Coronavirus (COVID-19)

GLF Schools continues to follow the current advice and instruction from government and Public Health England.

The current advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Currently, all our schools are closed except for the provision of basic childcare for a small number of vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers.

However, the government made announcements on 10th and 11th March indicating that, subject to scientific data on the Covid-19 outbreak, schools should plan to begin staged reopening from 1st June. They have indicated this should start with primary school children.

All GLF schools are planning how they can begin accept an increased number of children into their settings while managing the risks posed by Covid-19.

We are aware that families will be concerned about the safety of sending their children back to school and the potential impacts on their wider families. The safety and wellbeing of all our children and staff are our highest priority and we will only reopen schools to more children when we believe it is safe to do so. We will continue to be guided by the latest government, PHE and scientific advice.

The Trust and individual schools will communicate with parents as soon as we have plans we can share. Thank you for your ongoing support.

 

 

At present, schools remain closed and further details and some FAQs of existing arrangements can be found below.

This page was updated on 27/5/20.

 

School Closures

Following the lockdown and social distancing rules announced by the UK government in March, all GLF schools are currently closed.

Parents and carers will be aware that schools continue to provide basic supervisory care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID -19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

We would like to stress that it remains government guidance that every child who can be safely cared for at home, should be.  Many parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response may still be able to ensure that their child is kept at home, and use of this school provision should be seen as a last resort.

If you fall into these categories and need to make use of the childcare provision, please contact your school. In some cases, where we have more than one local school in an area, they may combine their provision on to one site. Your school will discuss this with you.

 

Education during school closure

For those children who remain at home during the current school closures, teachers will be continuing to provide work and guidance. They will also remain in contact with parents and children to provide work and support learning during term time.

Arrangements will vary in different schools and between primary and secondary schools.

Please contact your school directly to discuss any concerns you have about supporting your children to learn at home.

The government has also issued the following advice to parents on online safety for children, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-online/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-parents-and-carers-to-keep-children-safe-online

 

What our schools are doing to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus

  • Following the latest developments and advice from PHE and government, and planning for our response to future developments
  • Ensuring we respond quickly to anyone developing symptoms within our schools or families to ensure we follow the latest isolation advice. 
  • Implementing measures in schools to help prevent the transmission of the virus. This includes:
    • Reminding children and staff of the importance of thoroughly and regularly washing hands with soap throughout the school day
    • Asking children and staff to wash hands on arrival in school and immediately before leaving school
    • Maintaining social distancing wherever possible, including minimising the number of staff on site and any non-essential external visitors.

 

 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Why are schools closed?

In line with the directive from the UK government, all schools are closed in order to reduce the opportunities for transmission of the Covid-19 virus, lower the demand on the NHS and to save lives.

In order to support key workers necessary for the response to the virus (primarily NHS staff, emergency workers and others necessary for the running of basic national infratructure), schools have been asked to provide a level of basic childcare to allow these workers to continue working. This childcare also provides for the safe care of vulnerable children - those children with EHCPs or with a social worker. It is only intended to offer childcare as a last resort - any child that can be safely looked after at home, should be. 

 

When will schools reopen?

At present schools are closed on the instruction of government, and government will determine when it is a suitable time to reopen them as the Covid-19 situation improves and lockdown measures are relaxed.

We have no information on when this might be, but will update all parents as soon as there is news.

 

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is a precaution to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Where children have symptoms of the virus (a high temperature above 38C and/or a new persistent cough) or live in a household with someone who has symptoms, they should not be in school unless they have completed the periods of isolation set out in the government guidance, here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

Should I send my child to school?

Wherever possible, children should remain at home.

Where they are children of keyworkers, or vulnerable children, who cannot be looked after at home, they should come to school if they are well.

The safety, welfare and wellbeing of all in our school community is our primary concern and a constant dialogue has, and will continue, to take place with the relevant authorities to ensure that the school acts in accordance with up to date guidance.

At this present time, we are advised there is low risk for anyone attending our schools, and that schools are safe places. However, if your child has symptoms or lives in a household with someone who has symptoms, you must follow the government's advice above.

 

What is happening with Free School Meals?

All our schools are prioritising the needs of those in recept of free school meals, and are working with our caterers and others to try to find ongoing solutions to continue to provide meals. 

Where children remain in school, they will receive a free lunchtime meal at school. Where children in receipt of free school meals are not currently in school, we are using the government's National Voucher Scheme to provide vouchers that can be spent in supermarkets.

If you believe your child is entitled to free school meals and you have not yet been contacted about vouchers, please contact your school.

On 22nd April, the government announced that until schools have reopened to all children, they are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

These groups are:

  • Children of Zambrano carers
  • Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

There is also a temporary extension of eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. 

It covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.

If you believe you are included in one of these groups and wish to claim Free School Meals, please contact your school.

 

What can parents do to reduce the risk of infection?

Like with other illnesses, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with coronavirus, via cough and sneezes or hand contact.

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport and before eating
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdf

 

How to talk to children about the Coronavirus

For parents who might appreciate some help in having conversations with your children about the current virus outbreak, please find a useful link below:

http://theconversation.com/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus-133576

 

When should you seek medical advice for your children?

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published a useful poster to help guide parents on when to seek medical advice.

This follows concern that some children with Covid-19 have not sought medical attention until their symptoms are advanced.

The advice can be found here: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/delayed-presentation-during-covid-19-position and the poster is here:

covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf