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Coronavirus Updates

Current Guidance from the Department for Education

Message from Public Health Durham:

If your child is diagnosed with COVID-19 during the school holidays it is very important that you provide information about who they have had contact with, both in school and out of school, with the NHS Test and Trace Service.

 

Your child should not return to school following the holidays if they develop symptoms or are in the self-isolation period.

 

Find out more at 

www.durham.gov.uk/article/23337/Staying-safe-at-school-coronavirus-

 

How to report Covid Testing/Covid Cases

Please email our dedicated email address for reporting if family members are being tested for Covid or have tested positive for Covid. Please email us as soon as you have booked a test, have received the results of a test or have been contacted by track and trace.

covid@finchale.durham.sch.uk 

County Durham Local Restrictions from 18th September 2020

Can My Child Go To School Today?

 

Information for Parents/Carers About Returning to School
Medical Advice and Information Relating to Covid-19

Message from the School Nurses

 

The School Nursing Team share a Facebook page with Durham and Chester le Street Health Visitors called:

 

Growing Healthy 0-19 Chester le Street and Durham

 

The page posts daily public health information and signposts to other health, wellbeing and support services in the local area.

If you search for the page then click follow, their posts will come up on your news feed.

Advice and Guidance on Wellbeing and Mental Health During Covid-19 Outbreak

Mental Health Support Agencies

Useful Links to Support Children with Anxieties

Looking After Yourself, Looking After Your Children

Advice and Support from Durham Local Transformation Planning Group

Wednesday 1st April

Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online

We have updated our information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:

Monday 23rd March

See link below for latest guidance on pupils eligible to access schools at this challenging time. We ask you to consider your need carefully at this time and only use provision if absolutely necessary. We all need to play our part to support the country at this time.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing

 

Friday 20th March

 

See the link which includes a definition of Key Workers:

 

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

 

 

Letter to Parents 20th March

Form to complete for Key Workers requiring in-school childcare provision. Please see Government information tonight (Thursday) for definition of Key Workers.

Thursday 19th March

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

Yesterday Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that as part of the country’s ongoing response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and early years settings have been asked to close to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday 23 March.

A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office later today. We will share this with you once this information is made available.

Where schools are unable to provide this reduced provision, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.

Further details on this announcement can be found here:

The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.

Update on assessments and examinations 

Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve.

New free school meals guidance

We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.

Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

Full guidance can be found here:

Tuesday 17th March

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

Monday 16th March

From Durham County Council this morning:

The safety, welfare and wellbeing of children is our primary concern and a constant dialogue has, and will continue, to take place with partners to ensure they receive the most accurate and up to date advice.

 

Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.

What you need to know:

  • staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
  • if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
  • Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

    The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

Friday 13th March

Government announces move from Contain to Delay phase

Yesterday, the Government announced that we are moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

Wednesday 11th March

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

As of 10 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated advice about travel to Italy. The FCO is currently advising:

  • against all but essential travel to Italy
  • against all travel to Hubei Province, in China
  • against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China
  • against all travel to the cities of Daegu, Cheongdo and Gyeongsan in South Korea

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of COVID-19.

The latest travel advice can be found here:

Updated advice for travellers returning from Italy

On 10 March, Public Health England updated its travel advice for travellers returning from Italy. The advice can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

The importance of hygiene 

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

How to wash your hands properly

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:

Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Tuesday 10th March

Coronavirus action plan

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

 

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

 

Monday 9th March

Exam preparation and Ofqual advice

We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Ofqual’s advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.

Ofqual continues to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.

The latest updates from Ofqual can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus

Friday 6th March

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Thursday 5th March

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

On Monday we 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)

Wednesday 4th March:  

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

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