Frequently Asked Questions - Coronavirus
My child needs to stay off school following advice about Coronavirus. How do I notify school?
There are now high numbers of children who are staying away from school as more families become involved in precautionary measures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our attendance team are currently inundated with an unprecedented number of calls as parents get in touch each day. Please note, with immediate effect:
If your child’s absence is related to the Coronavirus outbreak please do not contact the attendance office by telephone. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org at the start of your child’s absence. Please do not ask the attendance office for advice or information.
Further information is available via the school’s website by following the link in the Frequently Asked Questions section or via the daily blog. If you have any further questions or comments relating to the outbreak please contact: email@example.com
What questions should I ask myself if I think I should stay away from school or I think my child should?
Is the advice the same for staff and students?
The answer to this question is the same for staff and students.
The best way to answer this is to work through these questions.
Have you been to another country in the past 7 days?
If you answer ‘YES’ then first check to see if there is an automatic requirement to self isolate on return, which is the case for example regarding Italy and China. The best place to look is:
If the recommendation is to self isolate, then DON'T COME TO SCHOOL
Go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection and follow the instructions about isolation
If, you have not returned from a country where self isolation is advised for all travellers, then answer the following question:
Have you got a high temperature?
Have you got a cough that is new?
Have you got any flu-like symptoms?
Does anyone in your household have any of these symptoms?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘YES’ DON'T COME TO SCHOOL
Go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection and follow the instructions on isolation.
If the answer to all of the questions is ‘NO’ you may come to school as normal
What if my child has underlying health conditions?
If you feel your child has an increased chance of susceptibility to the illness due to underlying health conditions, and / or being more at risk of severe symptoms should they contract the illness, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The school will fully support parents/carers who wish to isolate their child in these circumstances.
How much notice will we be given if the school is closed?
We may not get a great deal of notice but, we will give families as much notice as possible if and when this happens. The current advice is to stay open and that is what we are trying to do but as safely as possible.
If my child needs to stay off school, will they have work set for them?
Yes. We are now starting to populate Google-Classroom with work in all subject areas for students to work through at home. Further information about what you can do to help us with this can be found by looking at our latest newsletter
I’m a member of staff and I need to self isolate for 7 days. Do I need a sick note?
No, you don’t need a sick note if you are self isolating because of the risk of catching or having Coronavirus. However, we will expect staff to be available to work from home, to set work for students on Google-Classroom and to provide feedback to students electronically.
This information is the same for staff should we be instructed to close the school.
Should I keep my child off school?
The current advice is that if your child or any member of their immediate family has a high temperature and or symptoms that include cough, flu-like symptoms they should self isolate. Follow the guidelines at:
What do you mean about staying at home and self-isolating and how will I know I’m ill enough to need to?
The best advice can be found by following this link. It identifies symptoms and gives advice about what you should do.
I have been told by my child that, in the event of closure, students will be given work to do from home. How can this work be accessed?
We will set work on google-classroom and ensure that all students can access work set by their teachers. This will be available online but not restricted to normal school times. This isn’t dependent on Bromcom or the normal homework system. Please see the latest newsletter for details.
Will the dates of the GCSE and GCE exams be changed?
We have no influence on the dates and timings of the external exams. Ofqual, the exams regulator, says it is working with exam boards and the government to make contingency plans if there is a "widespread outbreak". Until that becomes necessary, Ofqual is telling schools to assume exams will continue as scheduled and that they would issue guidance to "manage any particular risks" to the exam season if coronavirus became widespread.
What about out of school activities?
We have already taken the decision to cancel all out of school and inter-school activities. This includes overseas trips, day trips, sporting fixtures etc. We are also stopping students from other schools visiting here. There are no exceptions.
Will this affect staff in school?
Staff are as likely as anyone else to contract this illness and so the rules for staff are the same. Any member of staff who has a high temperature and or flu-like symptoms will need to stay away from school and follow these guidelines:
We have plans to go on holiday during the next few weeks, is there anything we should do differently when we get back?
Keeping our school community safe is of paramount importance and we are monitoring the travel advice daily. We need to look at every case separately to ensure that we have the most up to date position. Before staff or students return to school following a trip abroad they should contact us using email@example.com Only when we are satisfied that it is safe to return to school will this be allowed.
All of this feels really draconian. Is it really necessary?
We continue to monitor very closely the advice coming out from the government departments, including Public Health England and are taking what we believe to be pragmatic, proportionate decisions. The safety of everyone in our school community is our overwhelming priority. We would ask everyone to help by complying with the spirit of what we are trying to achieve. We know that over the next few weeks and months, life as we all know it will be very much disrupted. We need to work together to lessen the impact on our students and learning.
Will there be enough staff to keep the school open?
Over the coming days and weeks, we will be monitoring the situation very carefully with regard to the number of staff in work at any time. Given that the instructions for staff are the same as for students, that is to stay away from school for 7 days if displaying symptoms, then this is an issue that will change as time goes on. We have been working on contingency plans that would mean keeping school open if we lost upto 25% of staff at any one time. This will disrupt normal timetables and lessons but will be aimed at continuing to provide a safe and positive learning environment.
What are you doing to help stop spreading this illness?
We continue to promote good hand hygiene and the Catch it, Bin it, Kill it strategy for dealing with coughing and sneezing. We have installed 10 hand hygiene stations throughout the school as previously reported. From today, ALL classrooms will have been supplied with sanitising hand gel and tissues so there will be no reasons for non-compliance. We hope that increasing availability in this way will be of help.
Where can I get the best advice and information?
The best starting point for the most up to date information and advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response from here you will also be able to find information about overseas travel and what to do if you need to self isolate. Or you can contact:
The Department of Education Coronavirus helpline, providing information to and advice to Staff, parents and young people can be contacted at
0800 046 8687
Anytime Monday to Friday 8am till 6pm