Public Heath England have confirmed a case of coronavirus at Alsager School. Below are some questions that have been sent in.
How many cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed?
Late on Sunday we were informed of a positive case in Year 11. The infected person will now self-isolate and we have asked that all Y11 stay at home. We have also received information regarding a positive case in Y13. The student had been self-isolating since last Tuesday and as such had not had contact with students in school whilst infectious. We have spoken with PHE and taken their advice.
Which year group is affected?
Currently only Y11 is affected. We will continue to take advice from Cheshire East and Public Health England and communicate as soon as possible any changes.
When can Y11 come back?
Year 11 should return to school on Monday 19th October. Teachers will conduct ‘live’ lessons throughout this period. The self-isolation period will end on Sunday 18th October.
Have the classrooms been cleaned?
We have conducted a deep clean; all classrooms are cleaned regularly, and regular touch points are cleaned throughout the day.
How will my child be taught if they are not in school?
All lessons for Y11 will be delivered ‘live’ via Teams. We have checked that all students have access to a laptop/computer to enable them to do this. if your circumstances have recently changed and this is no longer the case, please contact your child’s Head of College immediately so that we can supply a device.
How will I know if my child is taking part in the ‘live’ lessons?
Teachers will take a register as they normally would, and non-attendance will be reported to the relevant staff in school and to home.
My child feels anxious about being asked to self-isolate.
We appreciate that this is a very worrying time. Due to the nature of the situation we had to act quickly, and it was unfortunate that we were not able to talk to all students about what was going on and why. We know that many adults are also finding this time challenging, but we ask that all parents/carers work with their own children at this time too, to offer reassurance. If you find this difficult, please contact us and we will support you.
Why isn’t the school closing?
The advice is to open the school as planned with all the systems of control in place such as hand washing, good respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning and protected groups. We will also continue to ask all visitors inside school to wear a face covering.
How do I know if I came into contact with the infected person?
We keep a register of all classes and we have contacted the affected student to ask who they have had contact with at lunch/breaktime. This is in accordance with advice from Cheshire East.
Do other members of the household also need to self-isolate?
No, the advice to self-isolate from PHE is only for those in Y11. The letter that was sent out was provided to the school by PHE, therefore the information is from the Government and is the most current advice. Obviously, if you develop symptoms then you should self-isolate along with your household.
Is it safe for other year groups to go to school?
The person infected only had contact with some staff and pupils in Year 11 and they will be self-isolating at home. There is no reason at this stage to suggest any other year groups are affected.
Will It be better to keep the children home a bit longer until this episode is over?
Due to the systems in place we have been able to quickly identify those who came into contact with infected person, so we are expecting this to be contained and not develop into an outbreak. We will of course remain vigilant. We take all of our advice from PHE and Cheshire East.
If the people that have been asked to self-isolate get tested and it comes back negative, are they allowed back into school before the 14 days is up?
The advice is that people who have been asked to self-isolate must do so for the required time. People should only be tested if they have any of the 3 symptoms linked to Covid 19.
Can you confirm more details of the infected person?
As you might expect I am not able to release any further details of the person in respect to their privacy. As explained above we know who this person was in contact with and they will be informed and will self-isolate.
My child is in a different year group and I want to keep my child at home, can I do this?
We can understand your concerns and we wouldn’t open the school if we didn’t feel that situation was contained. You will be aware that the government has announced that all pupils should return to school and continue their education.
As my child was in contact with someone who has COVID-19, do I place my whole family into self-isolation?
The guidance is that it is just your child unless they develop symptoms in which case your household should self-isolate for 14 days.
My children are not in year 11. But I am still very concerned as within the household we have vulnerable people. Will It be better to keep the children home a bit longer until this episode is over.
We have followed the PHE advice which is for pupils from that year group to self-isolate only. All the people self-isolating are doing so as a precaution. We can understand that those of you with vulnerable households will be more concerned; the risk hasn’t changed, but I am aware that it will have heightened concerns and worries.
My children were told to self-isolate by the school and PHE. How will their Free School Meals be reimbursed?
In the government guidance schools have been told that they need to provide either a meal or a food parcel for free school meals pupils if they are isolating. We have contacted all eligible households and provided details on how we will deliver the free school meal. if you require a free school meal and cannot locate this information, please contact the school.
What can we learn from this incident? Anything to be done differently by school going forward or to consider for us as individuals?
We feel everything that can be done is being done, whilst trying to run a school with some degree of normality. The challenge for everyone is following the guidelines both inside and outside of school and try to avoid bringing the virus into the school. We will always aim to inform parents, carers and students as quickly as possible. It is unfortunate that on this occasion it was late evening when we were informed, and it was a weekend. We work within the guidelines and advice given to us by the Government.
I’d like to know how the infected person is doing?
Out of respect for privacy we won’t provide this information.