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St Stephen's

Building Each Other Up in Love and Learning

Coronavirus, handwashing and soap

We all appreciate that the situation with Coronavirus is dynamic and fast moving and we are receiving almost daily updates from the Department for Education and the Local Authority about guidance and procedures for schools.

Based on this guidance, we are putting certain measures in place here at school. We appreciate your support in helping us to carry them out.

  • At present, we will aim to keep the school open unless we are informed otherwise by the appropriate authority.
  • Please make sure we have up-to-date contact phone numbers in case we need to ask you to collect your child.
  • If your child develops a temperature at home, then please do not send them into school. Seek medical advice and please ensure that you let us know why your child is not able to attend school. It is important that you consider the needs of all the children and staff when making decisions about whether your child is well enough to be in school. We have children in school with compromised immune systems and we would urge you to think very carefully as to whether you could be exposing other members of the school community to possible infection. In the case where a child is thought to have been exposed to COVID-19 during school holidays or through their social circle, we will allow families to self-isolate for up to fourteen days without requiring a medical certificate. 
  • If you find yourself in a situation where you have to self-isolate, you will need to make alternative arrangements to get your child to school and collect them. Please do not come onto the school premises.
  • Please ensure that your child has washed their hands thoroughly before coming to school. They will then be asked to wash their hands at the start of the school day; after morning break time; before they go into lunch and at the end of lunchtime. We have spoken to the children at length about using a good handwashing technique: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/ Please reinforce this with your child at home that they should be washing with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
  • There have been some reports from children saying that there is no soap in the soap dispensers - this is not the case. The soap dispensers are filled each week and checked twice-daily at the start of the day and at lunch time. Unfortunately, they have been subjected to misuse and this has been causing the dispensers to become stuck. We have been urging the children to be sensible when using the dispensers and to alert a staff member if they are having a problem. The children have been told that if they cannot use the dispensers for any reason, there is soap at every classroom sink and they are to wash their hands, no matter what. 
  • With regards to hand gels, we have been advised that alcohol hand sanitisers are the most effective, but this may not be suitable for children's delicate skin. Therefore, we are leaving this decision up to parental guidance - children are welcome to bring their own small hand gels/sanitisers into school. They will need to be kept in their trays or bags and cannot be shared in case another child may suffer an adverse reaction. It would be advisable to name any of these products so as not to be mixed up with other ones.
  • We would encourage children to bring their own tissue packs into school.
  • If you happen to have any spare boxes of hand tissues that you can donate to the school, they would be gratefully received.

There are some class trips and other events happening off-site that are coming up between now and the end of term, and we will take advice and guidance from the organisers as to whether these trips and events go ahead and advise you accordingly.

Our priority is the care and welfare of the children and we will do our best to keep them as safe as possible. Therefore, it is vital that we come together as a school community to consider each other’s health, as well as our own family’s health.  As a close-knit school we are particularly vulnerable to infection being passed rapidly amongst the school population and we strongly ask for your help and support in this.

It is an unusual time at present and the landscape is changing at a fast pace. We will keep you updated as quickly as possible if there is any change in our circumstances. We will use email, Twitter and the school website to post any communications to you, so please keep an eye out for them.

Please use this link to get the most up to date guidance from the Government: Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you for your help and support. If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.