Information about coronavirus – March 2020
Following the receipt of a number of advisories from Public Health England, the NHS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, here is an overview of the situation regarding coronavirus on the 2nd March 2020: –
- Public Health England advises that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.
Advice for those who have travelled recently
Yesterday, the Chief Medical Advisor for England updated advice for travellers returning to the UK from specific areas affected by COVD-19, which you can find at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
NHS Advice on hand washing (we have shared this with the children)
Treating-head-lice – advice for parents and carers (click on the link)
Routine checks for head infestation (headlice) are no longer carried out. Advice and treatment may be obtained from your own doctor or local Health Centre. We do ask parents to check their child’s head regularly and to continue checking for at least a fortnight, if headlice are detected.
The school has signed up to the ‘Once a Week Take a Peek’ national campaign and will regularly send home letters should an outbreak occur.
The Once a Week Website can be accessed here: http://www.onceaweektakeapeek.com
Guidance from the Health Agency – infection control
Please telephone us on the first day of your child’s absence to let us know that your child is unwell. All absences must be notified by a phone call or written letter, as these must now be recorded on the child’s annual report.
For any dental or doctor appointments please send a written request the day before, as these dates are often at ‘odd’ times of the day and your child will not then be counted as absent. All children must apply for a “pupil pass” which permits them to be absent from school for a set period of the day. Children must also be collected from school for appointments during the school day. No child is allowed to leave the premises on his/her own.
The Department for Education (DfE) has amended the regulations governing requests for holidays in term time. With effect from 1st September 2013, amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, make it clear that Headteachers MAY NOT grant any holidays or other absences during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The requests relating to exceptional circumstances are extremely rare. Headteachers must determine what are exceptional circumstances and the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted. The Attendance Advisory Practitioner checks the registers regularly.
Also, from September 2013, the DfE has amended the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007, so that any parent/carer who receives a Penalty Notice for taking their child out of school during term time will have to pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. Previously parents had 28 days to pay £60 and 42 days to pay £120.
Illness in School
Although we do the best we can, there is no comfortable, quiet place for sick children to rest in school. Parents are contacted by telephone if a child is too poorly to continue studying and he/she will be cared for whilst awaiting collection.
Please do not send your child to school if he/she is unwell. This does sometimes happen and is quite unfair to the child and school. We do not have ancillary staff to care for sick children.
Emergency Telephone Contact
A reliable emergency telephone contact number must be provided for each child, in case your child feels unwell during the day. Also hospitals are often unwilling to administer treatment if the parent is not present or cannot be contacted. Please update information regarding home, work and emergency telephone contact numbers at the earliest opportunity.
Medicines in School
The school is able to administer medication to a child if it is a prescribed medicine. Please speak to the School Office for further information. If your child is asthmatic or on other long-term medication, please seek the advice of the Headteacher.
Unless children have been asked by their teacher to bring particular items into school, toys, etc. should be kept at home. We do our best to ensure that all items that are handed in are returned to the owner. All personal property must be marked with owner’s name. The school cannot be held responsible for loss or damage although every effort will be made to find lost property.
The wearing of all forms of jewellery, such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings is not permitted. Children with pierced ears may wear a small, short stud. For reasons of safety, it is essential that no jewellery whatsoever is worn during PE and games lessons. We cannot be responsible for the safekeeping of jewellery brought into school with or without the knowledge of parents.
New pupils will have a health assessment shortly after entry. A re-examination will also be carried out if it is considered advisable in the light of a child’s previous medical history or at the request of a parent or Headteacher. Parents are advised that health assessments are to be carried out.
The school nurse conducts vision and hearing tests for all children during their time at this school. Parents are informed if any defect is discovered.
These mass checks occur fairly infrequently and parents are advised to make private arrangements for the regular inspection of their child’s teeth.
As a result of new regulations regarding security in school, all parents must report to the office before entering the buildings at any time during the school day. (Assemblies and open days are exempted). A Health & Safety Policy has been established. All classroom doors are secured and all staff wear identity badges. Visitors must sign the visitor’s book and wear a visitor’s badge before going into school. If you are not wearing a badge you will be challenged by a member of staff.
Various educational visits are arranged during the school year in connection with projects, topics and festivals. The 1988 Education Act does not allow schools to charge for school visits. Instead, we must ask you to support us by making a voluntary payment. Without your contribution, it may be necessary to cancel visits, although no individual child would be excluded solely on the inability of parents to pay. Please contact the Headteacher if you do have problems in funding a school visit.
The school fund exists to provide additional amenities that are not provided by Medway Council. Parents are asked to support the fund by donating a subscription of £2 per child per term or £5.00 per year per child if paid in advance at the beginning of the school year.
Raising Concerns and Resolving Complaints
From time to time, parents and others connected with the school will become aware of matters which cause them concern. To encourage resolution of such situations, the Governing Body has adopted a “General Complaints Procedure”.
The procedure is devised with the intention that it will:
- Usually be possible to resolve problems by informal means
- Be simple to use and understand
- Be non-adversarial
- Provide confidentiality
- Allow problems to be handled swiftly
- Address all the points at issue
- Inform future practice so that the problem is unlikely to recur.
Full details of the procedure may be obtained from the School Office or from the Clerk to the Governing Body.
Data Protection Act
Schools, Local Education Authorities (LEA) and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) all hold information on pupils in order to run the education system and, in doing so, have to follow the Data Protection Act 1998. This information includes contact details, National Curriculum assessment results, attendance information, ethnic group, special education needs and any relevant medical information.
From time to time we are required to pass on some of this data to the LEA, to another school to which the pupil is transferring, to the DCSF and to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. These agencies may use some of this information to carry out specific functions for which they are responsible.
You will receive a data collection sheet, showing the relevant information held on our computers, during Year 1 of your child’s education which we will ask you to check, sign and return to school.
If you wish to access the personal data held about your child before this time, please contact the school, in writing, and the information will be forwarded to you.
The school is committed to the general principle of equal opportunities for all pupils and adults, regardless of disability, ability, race or gender. Pupils of both sexes have equal access to the whole curriculum and we encourage every child to achieve his or her maximum potential.