Daily Update – Thursday 19th March

Daily Update – Thursday 19th March (Part 1)

  1. New developments
  • We are fully open for all fit and well students over the next two days (Thursday and Friday).
  • There will be merging of classes and revised timetables, but no class size will be over 30 (unless they are moved into a larger space such as our main hall, and spread out).
  • All Year 7-10 should be in PE kit (or have in their bags).
  • Modified break and lunchtime arrangements will be implemented today. This involves attempting to create greater distance between students whilst they queue and eat. Additional outside spaces will be accessible and staffed. Students will be strongly encouraged to use these spaces (weather dependent). The Sports Hall and Library will also be accessible, but not with food and drink. The Drama Studio will continue to be accessible to Year 11s only.

  • It has been announced that school will close it’s gates after Friday 20th March to all but vulnerable students and children of key workers. More information will be sent during the day on what this means for our students. We will also be asking for information from parents about their intentions, but this will not be until details of who are classed as key workers are released by the governmen.
  • All events and visits that involve our students leaving our site or external guests coming to school have been cancelled. This includes all sporting fixtures and after-school activities (except for Yr11 revision sessions which continue as usual).
  • No parent should come to school except to collect their child if requested. Pastoral staff will still make phone calls and are still accessible in urgent situations.
  • Parents are asked to not call the school except where absolutely needed (absence etc) as we are struggling to deal with the quantity of calls. All updates and advice are on the school website/blog.
  • Yr8 Parents’ Evening, which was scheduled for Thursday 26th March, has been postponed. We will provide an alternative date in due course.
  • We have decided to delay the start of the options process. More details will be announced about this at a later date.
  • Students will only be allowed to top up their lunch accounts via the app from Monday 23rd March. The machine in school that accepted cash will be closed from this point to reduce risk. In the rest of this week students can top up during morning tutor time (when staff will be on hand to wipe the fingerprint sensor between students). Fingerprint sensors for payment of food will be removed immediately and students will give their name to the cashier. This will result in delays, and from Wednesday we will implement a split break and lunch system to both accommodate this and reduce the number of students using the dining area at the same time.
  • We have received further clarification from the DfE/NHS. Please read the sections below
  1. Latest from DfE
  • We will update this section fully later in the day.
  • If young people become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home. This approach was already in place. Parents will be informed about the 14 day self-isolation expectation.
  • The 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 8687
    Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

    Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

  1. Latest from NHS
  • If you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms during this self-isolation, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of if that would take them over the original 14-day isolation period.The symptoms are:
    1. A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
    2. A new, continuous cough


  • The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here
  • You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
  • If as a parent your, or someone they live with, has an underlying health issue (see the online advice pages for who this is), then we are recommending that you self-isolate as soon as possible for your family. Absence will be authorised for your child as exceptional circumstances.
  1. Latest from TfC
  • The main development from a school perspective is the advice that international trips should be cancelled. Each school will deal with the travel company directly, but parents should be patient as this can be a difficult process.Advice on what you can do regarding Covid-19 is listed below:
    • Stay at home for fourteen days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Only contact NHS 111 if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms don’t get better after seven days.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
    • Always wash your hands when you get home or into school.
    • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
    • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
    • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
    • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
    • To find the latest public information on coronavirus and for stay at home advice please visit: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
  • Linda Ward says:

    Well done with all of these update. It’s a worrying time for everyone. So with my best wishes for what lies ahead, and to you all at Hetton School, take care and we will just have to ride the storm. Thank you.

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