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Coronavirus Advice & Guidance

Letter From Somerset County Council re the virus

UPDATE FROM DFE 17.03.2020   

 

 This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
New guidance for households with symptoms
Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 
•    if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
•    if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
•    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.
The symptoms are: 
•    A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
•    A new, continuous cough
The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here: 
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here: 
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020
Temporary suspension of Ofsted inspections
Ofsted is to temporarily suspend routine inspections of schools, colleges, early years settings, children’s social care providers and local authorities to reduce the burden on staff who are providing vital services to the nation in response to coronavirus.
The current medical and scientific advice is for schools and other educational establishments to stay open. If this changes and the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser say closing schools, colleges, and early years settings is in the best interests of children and teachers the Department will take that step. 
The full announcement made by Gavin Williamson can be viewed here: 
•    https://youtu.be/UkW7QcTsBcY 
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/routine-ofsted-inspections-suspended-in-response-to-coronavirus
Updated guidance on recording school pupil absences
No school will be penalised for the impact on school attendance of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please record absences as follows: 
•    Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as would normally happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.
•    Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.
•    Where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be marked as absent. We back headteachers’ judgement and to be pragmatic – having spoken to parents – on whether to authorise such absence, taking into account individual circumstances. We expect, in particular, headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Handwashing advice
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 
Watch this short NHS film for guidance: 
•    https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows: 
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday) 
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline. 
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
•    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings:
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
•    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Educational resources:
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools
Latest Department for Education information: 
•    https://twitter.com/educationgovuk
•    https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/
Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS). 
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here: 
•    https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/

    
        

Cancellation of Trips and Events in the next 2 weeks w.e.f. Monday 16th March

DFE Update Monday 16th March 

 

    This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Updated guidance for education settings on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions. 
What you need to know: 
•    staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
•    if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
•    clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
•    supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
The updated guidance can be found here: 
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19#contents
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.
Recording school pupil absences
Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with latest information and advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, the pupil should be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register. Code Y (Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances) should be used in this instance.
If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.
Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence. Code I (Illness) should be used in this instance.
Handwashing advice
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 
Watch this short NHS film for guidance: 
•    https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows: 
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday) 
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends. 
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline. 
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
•    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings:
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
•    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Educational resources:
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools
Latest Department for Education information: 
•    https://twitter.com/educationgovuk
•    https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/
Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS). 
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here: 
•    https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/

    
        

Update from the DFE 16th March 2020

UPDATE from Dfe :  12.03.2020

 Department for Education 
    

   
This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Government coronavirus action plan
The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next. 
The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.
The action plan can be found here: 
•         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
Action plan recap
The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.
The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train. 
As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.
How to wash your hands properly
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
•         https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU
Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:
•         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg
Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. 
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. Your call will join a queue and we will answer as soon as possible. 
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline. 
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
•         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings:
•         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
•         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
•         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Educational resources:
•         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
•         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools
Latest Department for Education information: 
•         https://twitter.com/educationgovuk
•         https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/
Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS). 
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here: 
•         https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/

    
        
 
 

UPDATE from Department for Education as at 10 March 2020
     

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). 
Government coronavirus action plan
Yesterday, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the Contain phase – the first phase in the government’s coronavirus action plan. 
The coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes. 
The action plan can be found here: 
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
Advice from Public Health England continues to be for education and children’s social care settings to remain open, unless advised otherwise. We are continually reviewing how best to support all educational settings and the impact of any measures will be considered carefully before being implemented. 
Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy
Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111. 
The latest travel guidance can be found here: 
•    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here: 
•    https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/
The importance of hygiene 
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.   
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water  
In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.  
Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:  
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.  
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the helpline. 
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
•    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings:
•    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
•    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Educational resources
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
•    https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools
Latest Department for Education information: 
•    https://twitter.com/educationgovuk
•    https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/
Please keep your GIAS contacts up to date
If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About School (GIAS). 
To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here: 
•    https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/

    
 

The School Nurses Team will be in school on Friday 13th March at 10.30 am to give a presentation to the whole school on hand washing.

UPDATE from Department for Education as at 03.03.2020

 

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
Today, we have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) 
•    No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.
The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages. 
Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.
New guidance for employers
The Department for Business (BEIS) and Public Health England have issued guidance for employers, which you can find at: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19 
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 
Guidance for educational settings:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus


 

Please see below information regarding COVID-19 this half term. 
 
With staff, children and young people returning to educational settings after half-term, please remember the latest travel advice for anyone who has travelled to mainland China or another of the identified Asian countries listed below. 
If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days, you should immediately:
•        stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
•        call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
Anyone returning to the UK in the last 14 days from China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macau and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath should immediately:
•        stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
•        call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country
 
The Department for Education (DfE) has now updated their COVID-19 guidance for educational settings.

This is available to view at:

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

 

Public Health England Guidance :  

Click on link below for more information relating to travellers coming into the UK :

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

 

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