Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Statement from the Trust

Dear Parents, Staff, and Students;

Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Trust wishes to reassure those within our schools that at this time there is no cause for concern. We are keeping up to date with government advice and continue to actively monitor the situation.

Although it is unlikely that anyone within the Trust will come into contact with an infected person, the best advice is for individuals to remain vigilant of their own health, take appropriate precautions to minimise the potential spread of illness, and – if they feel unwell or present the symptoms of COVID-19 – to self-isolate and call NHS 111. If you think you may be ill, it is important to not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment but instead seek advice over the phone of what to do.

Regarding travel to affected regions, Government guidelines state
that any individual who has visited a Category 1 country: China (in particular Wuhan
city and Hubei Province); Iran; the Republic of Korea (in particular Daegu or
Cheongdo) or any Italian town under containment measures (broadly North of
Pisa, Florence and San Marino – see attached map) within the last 14 days should
self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and call NHS 111 to inform of their recent
travel.

Individuals who have recently travelled to a Category 2 Country:
Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand,
and Vietnam; or lesser affected parts of Italy (i.e. South of and including Pisa,
Florence and San Marino), China or the Republic of Korea need not take any special
measures unless they develop symptoms – in which case they should self-isolate and
call NHS 111.

At present there is no need for individuals to limit their foreign
travel (except to particularly affected regions), however up-to-date guidelines
can be sought from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

All students and staff should continue to attend school unless they have returned from a Category 1 location within the last 14 days, have a reason to believe they may be infected, or begin to exhibit symptoms. All our schools have procedures in place in line with government guidelines to deal with anyone they become concerned about.

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after
exposure to someone who has the COVID-19 infection:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever

Naturally however with no cases having been reported in the
South-West of England, it is worth bearing in mind that regular coughs and
colds are naturally commonplace at this time of year, and that these pose no
more risk now than at any other time.

We will continue to remind students of the importance of
good hygiene, and encourage parents to ensure their children are coming to
school with tissues, and that at home normal rules of covering one’s nose and
mouth when coughing/sneezing, washing hands regularly etc. are instilled in children.

For the most up-to-date information please see the gov.uk
website. Up to date guidance for schools can be found by following the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

We thank you for your continued vigilance in regards to this situation, and will continue to distribute advice where appropriate. We would like to reassure you once again however that there is no cause for concern at the present time, and that vigilance and sensible precautions are the best policies to follow.