|Surrey County Council Letter to Parents & Carers 4th March 2021|
Monday 4th January 2021
Please click on link below to view email sent to parents regarding the January 2021 Lockdown
Parent/Carer information regarding the return to School in September 2020
We are really looking forward to September when all children will be returning to school. In preparation for this, please make sure that you have checked the new times of the school day to support our staggered start, brought your new uniform and put the school term dates in your calendar.
The school will re-open to all pupils (except Reception classes) on Thursday 3rd September 2020 (please see staggered times below)
IMPORTANT, Can we please ask that you read the attached Risk Assessment , it will help to answer some of your questions. You will see below the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Please click here to see the SWAN GDPR Track And Trace Notice
1. Can children wear face coverings in school if they wish to? -
No, I am afraid not. the guidance states that children removing facemasks is more of a hazard than wearing one. If it gets put down or left this can then potentially contaminate surfaces. If we say yes, this could lead to 450 face masks being on site.
2. Could you please inform the percentage of alcohol in the sanitizer which will be used at school?
The hand sanitiser we have is 80% alcohol, the minimum recommended by PHE is 70%. We have on file COSHH (care of Substances Hazardous to Health) safety data sheets for these materials for us to refer to should a child drink or spill the fluid. This is a legal requirement. This is used on entry into school but there after we encourage hand washing with soap as this is more effective in reducing the risk of contamination and less damaging to the skin.
3. Are children allowed to have their own mini bottle of hand sanitizer to be used whenever they feel they need to? (Instead of going to a hand sanitizer station each time they need to clean their hands)
I would strongly resist allowing families to bring in their own, as they may not have the correct details for the safe cleaning and/or remedial actions. If a family insists then BEFORE we can accept the sanitiser in the school, our Site Manager must be provided with a COSHH data sheet to review the make of sanitiser before it can be brought in, The COSHH, for any sanitiser provided by parents MUST BE SPECIFIC to the Brand of sanitiser. A generic assessment will not be accepted, as recipes vary across manufacturers. We also have sufficient stock on site and would promote washing hands with soap throughout the day every day rather than using sanitiser.
4.How often during the day will children be required to wash/sanitize their hands and will be an adult there to supervise them?
Yes, there will please see our full risk assessment on the schools website. We encourage a minimum of five times a day.
5.Are you planning to have an assembly where you will demonstrate to children how to wash and how to use hand sanitizer properly (along with all the new rules to be followed)?
The children have all been shown and will be shown again the Public Health England schools materials including videos on hand washing, sneezing, and coughing.
6. Will somebody be supervising each class bubble when they play outside to ensure children are keeping a safe distance between them and they don’t shout in each other’s face?
Staff are with children throughout the day at play and during learning times. During this pandemic we have and continue to plan for the same staff to work with the class throughout the week to minimise contamination. This staff team supervise all interaction.
7. Will children still be required to hang their coats and bags at the rails outside their class? These become extremely overcrowded especially at the beginning and at the end of the day with children on top of each other trying to grab their jackets and bags. Wouldn’t it be easier if each child placed their coat on the back of their chair and their bag next to their desk?
Please refer to our full risk assessment on the website - you will see that all belongings are kept with the child at their desk where possible. The exception to this is lunchboxes but there are typically fewer than 30 in a class as many of our children have hot dinners.
8. Will children be allowed to bring to school a pencil case with pens and pencils and rubbers so that they will only use their own and not share?
No. we do not encourage bringing any unnecessary items to school because they can get lost or broken. As a school we have purchased sufficient stocks of all materials needed in school.
9. What plans do you have for class ventilation? Will windows remain open during the lesson or during the breaks?
Please see the risk assessment. All doors and windows will remain open and children will be learning outside as often as possible.
10. If there is a case of COVID-19 at our school, what are the procedures to be followed? Will the families be informed?
Yes, most definitely. We will continue to inform parents if a child in your child's class is displaying symptoms such as a high fever or cough and we will inform you of the child's result whether positive or negative via parent mail.
11. It appears from some of the material I have read that children, of all ages, can be affected with this virus and don't necessarily present with just a temperature, some it is a sore throat, small rash, headache, sickness etc therefore I am concerned at how this is ever going to be monitored successfully within schools. Have you any thoughts on this? Are you still going to be taking temperatures at the gate on the way in? Is there anything else we can practically do?
All children and adults on site will have their temperature checked once in the building daily. Staff are also aware of all the symptoms and are reminded during inset training and email updates to monitor and look out for all possible symptoms and changes in children's behaviours and demeanor. All schools have been issued with a clear flowchart from the Public Health England South east Health protection team explaining how to respond to symptoms should they been seen. All staff have seen this and respond to them. Our school risk assessment on the website shares how we respond, and the flowchart can also be seen here.
12. I am aware that some parents may send children into school no matter how poorly they are and not quarantine as required; again, I am not sure how this can be dealt with - any thoughts?
A. We monitor attendance regularly and if a child has been unwell, we will query upon their return which symptoms were seen and if they had a test. Following a COVID-19 test we ask to see the results and not accept a verbal confirmation. We send regular reminders to all parents that if they or their child or anyone in the household is displaying symptoms not to come to school and will be sharing our very clear expectations and reminders of the government guidance regarding periods of quarantine.
13. Our school also has quite a few twins, which you could argue in effect make a year group, rather than a class bubble if they are split across the classes - are you leaving them in separate classes or are they being moved to be in the same class?
Twins are being kept in separate classes. At Barnsbury, all classes are full, and the government stipulates bubbles of 30 or year group bubbles if classes are not possible. So, we as a school have no room for moving siblings into different classes. We aim for class bubbles, but twins in one-year group is the same as siblings from one household in different year groups. All children in households will be going home to meet at the end of the day before returning to school the next morning. The way we manage this is simply to keep our bubbles in school consistent during the day with no mixing at play and lunch, before or after school.
14. I am also concerned about the staff and the rules on PPE. Some of the staff are in the over 50 age range others will of course have an underlying health issue, some may have people at home who are vulnerable, others may just be concerned at the unknown. Are you therefore permitting those who would like to wear PPE, to wear it if it will help them feel more secure? I have seen a face visor that has a mask attached to the bottom so that the mouth is still visible to the children - could this be a compromise for them?
There is clear guidance for staff in schools and how schools should protect staff who are more at risk. We are following that guidance, but PPE is only being worn by those who are in direct contact with children when changing nappies or for medical purposes. Staff are not permitted to wear masks in school.
15. How are the SLT (Senior Leadership Team), who are more likely to be in contact with more children, going to ensure they are properly protected?
The staff who are visiting more than one classroom will minimise the number they visit, the duration for which they visit and socially distance when in the classroom. If SLT need to speak with staff this can be completed via email or after school. If SLT need to speak with individual children, they are likely to meet with them out of the classroom bubble.
16. How is the school going to manage the requisite cleaning recommended during these times, both in terms of cost and practicalities? I have a friend who works for the Police and they have these smoke bomb type things that they let off in the cells after use and apparently kill just about everything but take 72 hours - is this something we could consider for use during the holidays or an outbreak? I am not an expert in this by any means and there might be something even better on the market but just an idea?
A. As a school we have been open throughout this pandemic to varying groups and numbers of children. We have a strict cleaning plan in place which to date has helped protect us from the virus. We have seen no cases to date and do not intend to use the smoke bombs you refer to. We follow them GOV.UK Guidance for the full opening of schools which states "Resources that are shared between classes or bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment should be cleaned frequently and meticulously and always between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different bubbles."
17. What are your thoughts on fining parents who are worried about Covid-19 and therefore do not present their children to school? Are you insisting they de-register? I understand a lot of schools and Local Authorities have stated they will not fine in these circumstances?
The SWAN Trust work with Surrey County Council and our Inclusion Officer (formally known as our Attendance Officer), who advise us on how to respond to absence. As a school we do not issue fines but I, as Headteacher, decide if an absence is unauthorised or not. I will always follow policy and keep abreast of changes. I empathise with parents during this very difficult time but do agree it is right for children to return to school and will do everything I can to alleviate their concerns and demonstrate how we intend to keep their children as safe as we can.
18. Is it possible to have a look at the schools' risk assessment for COVID -19?
A It is available on our school's website - there is a COVID-19 tab on the top of the home page and in here all letters and correspondence and guidance to date, including our risk assessments can be sourced.
19. I understand from some reports that the communal areas - hallways, entrances, stairways, toilets, sinks, play equipment etc are areas of particular concern within schools - how is this going to be dealt with?
Most of our communal areas are no longer in use (currently until further notice). These include - LRC, Halls, Cooking Room, Reading rooms etc. Some communal areas have timetabled use such as the ICT suite and outdoor areas including forest, playground, sensory garden etc... where items can be cleaned after use if touched and some areas have been limited such as corridors for essential foot traffic only and operate with a one way system.
20. Have any parents raised any concerns about returning their children to school?
There have been questions about how we as a school are responding and what we have put in place but not about attendance itself to date.
Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.
This includes our latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.
Returning to School What Parents Need to Know. (Click blue link to open leaflet)
Taking your child to nursery or a childminder - Parent reassurance leaflet (Click blue link to open leaflet)
Updated guidance for parents and carers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, from DfEWe have updated our guidance for parents and carers to reflect the end of National Restrictions on 2 December and how these settings should operate under the local restriction tiers.
We have updated our guidance on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools andcolleges to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings to clarify the position under the local restriction tiers for:
PHE South East Health Protection Team:
Guidance for Childcare and Educational Settings in the Management of COVID-19 Flow Chart
Additional Useful Information.
Staggered Start Times (not applicable during national lockdown)
We have staggered start and finish times, ensuring we do not interrupt teaching time for any child but promote social distancing and it is vital that you adhere to these times.
|Year Group||Start Time||End Time|
If you have children in more than one year group you can drop children off at the earliest year group time for your family and collect at the latest time, to ensure that no learning time is lost.
There will be zero tolerance for late arrivals as the office will be closed and the gates locked. Please ensure your morning routine allows your child to arrive on time.
Please see below communications we have sent to parents regarding the Coronavirus prior to the return to school in September 2020