October 7 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are writing to thank you for your continued support. You will be aware that school Headteachers are under pressure to keep their schools open and fully functioning whilst following national guidelines and laws to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
You may also be aware Covid-19 rates are continuing to increase in Liverpool and it is essential that we work together to help reduce these rates. In the last 7 days there have been 2570 case of Covid-19 in Liverpool, up 951 from the week before. This is a rate of 516 per 100,000 population.
If you or your child displays COVID-19 symptoms, it is essential that you book a test at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ and inform the school so that the appropriate procedures can be followed.
These symptoms are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Schools have put in precautions and safety measures to reduce risks around Covid-19 and each school will take into consideration their site, staff and students when tailoring these measures to their own school. Along with PPE where needed schools have been asked to:
1) Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
2) Where recommended, use of face coverings in schools.
3) Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual.
4) Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
5) Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach.
6) Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
Each school will have conducted a specific risk assessment for their site in line with government guidance. These risk assessments are regularly reviewed and updated when needed.
If there is a confirmed case, schools will work with the Department for Education, Public Health England and the Local Authority to conduct a risk assessment to identify who is a close contact of the confirmed case. The outcome of this risk assessment will differ from case to case depending on the length of time the confirmed case was in school, the age of the child and the logistics of the school site.
If your child is asked to isolate, it is essential that they follow the instructions given by the school fully.
Could parents please be reminded that when students are sent home to self-isolate, they should not be mixing with others outside of the home at any time until the period of isolation ends.
All students not self-isolating should be attending school unless they have valid reason for absence.
The government have now allowed families to have a childcare bubble. This is where someone in one household can provide informal (in other words, unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis, with always the same two households.
In education settings where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils/students when moving around in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
Whilst children are isolating schools will support with remote education. Again, this will differ from school to school. All schools are trying to create a remote learning curriculum that meets the needs of their individual school communities and this will inevitably lead to necessary differences as indeed the experience of learning would in different schools.
We ask for your ongoing co-operation to help minimise the risk of bringing the virus in to school, particularly by encouraging your family to practise good hand hygiene, observe social distancing advice, proactive use of face coverings and observing the limits on households mixing.
Can we take this opportunity to remind parents and staff that face coverings must be worn when dropping off and picking children up from school, this includes the approach to school.
We are grateful to all the teachers, school staff and trade unions who have worked with us to help get our young people back to school as safely as possible. Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and support during what has been an extraordinarily challenging period for everyone– it is very much appreciated, as is your support in ensuring children return to school.
More information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on our website at www.liverpool.gov.uk and www.liverpoolexpress.co.uk/backtoschool, but please contact your child’s school if you have questions about their specific arrangements.
Steve Reddy – Director of Children and Young People’s Services
Matt Ashton – Director of Public Health for Liverpool