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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

The current situation is placing unprecedented challenges on everyone, including schools.

To ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest guidance on how government measures are affecting our schools, and the steps we are needing to take, this dedicated web page will be used to share all information and will be updated regularly.

Current Government Guidance for Schools

The current guidance is that all schools in England and Wales should be closed to students, except to continue to provide care for a limited number of children: 

  • Children who are vulnerable i.e. those who are:
    • Supported by Social Care
    • Children in Care – known as Looked After Children (LAC)
    • Young carers
    • Disabled Children
    • Or have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
  • Children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. 

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. All schools in our Trust are following this guidance.

You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should. #StayHomeSaveLives

CEO covid-19 letter to parents - 23rd march

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you to all the parents and carers across our Brooke Weston Trust family of schools. Because you listened to the government’s request to keep your children at home unless you are critical workers with no option, you made today work.

We are very aware that you have probably had to make inconvenient arrangements to be able to keep your children at home. So we wanted you to know that in doing this you have helped us provide a vital service to those children and critical workers who really do need us most.

Our schools will continue to offer support to you wherever they can in the coming weeks, so do look out for updates as the situation develops. We would also ask you to be mindful that, like everyone else, we will have members of staff absent from work through illness or working from home following government advice. This will probably mean our response times to individual requests and communications will be affected and we ask for your patience and understanding about this.

Finally, please make sure your children are accessing the wide variety of learning resources we have made available to you them.

Best wishes and stay safe.

Andrew Campbell

CEO

Brooke Weston Trust

 

School closure information for parents - Friday 20th March

Dear Parents/Carers,

As I am sure you are aware, yesterday the Government announced that all schools will be closed from Monday 23rd March until further notice. This means that for the majority of our children, Friday will be their last day in school for what could be a considerable period of time.

I hope you can understand and support the actions we are taking as a Trust, to play our part in helping our community tackle Coronavirus and the significant impact it is having upon us all.

The Government has confirmed that for the foreseeable future, all schools have been asked to provide care for children with Education Health Care Plans, Children who have a contact Social Worker, e.g., ‘Children in Need’ or those on the Child Protection Register and any Children in Care (LAC) and children of 'key workers' (see below).  All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. This is a national closure, as you may have heard in the news, so while it is a challenging situation, we are all in this together.Key Workers

To enable key workers to remain at work during this period of need their children will be in school. The definition of key workers is as follows:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, school support staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If parents/carers do not fall into one of the categories above, their children must not be in school.

Our teachers have been putting together educational guidance to support pupils’ learning at home, including provision of a wide range of sources for information and learning that can be accessed electronically and by hard copy. Your school will be in contact later today with more details about its home learning support which will be available from next week.

The Education Secretary has confirmed that there will be no primary school assessments or secondary exams this summer, which includes SATs, GCSE and A Level examinations. I appreciate that this news will be very upsetting for students who have worked so hard and that you and they will have a number of questions that you want answering. We will do everything in our power to press Ofqual to ensure our students get the qualifications they need and deserve. We are told that more details will be given out later today covering how students would be awarded grades in the absence of exams. Once we have this information we will update you if there is anything we need you to do.

If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information about how we can provide this service with support from a scheme that the Government has just announced, but the details of the scheme are not clear just yet.

If you have a safeguarding concern on Friday or during next week, please use your school’s usual contact numbers for the time being.

This is as much as we know right now. We appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

Please remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, use NHS 111 online.

I wish to thank all our school staff who have worked so hard in recent days to keep our schools open, and who will continue to do so over the coming months. I would also like to thank you for your continued support and understanding during this period of challenge for us all.

Andrew Campbell

CEO

Brooke Weston Trust

20.03.20 - School closure letter to parents

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Specific Guidance 

GU/05 Home Learning Guide 1 March 2020

Useful Links and Information 

As a Trust, we know parents are having to make difficult decisions regarding isolating children and families as a result of Covid-19.  Please be assured we will authorise all such absences. Unfortunately Trust colleagues are unable to provide advice on whether to isolate your child from school and it can only be a decision that parents can make for their own family. To assist parents, please see below links for further guidance: 

Public Health England (PHE)- https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

PHE Guidance on Social Distancinghttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults 

NHS Guidance for Coronavirushttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Department for Education - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

The Department for Education has also launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline as follows:

Information about the coronavirus is also provided in additional languages - to access, please click here.

previous Brooke Weston Trust Updates and Announcements

Brooke Weston Trust Statement Regarding School Closure Announcement 18/03/2020  

Dear Parent/Carer,

I write following the government’s announcement this evening regarding school closures for most students in England from after school this Friday 20 March until further notice.

All Brooke Weston Trust schools will be open tomorrow and Friday to students as normal. We intend to publish details about home learning arrangements and ongoing operations at each school as soon as possible, so please be vigilant for further communications from your school.

We completely support the government’s approach to close school for most students but make special provision for the children of key workers and more vulnerable children. It is therefore very important that we quickly identify parents who the government identifies as key workers as defined in today’s announcement (for example NHS frontline workers, the police and supermarket delivery drivers). We must do this in order to understand how many students each of our schools can expect to continue attending and so plan our staffing accordingly. To help us do this we will be asking you to complete a very short online questionnaire over the next two days. We will then aim to provide a more detailed update on how we will be operating from next week.

Exams

Now that public examinations will not take place in May and June, we are aware that this might be upsetting to secondary students who have worked so hard towards their GCSEs and A-levels. Of course, we will do all we can to support them. We are also very mindful of the hard work of all our Year 6 students who have been working towards their SATS.

We welcome the government’s commitment that secondary students will get the qualifications that they deserve. So far we have had no details about how these will be awarded. When we have more information, we will let parents and students know. Principals will be explaining the situation as it stands to students in school tomorrow morning.

We will of course be doing everything in our power to ensure students can continue successfully on to the next phase of their education.

Thank you so much for your understanding and support in this unprecedented and challenging time for us all.

Best wishes to you and your family. Stay safe.

Andrew Campbell

CEO

Brooke Weston Trust

CEO covid-19 update - 18th march 2020 

Dear Parent/Carer,

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

For as long as it remains the government’s strategy to keep schools open, we are trying to do that each day. In every Brooke Weston Trust school, the starting point for decision making is always whether we have enough staff to keep the number of children who are attending cared for and safe.

This is becoming increasingly difficult as more staff are required to stay at home – either because they have symptoms, a close family member has symptoms or because they are in a vulnerable category. If any Brooke Weston Trust school needs to make the difficult decision to close, either partially or completely, this will be because it has reached a point where the school cannot guarantee the safety of children. In that case the Principal of the school will write to you with full details of our ongoing education arrangements for home learning and how else we will support your children to the best of our ability and resource.

We know so many people are relying on us to continue being open for as long as possible and we really are doing our best to support all of our families. Of course, we are especially mindful of supporting those who work in the health and social care sectors.

May I also say how grateful our school leaders and staff are for the wonderful messages of appreciation and support they are receiving from so many of you. Your kindness and support help us enormously. Naturally as we move into more and more challenging times some of the decisions we are forced to take may not always be well received by everyone. Please be reassured the only thing our staff and leaders are doing is trying to serve our communities and the wider nation rather than putting themselves and their own families first.  I am immensely proud of their commitment and professionalism at this extraordinary and difficult time.

In the meantime, may I offer my best wishes to you and your family. Please stay safe and continue to follow the Public Health England guidance and the Brooke Weston Trust website for any further updates (www.brookewestontrust.org).

Best wishes,

Andrew Campbell, CEO

Brooke Weston Trust

covid-19 update - 17th March 2020 

Dear Parents and Carers

Yesterday (March 16th 2020) the government reviewed its response to the Covid-19 virus and introduced a series of significant measures to achieve greater social distancing, reduce all but essential travel and protect the most vulnerable groups in society.

While they confirmed new measures have now been put in place, the government once again stated that:

  • UK schools should remain open and continue to operate as normally as possible at this time

Our Brooke Weston Trust schools will continue to follow the government’s advice and will remain open until we are advised otherwise.

At present there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at any of our Brooke Weston Trust schools.

Please ensure you keep familiar with the detail of the most up to date Public Health England advice which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

We will continue to update you on the situation as new announcements are made by the government and want to reassure you that each school’s leadership team and the Brooke Weston Trust are preparing for all possible scenarios as best we can.

Home learning

We have various online platforms, non-digital resources and guidance to support learning that can be used to provide work to children at home. As you would expect, we are drawing up plans should home learning become necessary. We will explain what is on offer and how to access it at that time.

Domestic trips, school events and sports fixtures

School events are being assessed on a case-by-case basis. You will be kept informed of any changes to published events in the school calendar with as much notice as is possible. Please note that all sports fixtures have now been cancelled.

Advice for all visitors to our school

We have reinforced some basic hygiene principles and introduced additional measures, so please do not take offence if you are asked to wash your hands or use hand sanitizing gel on visiting us. We would also remind visitors of the hygiene message, “catch it, bin it, kill it” in the event of coughing and sneezing. These restrictions are in place to protect our school community.

To read our previously published information regarding Covid-19 please click here.

This is an extraordinary period of time for everyone, including schools. We will inevitably experience significant disruption to our normal routines, but we are doing everything we can to continue. I want to thank you again for your patience and understanding in helping to keep our school communities as safe as possible.

Dr Andrew Campbell

CEO

Brooke Weston Trust

Covid-19 Update - 13th March 2020
 

13 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

You may be aware that the government met yesterday to review its response to the Covid-19 virus.

While they confirmed new measures have now been put in place, most importantly the government confirmed that:

  • UK schools should remain open and continue to operate normally at this time

Our Brooke Weston Trust schools will continue to follow the government’s advice and will remain open until we are advised otherwise.

At present there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at any of our Brooke Weston Trust schools.

Please ensure you are familiar with the detail of the most up to date Public Health England advice which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Families who may recently have travelled abroad should make absolutely certain they are following the Public Health England guidance for returning travellers.

The government did announce an additional measure for schools that means:

  • School trips abroad will not be permitted - schools affected by this will be cancelling trips and keeping parents informed of all arrangements.
We will continue to update you on the situation as new announcements are made by the government and want to reassure you that each school’s leadership team and the Brooke Weston Trust are preparing for all possible scenarios:

Home learning

We have various online platforms, non-digital resources and guidance to support learning that can be used to provide work to children at home. As you would expect, we are drawing up plans should home learning become necessary. We will explain what is on offer and how to access it at that time.

Domestic trips, school events and sports fixtures

All domestic trips and school events will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. You will be kept informed of any changes to published events in the school calendar with as much notice as is possible. Public Health England have not yet advised us to cancel sports fixtures, but in accordance with their advice on hand washing, all players, coaching staff and supporters should expect to be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizing gel on arrival and after their fixture.

Advice for all visitors to our school

We have reinforced some basic hygiene principles and introduced additional measures, so please do not take offence if you are asked to wash your hands or use hand sanitizing gel on visiting us. We would also remind visitors of the hygiene message, “catch it, bin it, kill it” in the event of coughing and sneezing. These restrictions are in place to protect our school community.

The latest advice requires anyone who has flu-like symptoms, a cough, breathlessness or a raised temperature above 37.8 degrees Celsius to stay at home and self-isolate for a week.

This is an extraordinary period of time for everyone, including schools, and I want to thank you for you continued patience and understanding in helping to keep our school communities as safe as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Campbell, CEO, Brooke Weston Trust.

COvid-19 update  - 12th march 2020 

12 March 2020

Brooke Weston Trust schools are monitoring the current situation regarding Covid-19 contingency planning carefully and seeking advice from relevant authorities.

Further information will be published tomorrow in light of any decisions taken by Government this afternoon. All further communications will be published via our school websites.

covid-19 update - 5th march 2020
 

Dear Parents/Carers,

We continue to monitor and follow the advice of Public Health England in relation to the COVID-19 virus. Personal hygiene continues to be promoted as the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more. We will continue to promote this in school. Please can you discuss the importance of this with your child at home to encourage thorough and frequent hand washing to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses.

There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • Pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
    • before leaving home
    • on arrival at school
    • after using the toilet
    • at breaks and after sporting activities
    • before food preparation
    • before eating any food, including snacks
    • before leaving school
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Thank you for continuing to work with us to safeguard the health of our communities.

covid-19 update - 26th February 2020 

Dear Parents/Carers,

Please be reassured that our school is following the guidance set out by Public Health England (PHE) regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We strongly recommend that all parents/carers and students familiarise themselves with the guidance. We have instructed all our staff to do likewise. Our aim is that all members of our school communities are well informed and aware how to slow the spread of germs.

The government stance remains that you should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching Coronavirus. There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their school as normal. However we would particularly urge you to read the Government advice regarding travellers returning to the UK.

Latest Public Health England Guidance

The latest guidance from Public Health England can be accessed through this link (click here).

Latest NHS information

The latest NHS information about how you can reduce the possible spread of infection can be found below, please check regularly for updates:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Brooke Weston Trust will continue to monitor the situation and communicate any further advice that is released to schools. We understand you may have questions or concerns at this time, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish. Thank you for working with us to safeguard the health of our communities.