CORONAVIRUSMar 18, 2020, 10:52 AM
Please see below current information for schools on the Coronavirus.
Message on behalf of:
Essex County Council
The Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex
Essex Primary Headteacher Association
Essex Special Schools Education Trust
Corona Virus – how schools are operating
Across Essex, Head Teachers are working extremely hard to continue to keep schools open in these unprecedented times. You will be aware that the government has now moved from the containment phase to the delay phase with regards to the virus and has released new advice around self-isolation and vulnerable groups of people.
The impact for schools of this new advice means that many staff are affected by the self-isolation policy, in the same way that families are also impacted. This means that Head Teachers are dealing with higher than usual levels of staff absence at the current time, as per the new guidance.
We want to reassure you that Head Teachers’ key priorities are the safety, welfare and wellbeing of your children and young people and their first job is to ensure that schools continue to be safe places for your children and young people, whilst they remain open. Therefore, with a significant number of staff absent, it may become impossible to continue to run schools as normal. For this reason, it may become necessary to partially or fully close schools, even if the government has not made a decision to close all schools. Schools will do everything to avoid a full closure, however if staff levels are too low to ensure children are safe, schools will be left with no choice but to consider this option
What partial closure may look like – some of the strategies that might be used
What full closure may look like
Actions Head Teachers are taking to keep schools open for as long as possible
A reminder that the advice around self-isolation has changed and is now:
What is self-isolation?
It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.
If you or another member of your household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
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.
What you can do to help
Schools are working closely with the Local Authority and the Headteacher Associations in order to offer a consistent and safe response to the current crisis. The health and safety of your children is everyone’s first priority.
Clare Kershaw, Director of Education