Dear Parents/Carers and Staff

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

I am aware that you may have concerns in relation to the coronavirus. This letter is to reassure all parents/carers and staff that the Trust is closely monitoring the situation and regularly reviewing the advice from Public Health England.

In the event of any positive testing for coronavirus in any of the Trust academies, I would like to assure you that we will work closely with Public Health England to ensure that families, staff and students receive prompt advice and support. There is currently no information to suggest there is any increased health risk to any students or staff and as such both students and staff can continue to attend school as normal. Should this change we will of course notify you immediately.

Whilst I appreciate there may be some anxieties and speculation about this issue, the health and well-being of both students and staff is my prime concern and the Trust will continue to be diligent and follow appropriate advice to ensure this matter is dealt with appropriately.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Business Manager or Principal of the academy in the first instance. Alternatively, you can email public.enquiries@northerneducationtrust.org

Yours Sincerely
Rob Tarn
Chief Executive, Northern Education Trust

A letter from Northern Education Trust:

Keeping Students Safe: Preventing the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at Northern Education Trust Academies

We’ll update these questions regularly, to include all the queries we receive from parents and carers about the coronavirus.

What is the academy doing about the coronavirus?
We are monitoring the situation daily, and following the advice from Public Health England about dealing with any suspected cases of the virus in school. We are encouraging all students and staff to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, sneeze or cough into a tissue or their elbow, and not share any items that come into contact with mouths.

Is my child safe in school?
As long as children follow the advice given, they are as safe in school as they always have been, and no more at risk from catching the virus as they would be from catching a cold.

I’m worried my child is at risk/has a weakened immune system. Should I keep them at home?
All children should attend school as normal, unless they are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus. Typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Everyone should follow the guidelines of thorough and regular handwashing, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or their elbow, and not sharing any items that come into contact with mouths.

Will you take a decision to close the school?
This will be a difficult decision to make, and will only be made after intensive consultation with Public Health England. You will be kept fully informed by letter, text (if applicable) and via the website if this situation becomes necessary.

Will the academy be carrying out a deep clean?
If this becomes necessary, yes we will.

How will you keep me informed about the situation?
We will write to you, text you (if applicable) and update our websites to keep you informed. If appropriate, we will also use social media.

How worried should I be?
Please don’t panic. The number of people in the UK who have the virus is still very very small – around 0.011% of people tested have been confirmed as positive.

As of 9am on 8 March 2020, 23,513 people have been tested in the UK, of which 23,240 were confirmed negative and 273 were confirmed as positive. (Source:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public)

Are children still allowed to have breaks and lunch together?
Yes. These can continue as normal.

Can I still pick up and drop off my children as usual?
Yes. Parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up their children as they normally do. Changing this routine could lead to safety risks.

Will swimming lessons still go ahead?
Yes. For the time being, swimming classes will still go ahead.

Why don’t schools just close?
While we’re doing everything we can to prevent the risk of spreading infection and keep our children safe, we also want to make sure that their education is disrupted as little as possible. If students’ safety is deemed to be at risk, we will protect it every way we can.

What about enrichment activities?
Enrichment activities will still go ahead until we tell you otherwise.

My children are currently on a school trip. Does this mean they have to come back?
The decision to cancel all gatherings does not include trips which have already started. School leaders will decide the best action to take for these trips.

I’ve already paid money for my children to take part in trips. Will I get my money back?
If a trip is cancelled because of concerns about the coronavirus, your money will be refunded.

Are you cancelling gatherings?
We will take the decision to cancel gatherings if we are concerned about the virus spreading. We want everyone to stay as safe as possible and to continue to enjoy their time at school. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What kind of gatherings does this include?
It includes all events that bring together students from the same school, such as sports days, concerts etc. It also includes all events that bring together students from different schools, such as sports fixtures. All school trips, whether inside or outside the UK, are also cancelled.

How long will this decision last?
We don’t know yet. We’re in constant contact with Public Health England who are monitoring the situation. As soon as we hear of a change, we’ll let you know.

How will this affect the school day?
Classes will continue to run as usual. School dinner halls can remain open and staff meetings can go ahead as normal.

Who can I contact for more information about the Coronavirus?
Please call NHS111 or check the Public Health England website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england