Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus information

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We will continue to update information relating to the Coronavirus as and when its available. 

Wednesday 18th March 

Following this evening's Prime Minister announcement regarding school closures, we are seeking further advice and guidance about what this means for the pupils at Brackenfield. We understand this is an anxious time for all our families and will be in touch over the next 2 days with more information. Additional to this-school will be closed on a Friday 20th March to all students due to inadequate staffing levels as a result of self isolation.  


Tuesday 17th March 2020

Dear Parents / Carers,This letter is to give you information about the coronavirus outbreak and what steps Brackenfield school are taking.We are continually checking the latest guidance and information from the Department for Education (DfE), Public Health England (PHE) and the local authority / government. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:

• new continuous cough and/or

• high temperature

If your child develops either of these symptoms, please do not send them into school for 7 days. If anyone in your household develops symptoms all members of the household must self-isolate for 14 days, so do not send your child into school. If another member of your household develops symptoms whilst self-isolating, they must self-isolate for 7 days from when the symptoms start.To help stop the spread of the virus the following advice has been issued:

• ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ - use tissues when coughing and sneezing then put these in the bin.

• Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Increased risk of severe illness: There are some people who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus. These people need to be strict about social distancing. This includes people who are:

• aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)

• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below o chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis

chronic heart disease, such as heart failure o chronic kidney disease

chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis

chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS)


problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed

a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)

• those who are pregnant If your child falls into any of these categories, you may decide not to send them to school. If you decide to do this their absence will be authorised and we will support you by sending work home where appropriate.

Social Distancing: Brackenfield will also be taking the following steps until further notice:

• All visits into school have been cancelled (except where these are essential such as medical interventions)

• All annual reviews will be conducted by telephone and / or skype

• School swimming and other school trips will not be taking place • A decision about Lea Green residential in June will be made nearer the time

We understand that this is a worrying time for you and your families. We are here to support in anyway that we can. We have set up a dedicated email: if you need more help or information. If you do not have access to email you can ring us on 0115 9733710. We also given the links to guidance at the bottom of this letter. Please inform of us pupil absence by either email or telephone.Please be assured that we are taking all necessary measures to safeguard the staff and pupils and ensure the effective running of the school. We will keep you updated when we have more information.

Yours sincerely,

Trish Turner


Click here for a PDF version

Government Coronavirus action plan

This is the updated information on the government’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Government coronavirus action planThe 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:

Action plan recapThe 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 properlyWash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.Watch this short NHS film for guidance:•

Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:•

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 helplineThe 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 8687Opening 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 informationUpdates on COVID-19:•

Guidance for educational settings:•

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:•

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:•

Educational resources:••

Latest Department for Education information:••


Ofcom annual report (Children's media and online lives)This report can be quite useful for schools to get an insight into what is going on nationally over the age range 5-15; it comes out every February and it's worth having a browse through some of the statistics and then applying those into your own setting to see if you are similar, if there are differences etc. Personally I find some of their figures very low (i.e. mobile phone ownership with year groups and use of social media amongst children and young people), which is why I mentioned to have a read and apply the statistics to your own setting.The report also considers any new trends, e.g. this year Ofcom have highlighted the 'Greta effect' whereby more young people are using social media to express support for causes and organisations.You can view/download the Ofcom report HEREPlatforms are getting better at detecting CSA In 2019 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC - USA) had more than 41 million videos of CSA reported to them. Five years ago it was less than 350,000. As tech platforms get better at detecting content, more are being reported. The amount is alarming but equally great news that they are being detected, although what we have to remember is that the figures will be skewed as many will be copies and copies of copies. Facebook, which is the largest online platform, reported the most at 60 million photos and videos. Worryingly, as Facebook is moving to encrypt all its online services, this means that there will be a zero detection rate.Click HERE to read a short article.Updated Programme of Study for PSHE (key stages 1-5)The PSHE Association of updated their programme of study for PSHE ready for the statutory elements of RE/SRE and Health coming in September 2020. You can read more HERE  Resources and Lesson Plans for Online Hate SpeechYou may be aware of Katie Hopkins. A couple of weeks ago she was tricked into attending a fake awards ceremony and the video of the event went viral. To say that what she was saying was vile would be an understatement. You can view the video on YouTube HERE but BE WARNED, it contains extreme language and visuals, I do not advise watching it in school. The use of hate language is on the increase and it's really concerning. SELMA is a series of over 100 free customisable resources for children and young people to tackle online hate. See HERE for further information.Is it time to teach safe sexting?A controversial question and a difficult one to answer. The last thing any of us want is for any child or young person to take and share these illegal images and videos, but the fact is that it is happening. Talking to them in the language of "don't do it" will have little effect on the few who choose to carry out this activity, so isn't it time for open debate?You can read an article to give you some food for thought HERE, I would be interested in your thoughts.To talk about smartphones affecting the brain is a slippery slopeWellbeing is a big issue, and it's getting bigger. To be able to teach our students and to be able to engage with our parents with the right information is even more difficult. The media would have you believe that all social media is bad and screentime is a huge issue, but what do we actually know for certain? The answer is very little. Amy Orben is a go-to person for clear, pragmatic information and recently did an interview for the Guardian news.See the article in the Guardian HEREOnline Safety Pro In-depth training for your online safety lead PLUS 12 months online access to fully updated training for all your school staff and governors, PLUS regular video updates to keep everyone up to date.Thurs 23rd April 2020 - LondonSee here for more information: Wishes,Alan MackenzieTel:  01522 25 30 88Web:

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