School remains open, but we are taking steps to respond to a closure within the next week.
Update 18/03/20 @ 6pm
Update from the Education secretary Gavin Williamson:
Schools will remain closed until further notice after Friday. This is for all children except those of key workers NHS Staff, Delivery Drivers & Police, those with an EHCP or have a social worker.
I'll need time to digest the actual documentation and information to see how this is going to look at Oakfield.
If you are a front-line NHS Worker, Police Officer or Delivery Driver please message me on class dojo confirming your job title and employer as this information is likely to be needed as soon as possible.
Update 17/03/20 @ 07:00am
RETURNING TO SCHOOL CLARIFICATION:
If your child did not attend school yesterday and you informed us this was because you were self-isolating (even if this wasn’t or isn’t the case) and you now wish for your child to be returned to school we won’t be allowing you to do this, regardless of the symptoms they do/do not have now. This is because you declared your child or family member had symptoms of coronavirus and it would be irresponsible for me to now allow these children to come into contact with others at school.
If you told us your child was ill for an illness unrelated to coronavirus they can come back to school when they usually would do so.
If you initially told us (not what you’re telling us today) your child was not in school yesterday because you felt you didn’t want to send them in, we will happily have children in school but will record the absence yesterday as unauthorised by school.
I gave very frequent updates and information to assure, reassure and support all parents and children coming to school which were available all evening and the morning before school started allowing you to make a decision.
This is a joint decision with other local schools alongside Mr de Sausmarez and GMAT who are fully supportive if this. I will make the Chair of Governors aware of this action this morning - If you are unhappy please follow the complaints procedure on the website. Normal response times to this may be extended.
I have to be clear and consistent with the messages I send home and expect honest, trust and transparency from all families at all times. This really is a serious matter being tracked on an individual level.
We are being asked to keep track of all cases, start dates, end dates, isolation times etc... which is not an easy task for Mrs Sword and adding “We’re self-isolating today but not tomorrow” is not acceptable, warranted, advised or supported by any official direction from the government.
I hope you understand in this instance this action is to protect others. We are not a childcare facility but an educational establishment and that is what we will continue to do for as long as we possibly can.
Mrs Sword will be able to playback your answerphone recording to clarify the reason you gave for absence if there is any uncertainty.
School remains open so that we can educate children.
School remains open so we can provide a hot dinner to children who might otherwise not have a hot dinner.
School remains open to enable those on the front-line to go to work to save lives.
School remains open to support families to go to work who don’t benefit from sick-pay or job security.
School remains open because it is safe to do so.
Update 17/03/20 @ 19:45
After listening to the announcements made today from the Prime Minister, the guidance provided to schools, the public, the meetings held between myself and other educational leaders at primary, secondary and special schools in the locality and further & following on from my conversation with the DFE this morning, the following changes will apply from tomorrow:
1 - The gates will open in the morning at the usual time, but to support families who have concerns around social distancing, the children will be able to enter the classrooms immediately meaning families should not gather outside classrooms.
OPTIONAL - Parents who prefer to send their children into school and not take them to the classroom can rest assured the staff will be ensuring they get to where they need to be.
2 - Children are encouraged to wear sports and P.E. clothing for the remainder of the school week in case we need to merge classes due to staffing shortages.
3 - Where children have OWL/FOREST SCHOOL they will be permitted to wear their forest school attire all day and will not have the opportunity to change in school, wellies should be in school as normal.
4 - There will be a change to organisational routines in school meaning forest school times have changed and classes may be merged together.
Wednesday - Year 3 and Year 4
Thursday - Year 1 & Year 1/2
Friday - Year 6
5 - Volunteers, parents and staff from other establishments will not enter school regardless of their health status.
6 - School will operate a soft-close from tomorrow to support social distancing of families at collection time in response to the concerns raised by families. These times are NOT mandatory and should you wish to collect your child at the usual time, you can do so. Please wait for your child to be sent to you at the end of the day, do not enter school.
Year R children can be collected from 14:45
Year 1 children can be collected from 14:50
Year 2 children can be collected from 14:55
Year 3 children can be collected from 15:00
Year 4 children can be collected from 15:05
Year 5 children can be collected from 15:10
Year 6 children can be collected from 15:15
School has not been 'deep cleaned' in relation to the previous posts. This has not been necessary; the standards of cleanliness in our school is consistently strong as a result of our professional cleaning contractors ensuring they meet the high standards expected. High contact points are cleaned throughout the day by teachers too who also have access in each classroom to appropriate santiser.
In response to parental concerns raised yesterday about cleaning, I have authorised a further 3 hours of additional cleaning PER DAY to ensure nothing is missed. I am proud to share with you that the DFE are happy for school to remain open as all actions they suggested us to take in response to the case had already been completed.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL:
As a reminder, families who took the decision to SELF-ISOLATE and informed us of this are NOT, under any circumstance, permitted to bring these children into school. We are DIRECTED to send these children home immediately regardless of their symptoms now. This is a safeguarding measure.
If you took the decision to inform us that you self-isolated in response to the post last night, you are still required to keep your child from school for the 14 day period set out clearly in the guidance provided by the government. You should self isolate. This is to prevent families returning children to school before the end of the incubation, transmission and infection periods.
If your child was not at school AND you informed us this was for an incident unrelated to the Coronavirus, they are welcome back when they are back to full health.
If you are unsure which reason you gave when you called/left a message, Mrs Sword is able to access the attendance system from 8am tomorrow and retrieve the information you presented.
We are not providing home learning to families at the moment because teachers are still preparing lessons and materials as usual for the children in their classes. there are many websites offering support to families self-isolating which can be accessed with a quick 'google' search.
To support families who are self-isolating, we are aiming to provide guidance on Friday on how to support learning at home.
We have learning available should we be directed to close and this will appear on the website within an hour of a closure being actioned by us.
From next week there are meal changes planned to the menus. For detailed information please see: https://www.facebook.com/oakfieldprimaryschool/
I hope these measures will reassure families who have continued to send their children to school whilst supporting those who are self-isolating in the very near future.
On behalf of EVERYONE at Oakfield, I would like to offer my greatest gratitude for the HUGE wave of support we received in response to our actions and communication.
We are now fully preparing and expecting a full-closure but have not information to suggest a date or duration at present.
Update from Mr Mitton - 16/03/20 @ 23:56
We were made aware today (by a family) that at least one member of their family - who has child at school, currently without symptoms - has reportedly tested positive for Coronavirus and are following advice from the NHS. The family have been self-isolating for a period of time and this started prior to the extended weekend we had with the INSET day on Friday.
As a school we are following all advice from the Department for Education, Public Health England and other authorities in dealing with this, along with other schools who are in a similar position. Hearing and reading the information I have, suggests that this is going to become more common over the coming days.
Although this may be worrying to some, I can assure all families that the advice we have been given if such incident were to occur has been followed.
I would be grateful if families could refrain from social media at this time. Not for any other reason than to respect the family’s privacy and prevent miscommunication. We have no reason to do anything differently than we have been doing. If you are interested in the advice schools are being given, this is on the website under “Action Plan and Updates” and at the bottom of this post.
School remains open tomorrow (please see local school closures for some secondary schools) but I do stress the importance of following the advice set-out in my previous posts. We are being as flexible as possible in response to the ever-changing advice we are given, but are duty bound to do as directed.
We aren’t able to offer individual advice to families, mainly due to the fact that we aren’t medically trained and could put ourselves and others at risk if we did so.
This is a rapidly-changing situation and expect further developments this week following on from the Prime Minister’s statement this evening.
I apologise if I haven’t responded to your individual message on Dojo, I am trying my best to work through them but most can be answers by re-reading the advice given.
For anything urgent please contact the school in the morning, see me on the gate or visit the office.
Thank You for your understanding at this difficult time. It was a testament to the staff today that everyone was in school and continued to go over and above - Mrs Spencer took holiday from her other work just to come and help out in the office this morning. We truly are blessed with an amazing team and Oakfield should feel lucky to have them, I certainly am.
Remember, your children are our children too 😊
Educational Setting Guidance:
Social Distancing for Vulnerable People:
Guidance for households with suspected CV:
Update from Mr Mitton - 16/03/20 @ 17:06
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: If you, your family, your child or anyone in your household has contact with or has had contact with anyone with symptoms and you/they are now displaying symptoms, THE WHOLE HOUSEHOLD should self-isolate for 14 days. If you have been self-isolating please extend this to meet the 14 days. This is now automatically authorised as long as we have had notification from you.
Please help us to prevent spreading to children, their families and our staff and their families who also have vulnerable adults and children at home.
Originally, I was unable to authorise absence for anyone taking preventative measures if there was no sign of the virus however, GMAT has taken the stance to support families who are safeguarding their child due to new symptoms or circumstances bespoke to the needs of your child, therefore this will be now be authorised as long as school have been notified in advance.
Any vulnerable adult or child who has significant medical needs (those who would usually be advised to have the flu vaccination) should stay at home for 14 days and will be sent home from school if they attend. Further guidance will be released shortly and will be available on the website.
The Government has now said “Now is the time to stop non-essential contact with others, and it's particularly important for over-70s, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions” - therefore all pregnant mums, those who are over 70 and those who do not need to be in school should no longer come to school for collection or drop-off.
Due to the new social distancing, I am revising the measures we need to take in the community and will therefore be cancelling all trips, visits and visitors, alongside volunteers in school. This does mean that the Mother’s Day Gift Room will unfortunately be cancelled.
School remains open at the moment, though I urge families to check the website in the morning and look at arrangements should the school be forced to close.
Update from Mr Mitton - 16/03/20 @ 15:40
The advice remains the same from the NHS, if your child has symptoms then they should self-isolate for 7 days, this will be authorised by school. The government guidance says that any child who has a new continuous cough or high temperature should remain at home to avoid infecting others. A high temperature is generally considered to be 38c or higher.
If you are taking preventative measures to safeguard your child due to individual due to new symptoms or circumstances bespoke to your child, as of today this will also be an authorised absence but please ensure you let the office know. This has been agreed by Gateway MAT and may differ from other local schools. Though we are trying to ensure consistency we believe that supporting families is the most important thing at this time.
If your child is well enough to come to school and does not have symptoms, they should be in school as normal. If your child has a cold and you keep them off school as a precautionary measure this will be authorised, if you send them into school they will not be sent home unless they develop symptoms as above.
Please find a list of dates which have been cancelled or amended below. Staff will be leaving school at 3:45pm each day to promote well-being and ensure that the cleaners are able to effectively clean the school. All facility hire has also been suspended to enable the hall to be thoroughly cleaned each day - our pupils come first.
All assemblies including our Birthday Celebration, general celebration, express and class assemblies - cancelled.
18/03/20 - Mother’s Day Gift Room - Cancelled
23/03/20 - Zuko Sports Camp Presentation - Cancelled
30/03/20 - Easter ‘Eggstravaganza’ - Cancelled
Update from Mr Mitton - 15/03/20 @ 21:15
WE ARE NOT ABLE TO OFFER INDIVIDUAL ‘ADVICE’ TO FAMILIES OTHER THAN DIRECTING YOU TO THE INFORMATION SET-OUT BELOW.
We request that if any member of your family (or community member) shows or has any of the symptoms of the virus, e.g. a temperature, fever, persistent cough, or has even mild cold or flu like symptoms, then that individual should not come into school tomorrow (either to drop children off OR to attend school). This is the same request from many local primary and secondary schools in Totton but please contact them directly if your child attends a different setting.
Please contact our school on 02380 862530 to notify us by leaving an answerphone message and to receive further advice before they return to school. Additionally, if your child has been in direct contact with someone who has been tested or doctors believe may have the virus then they should not attend school tomorrow. Currently, not everyone presenting with symptoms is now being tested.
If they have HAD symptoms but are fine now, there is no current advice to suggest they shouldn’t come to school. This is entirely a parent decision, you know your child best.
I am now able to authorise absence for those who are choosing to self-isolate due to having the above symptoms for a period of 5 school days as an exceptional circumstance, but ask that you inform us if this is the case. (DFE Guidance For Schools).
We will not ask for medical evidence or count this towards a fineable absence if this or any restrictions currently apply to you from Hampshire County Council. This is not however, an automatic blanket authorisation or right and I must inform you that should we be presented with evidence that someone has claimed to be self-isolating but isn’t, it will subsequently be put forward as an unauthorised absence as is our professional duty.
The office will be busier than usual and we would appreciate everyone taking a proactive approach rather than relying on a call from school.
Thank you for your understanding. I hope you can see I’m trying to work with parents as much as possible without compromising any professional standards or advice which I am lawfully obliged to follow.
Please see the NHS guidance for more up-to-date information.
Will being off school have impact on my child’s attendance record?
Anyone who self-isolates and informs school is likely to receive a ‘Y’ code - exceptional circumstance authorised absence.*
Internally regarding certificates and attendance awards, we will make a decision when there is more time to do so, until then we won’t be celebrating attendance in school in the usual way.
*This is at the discretion of the Headteacher for genuine cases and reports and subject to medical evidence being presented (in a very small number of cases for pupils classed as a persistent absentee) on request. Such evidence could be a completed questionnaire from the NHS website or similar.