Coronavirus case update
Public Heath England have confirmed a cases of coronavirus at St Michael at Bowes CE Junior School.
COVID-19 Questions and Answers
After reporting positive cases on Friday 20th November and Monday 23rd November to the DfE and Public Health England (PHE), PHE advised the school to quickly investigate and confirm affected year groups and bubbles and then inform those specific staff and families to self-isolate.
Letters were sent home to the families of pupils who will have had contact within the guidelines provided by PHE, and further action taken to ensure we were able to continue to provide a safe learning environment for our remaining school community.
Below are some questions and answers we hope you find helpful. If you have a general question that you don’t see listed, please email it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include it as soon as we can.
1. How many cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed?
Two cases one on Friday 20th November and one on Monday 23rd November, the sources from which came from outside the school. The positive case was immediately self-isolated and as a precaution some staff and pupils were also asked to self-isolate.
2.Which year Classes are affected?
4H and 5L were asked to self-isolate.
3. Why is the school still open and not closing?
We only had 2 positive cases and after thorough checks we were able to identify all contacts that the positive cases had come into contact with all those identified have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution, as directed by PHE. The advice from PHE was to maintain our school provision once all contacts were identified and to continue to maintain systems and measures in place such as hand washing and sanitizing, good respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning and social distancing.
4. How do I know if I came into contact with the positive case?
We keep a record of bubble groups and staffing and know which contacts will have been made. We also carried out extensive checks to get a full picture of possibilities and were able to notify all those who came into contact with the positive cases to self-isolate as a precaution.
5. Why are classes so big and no longer smaller bubbles under 15 pupils as happened for the June 2020 return to school for some year groups?
Government guidance advises that all pupils must return to school as of September 2020 and the wearing of masks for pupils is not advised. Schools have all returned to normal class sizes so all pupils can return to school. Government guidance is clear that schools cannot have part-time provision or rotas in place.
6. If I have been in contact with a child who has been asked to self-isolate or their family will I also need to self-isolate?
No, the advice to self-isolate from PHE is only for those who had direct contact with the positive cases. In this case contact was fairly minimal and it is a precaution that some are being asked to self-isolate. If you develop symptoms at any time, inform us immediately, get tested as quickly as possible, and self-isolate, along with your household.
7. If my child or anyone in my household shows symptoms but cannot find an available test centre, what should I do?
It can be difficult at times to secure a test but more government information is available here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
8. Will it be safe for the affected pupils to return back to school?
The positive cases only had contact with some staff and pupils and they have been self-isolating at home with their household. All possible contacts were sent home as a precaution to ensure that school was safe for the rest of our school community. When pupils and staff currently self-isolating at home return to school they will do so only if they have no symptoms. Enhanced cleaning continues in school, we continue to be vigilant with anyone becoming unwell and being sent home as a precaution and there is no reason to suggest any others in school are affected.
9. If someone has to self-isolate do they have to get a test before they can return to school?
The government is clear that people should only request a test if they are showing any of the three main symptoms. Individuals asked to self-isolate do not need to have a test to return after 14 days if they have no symptoms.
10. Can you confirm who tests positive?
We are not able to release information about any adult or pupil who tests positive in respect of their privacy. We will always inform our school community as soon as we are alerted to a positive case after seeking and following advice from the DfE and Public Health England and taking action.
11. Should I get myself or my child tested just in case?
We believe that tests are only available to those with symptoms. If you have been contacted by us and asked to self-isolate then this should be for 14 days. If your child develops symptoms over the next two weeks, you should get a test and your household should self-isolate for 14 days from the start of the symptoms.
12. Should I be more concerned now there have been positive cases because I have vulnerable people in my household?
We are confident that we have identified all the people who came into contact with the positive cases, so for everyone else the risk is no different than it was before. All the people self-isolating are doing so as a precaution and no one has since shown any symptoms as a result. We understand that those of you with vulnerable households will be more concerned, and please get in touch with us if you have additional concerns which we may not yet know about. Please remember that the risks have not changed and we continually review and update our risk assessment.
13. Can children wear masks in their classroom?
Government guidance is that primary school pupils do not need to wear masks in school as there are other measures in place to mitigate the risks.
14. My children have been asked to self-isolate by the school and PHE. How can I collect a FSM meal for them?
In line with government guidance, we have been in contact with Enfield Catering and arranged for pupils to have a Free School Meal (FSM) food parcel, equivalent to the provision needed for the 14 days they will be absent from school.