Dear parents/carers,

As you will be aware, there has been a great deal written and advised about COVID-19, the coronavirus.

We want to stress that current advice and guidance suggests you should not be unduly worried about the potential of your child catching coronavirus. The Laurus Trust is, however, working alongside each Trust school to monitor the situation carefully and we will continue to follow the advice given by organisations such as Public Health England.

With any development, we will use the normal communication channels available to keep you fully updated. We will use the same channels to advise you of any contingency plans that would also be implemented should government advice change.

At this time, however, we stress that there is no reason why your child should not continue to attend school as normal unless they are experiencing the symptoms detailed in the latest guidance here or they are living in the same household as someone showing symptoms (the onset of a new persistent cough and/or temperature over 38C).

In the event of a student or member of staff being diagnosed with coronavirus, measures are in place to deep clean the school and this is likely to mean a short-term closure of up to two days.

Contingencies are also in place, in the event of a longer term government closure of all schools, to provide students with work or to allow them access to online resources. Full information will be forwarded by the usual channels if this situation arises.

Trips and visits

The Department for Education is currently advising against all overseas educational trips for children under 18. We are seeking further clarity on the time period that this encompasses and will continue to update you via the usual channels. All overseas and domestic educational trips and visits scheduled to take place in March and during the Easter holidays for any Trust school have been cancelled or postponed.

What action can you take?

Doubtless you will be aware of the UK-wide campaign to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of coronavirus through simple measures such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.

We are encouraging students to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. The latest NHS guidance can be found here.

We are advising that if a student or a close family member has recently returned from another country they follow the government advice here.

The Department for Education has provided the following helpline (open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) for anyone with questions about COVID-19 related to education:

We will continue to update our school communities with further information through the normal communication channels. There is also a specific coronavirus question and answer section here.

If a child or immediate family member is medically diagnosed with coronavirus please notify the school immediately by emailing details to [email protected]

Please contact school directly if you have any further questions or concerns.

Once again, we thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Gill Theobold, Head of School