Letter from the headteacher regarding coronavirus COVID-19

Dear Parent/Carer,

As you will be aware we are all currently dealing very carefully with the issues relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). Here at St Thomas More Catholic School, we have been carrying on as normal with everyday school life with the added advice to students and staff re hygiene and taking extra time to wash hands regularly. In addition to this there are a range of other measures either in place, or ready to be put into place as needs be. These are about to be outlined further on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

We are not aware at present of any particular concerns with staff or students who may have visited the affected areas abroad or been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus and we are not anticipating any issues at this time. If you have any concerns over symptoms please communicate with us and self-refer through 111. If you are in any doubt, please speak to us.

We continue to follow advice from Public Health England and students have been spoken to in school about the important hygiene messages that are being shared in the news on this (as below). As always attendance is a key factor in children doing well at school and we want every child in school every day wherever possible.

I would seek your support and encouragement in remaining calm, sensible in your approach and in following the advice given by Public Health England. We have been told by the Public Health Department at Walsall Council that:

“Public Health England and Department of Health have advised that schools do not need to close in relation to COVID 19 (even if there are associated possible cases currently undergoing testing). If a confirmed case is identified with links to a school, specific advice would be given on a case by cases basis and parents and students would be updated appropriately.”

We continue to monitor the changing stance of the government and it may be that there is a directive to close schools at some point. Staff are currently liaising within departments on the plan of action if this occurs: mainly in terms of using online resources to set and receive work. Students have been reminded of their login details for Show My Homework, passwords for GCSE Pod, PiXL and Bedrock as appropriate learning. We have also made efforts to communicate with you all as Parents/Carers to ensure that you can also access your Show My Homework account in order to best support your child’s endeavour whilst at home. Please communicate with us immediately should you need these to be updated/refreshed. Students can also access Hegarty Maths so they will have plenty of work to do at home. Year 11, 12 and 13 students should also be revising. Students need to be proactive in making sure that they can access work, should we need to close. If your child does not have access to the internet, please let his/her Form Tutor or Head of Year know as soon as possible so that we can make alternative arrangements for offsite learning.

As you can appreciate, this is an extremely difficult time and I can understand that people are concerned about the health and well-being of their children. This is our number one priority and we are managing the situation with this consideration at the heart of everything we do as always.

If we do have to close, I will communicate this clearly via text message, Twitter, the school Facebook account and the school’s website. Please check these regularly. We have also ensured that the Senior Leadership Team and other key staff can access various lines of communication so that any questions raised by other Parent/Carer, students or staff member can be addressed as quickly and effectivity as possible during school hours, should we be directed to close.

Thank you for your support and understand at a time of uncertainty.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs S Bowen, Headteacher

Headteacher | + posts

Mrs S Bowen is the Headteacher of St Thomas More Catholic School.