Further to my email of last week, I would like to thank everyone who is taking a reasoned approach to the current Covid-19 outbreak as we try to keep everyone safe in a rapidly changing situation. We are now receiving reports of girls and staff self-isolating with symptoms, in line with Public Health England advice although, so far, we have no confirmed cases of Covid-19 within the school community.
Given the continued spread of the virus, the latest guidance from the Government and in line with other local schools, Westfield has decided to widen the group of people who we are asking to self-isolate:
• Any pupil or member of staff who shows symptoms such as a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath should self-isolate and not attend school until 14 days after they recover from the symptoms. Please inform the school using the normal absence procedures and this full absence will be recorded as illness (authorised).
• For all students and staff who are in a household where someone else in that household is showing symptoms of Covid-19, we now insist they do not come into school and instead start to work from home, if they are well enough to do that. They should self-isolate for 14 days (rather than the previously advised 7 days). In this instance, please inform the school using the normal absence procedures and this will be recorded as ‘authorised absence’. Teaching colleagues in school will do their best to provide remote work for students in this position.
• Girls who have a pre-existing condition that compromises their immune system should follow medical advice about whether they need to self-isolate. If the advice is to stay off school then please inform the school using the normal absence procedures and this will be recorded as ‘authorised absence’. Teachers will do their best to provide remote work for students in this position.
• For your information, we have asked all staff with known pre-existing conditions that put them at serious health risk from Covid-19 to work from home.
We would encourage girls who do not have any symptoms, or who are not living with someone with symptoms, to come into school as normal.
For those girls in exam years, we do not have any further information from the boards and are being told to prepare as if the exams will happen as planned. Where we have flexibility in dates we are trying to move exams forwards (e.g. practical exams), where the girls will not be disadvantaged by doing so. Your daughter’s teachers will keep her up to date with each individual subject.
Within school, we have set up a dedicated medical isolation room in case any girl develops symptoms during the day. If this happens we will ask parents to pick her up immediately and take her home to self-isolate. This room will be deep cleaned on a daily basis after use.
In order to facilitate any Remote Teaching in Senior House that may become necessary, please do ensure that your daughter has access to a computer/laptop/tablet and is able to log into her school Microsoft Office 365 account and access TEAMS from home. If this is not possible, please do contact the school so we can work with you to find a solution. If your daughter cannot do this from home please ask her to speak with her ICT teacher to help solve the problem.
For Junior House parents, please ensure that school has your current email address correct as we will use this to send work home.
We would like to thank you for your support in helping us to safeguard the good health of our students and all the members of our school community.
Mr Neil Walker