23rd September 2020
Attached is a letter that we have been asked to distribute to yourselves by the Department of Education concerning what are the main recognisable symptoms of Coronavirus and at what point you should take yourself or your child to be tested.
Some of you may be aware that a local special school, Priory Woods School and Arts College in Middlesbrough, has recently shut for a period of time to contain a potential outbreak of Coronavirus within the school. I know having spoken to people involved in the decision making that this decision was not taken lightly. However, as a special school with a number of vulnerable learners, who are transported in on mixed transport and can struggle with social distancing we have to have tighter controls around the potential spread of infection within school compared to our mainstream counterparts.
If we have a positive case within school we will inform all parents/guardians of this and will also let you know whether your child should self-isolate as a result of this. If your child is not in the bubble or bus group of the person who tested positive your child will be free to attend school and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the case is hopefully one in isolation. However, at this point we would be supportive of any parent who felt that as a result of this their child was too vulnerable to attend.
If we have more than one case across the school we will be in a challenging situation. At this point, I could not say exactly what our response would be, however I can assure you that the well-being of the students and staff would be at the forefront of our decision making. This could ultimately result in the partial or the full closure of school for a fixed period of time in order to ensure that the virus does not spread any further. This decision will be made by school staff in conjunction with Public Health England, taking into account the unique nature of our school.
I hope that should this situation arise that you would support us in any judgement calls that we make, confident that any decisions will be based upon what we consider to be the best interests of your child.
Thank you for your continued support
Paul McLeanHead Teacher