Beaconsfield Drive
Blurton
Stoke-on-Trent
ST3 3JD
01782 882200

OSSMA featue logo

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Parents *Updated 18/03*

Posted on: March 18, 2020

18/03/2020

Contrary to some rumours, there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 here in the academy. Some staff and students are absent due to following government guidelines but there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus from within our school community.

We are currently receiving a very high volume of calls asking for advice on the absence of students. If you are unsure whether your child should be in school, please consult the government and NHS advice on recognising the symptoms of coronavirus and self-isolation guidelines. Once you have this advice, inform the academy of your decision; either to send your child in, or to self-isolate. Please remember that we are not medical specialists and can not advise on medical conditions. If unsure, please contact NHS 111 or your local GP practice. 

When contacting the school, please call on 01782 882200 Option 1 clearly stating the reasons for your child’s absence and if you are self-isolating. Please be aware that we will endeavour to call you back, but we ask you to be understanding during these unprecedented circumstances.  


17/03/2020

The Academy continues to remain open in line with Government and OAT advice.

However, in light of the advice given by the Government this evening can all parents please consider the following guidance:

It is important to recognise that the symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath.

If your child presents with any of these symptoms it is important that they do not attend school, that they self-isolate for a period of 14 days and as per the government guidelines, the whole household will also need to isolate for a period of 14 days, even if no other person in the household displays symptoms themselves.

The same guidelines apply for any parent or household member that presents with symptoms of COVID-19. You must self-isolate for a period of 14 days with ALL members of the household self-isolating for this 14 day period. Please do not send your child to school if someone in your household is showing symptoms.

Please also take great caution to any child that lives in a household with elderly grandparents/relatives or family members that have a chronic underlying condition that makes them more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.

If you have a household member who is self-isolating because they are classed as a vulnerable person, or your child is a young carer to someone who is classed as vulnerable, you must take extra care not to have unnecessary interactions with other people. In this instance, it would be recommended that your child does not attend school and remains at home to reduce the risk of the virus being spread.

We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information.


13/03/2020

Following on from yesterday’s government announcement and our previous information issued to parents and carers, we are still closely monitoring the emerging Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will continue to provide updates as they become available from Public Health England (PHE).

All advice at present is for the academy to remain open and for students and staff to go about their daily activities.

However, the academy is also putting plans in place to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for a range of potential scenarios.

 

To provide reassurance, we have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions as guidance for students and parents:

What should I do if my son/daughter is ill?

If your son/daughter is feeling unwell and you think they may be displaying symptoms of Coronavirus (which include fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath), they should not come into the academy, visit a pharmacy, GP surgery or hospital. You are advised to self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days. If anyone else in the household shows symptoms of the Coronavirus disease then the entire household should self isolate for 14 daysOnly call the NHS 111 advice line if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days. More information can be found at the NHS online service here.

If your son/daughter is not referred for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing or told to self-isolate, they should return to the academy as soon they feel well enough after the 14 days.  Such absences should be reported to the Absence Line in the usual way, (01782) 882200 Option 1. More information about self-isolation can be found on the GOV.UK website GOV.UK.

 

What should I do if my son/daughter is referred for testing, or told to self-isolate?

Please contact the academy via the main reception, who are monitoring the situation.  They can be contacted on 01782 882200 Option 3. Our team will be keeping a central log of any information provided to ensure our response is appropriate and in line with the latest guidance from Public Health England.

 

What should I do if my son/daughter tests positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Please advise the academy via the main reception, who are keeping a central log of any information provided, to ensure our response is appropriate and in line with the latest guidance from Public Health England.  They can be contacted on 01782 882200 Option 3.

 

What should I do if my son/daughter has been in contact with a relative or friend who has returned from a trip abroad?

The current advice is to monitor for symptoms and if they start to display symptoms of Coronavirus (which include fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath), they should follow the self-isolation advice.

If you are concerned, you are advised to call the NHS 111 advice line or visit the online 111 service here.  Please refer to the guidance above if you are referred for testing or told to self-isolate.

 

What will happen if the academy has to close?

Should Public Health England or the Department for Education tell us to close, we will publish information using the following communication channels:

  • Academy website – ossma.co.uk
  • Academy social media (if you do not already do so, please follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds – @ossmastoke)
  • My Ed Parent app – Click here to download
  • Email & text message (providing we have up to date contact details on file)

The My Ed parent app is our main source of communication. We highly recommend that you sign up to this app so that we can send more personalised messages to parents/carers in the event of any urgent updates.

We are developing strategies to support our students’ learning should the academy be forced to close for a prolonged period.

 

Will academy trips and visits in the UK continue as planned? 

At present decisions on whether any trips in the UK continue will be made on a case by case basis.  All visits are fully risk assessed and effective hand hygiene principles will be reinforced.  However, this is a constantly evolving situation, so we will continue to review Public Health England advice and update affected groups directly should this situation change.

 

Will overseas trips and visits continue as planned?

Schools and colleges are being advised against all overseas trips for children under 18 until further notice. This is one of the latest measures announced as part of the Government’s coronavirus response. If your son/daughter is currently signed up to an overseas trip, we will contact you directly to discuss options available.

Parents should be aware that guidance on foreign travel is under frequent review and therefore we are regularly reviewing Foreign Office travel advice. This is a constantly evolving situation, so should the status of any overseas trip change, we will contact affected groups directly.

 

Good hygiene guidance

  • Help to stop the spread of viruses, like Coronavirus (COVID-19), by practising good hand hygiene.  Please reiterate the importance of frequent handwashing and good personal hygiene.  Students, staff and all academy visitors are encouraged to increase handwashing frequency, following the handwashing guidance provided by Public Health England (washing for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and warm water).
  • Hand sanitiser units are located at various locations within the academy and hand soap will be regularly replenished in toilet areas.

General guidance for students and parents 

  • If your son or daughter has any concerns about their school work or an upcoming trip or visit, please ask them to talk to their Class Teacher, Form Teacher, Head of Year or Year Tutor.
  • Make sure we have the most up to date contact details for you and your son or daughter.
  • Register on the My Ed Parent App if you have not already joined.  If you need assistance, please contact our main reception for further details.
  • Stay up-to-date with the official Public Health England guidance here.

 

If you have any further concerns, please contact our main reception on 01782 882200

In addition, the Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) related to education.  Parents and students can contact the helpline by telephone: 0800 046 8687 or email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk.

I understand that this is an uncertain time but please be assured that we will be doing everything possible to keep you well informed.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Mark Stanyer, Executive Principal