. 

The government is clear that schools are not expected to take action such as closing down classes, bubbles/zones or taxi groups when a pupil or staff member is self-isolating at home. If that pupil or member of staff subsequently receives a positive test result, following government guidance the school will seek the advice of the local health protection team and relevant parents/carers will be informed accordingly.

What if other children in my child's taxi or class/zone have symptoms?

  • The child with symptoms will follow the guidance above - not come to school and get tested.
  • You will be informed if we have a positive Covid-19 test if your child has come into close contact with the child/adult (see government information on what constitutes close contact) then PHE will issue further guidance.
  • We will not let families know as a matter of course that children are awaiting test results and will not share negative test results with families.

What if my child only starts to show Covid-19 symptoms during the school day?

Should your child have symptoms during the school day, you will be asked to collect them straight away from a 'quarantined' area of the school, where staff will be waiting with the child, in the same room. You should immediately get your child and your household tested as well and let the school know the outcome.

The Changing Nature of Covid-19 Symptoms?

King’s College London and the NHS Research Summer 2020.

With over 4 million members of the public now using the Kings College and NHS app: Kings College and NHS Research - (COVID Symptom Study app) there is emerging information about the changing types of symptoms children and adults are showing.   Over half (52%) of school-aged children who tested positive for COVID don’t log any ‘adult’ classic symptoms (cough, fever, anosmia) in the week before and after the test. In addition, a third (33%) of children who tested positive for COVID never logged any of the 20 symptoms listed in the App suggesting many children are asymptomatic.

The research highlighted that children display a different range of symptoms compared to the overall adult population. The top five symptoms in school aged children who test positive for COVID are; fatigue (55%) headache (53%), fever (49%), sore throat (38%) and loss of appetite(35%). This was different compared to the App’s data on adults; fatigue (87%), headache (72%), loss of smell (60%), persistent cough (54%) and sore throat (49%). In addition to this, research from the app has also found that one in six (15%) children who test positive for COVID also present with an unusual skin rash. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, comments:“Getting children back to school and keeping them in school is a priority, so it is essential that we understand how COVID-19 affects children and highlight the potential differences. Knowing that children present less often with respiratory symptoms and are more likely to be suffering from headaches, fatigue and skin rashes, will help parents make the right decisions to keep them at home until they feel better."

We appreciate that this is not the current government guidance, though may be of interest for those families reading around and contributing to the growing information and evidence about Covid-19 and its transmission.

Self-Isolating - Quarantining

  • Self-Isolating means staying at home; quarantining. 
  • Your child should not come to school and you should not go to work. 
  • As we enter the normal cold and flu season, there is an expectation that we will see a number of pupils self-isolating with symptoms that are associated with Covid-19, and even more who are self-isolating as a result of someone in their household having symptoms. 

Social Distancing Challenges for Kids & how to help

A Staff Member's Personal Story of Covid-19

Karen Thorp, one of our senior teachers at The Collett School was in a serious condition with Covid-19 this summer.  Here, she was asked to write an account for Addenbrooks Hospital and has given us permission to share her story on our website.   If you have a story you wish to share, please let us know; mary.ellis@bluetangerine.herts.sch.uk.  Click:  Karen's Covid-19 Story

What Happens in the Case of Tiered lockdowns?

There are now 3 Tiers of Covid levels for the UK. 

There currently remains four ‘tiers’ of action for schools.

Tier 1

Schools will remain open to all pupils but with a requirement that face coverings be worn in corridors and other communal areas of secondary schools where social distancing cannot take place.

Tier 2

Primary, AP and special schools will remain open to all pupils, but secondary schools will move to a rota model, combining “on-site provision with remote education”.

Secondary schools will continue to allow full-time attendance for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers, with all other pupils subject to a rota. Further education providers should adopt “similar principles with discretion to decide on a model that limits numbers on site but works for each individual setting”.

The face coverings requirement will also be in place in secondary schools and colleges.

Tier 3 

Primary, AP and special schools will remain open to all pupils, but secondary schools and FE colleges will allow full-time on-site provision only to vulnerable pupils, the children of critical workers and selected year groups which will be identified by the DfE.

All other pupils will stay at home and be provided with remote education.

The face coverings requirement will also be in place in secondary schools and colleges.

Tier 4

All mainstream schools and colleges will only allow full-time attendance to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers, with all other pupils staying home and receiving remote education.

AP and special schools will continue to allow full-time attendance of all pupils.

The face coverings requirement will also be in place in secondary schools and colleges.

Government Advice on Planning for Tiered Lockdown Procedures: September 2020

Covid-19 Prevention - Hygiene and Face Coverings

Good Hygiene and Health (Public Health England 2020)

Washing Hands: September 2020

Face Coverings: September 2020

Face-coverings are allowed in our schools, dependent on the child and parents' wishes but not in the formal learning environment of the classroom.  If desired, they can wear a visor in the classroom.  These cannot be shared and the child will require 'training' on how to keep themselves safe using a visor/ other face-covering.

Some staff will be wearing visors in class and can wear other face-coverings around the school (breaks, transitions etc.)

How to wear a face covering

An interesting article about wearing masks from the Journal of General Internal Medicine

‘Masks do more than protect others during COVID-19: Reducing the inoculum of SARS-CoV-2’.

This article unravels how wearing masks reduce the viral dose for the wearer, leading to more mild and asymptomatic infection. The journal article goes on to suggest that wide-spread wearing of masks could lead to greater community-level immunity and slower spread whilst we wait for a vaccine.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-06067-8

Schools' Risk Assessments

Covid-19 School Risk Assessments: October 2020

 

Covid-19 School Risk Assessments: September 2020

 

Covid-19 School Risk Assessments: June 2020

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How to use face coverings