Last Updated: 27/03/20 12:00
The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly and numbers of cases continue to rise. Our pupil and community wellbeing is, as always, our main priority so we have prepared some guidance surrounding the key questions South Devon UTC parents and guardians may have at this time.
South Devon UTC will close from the 23rd of March 2020 until further notice. We continue to monitor the government advice and guidance. We are doing all we can to keep you up to date with developments as they happen, but please do get in touch if you have specific questions and we will do our best to answer them.
All South Devon UTC communication to parents will be made available on the “News” section of the website.
Keeping Pupils, Staff and the Community Safe
The School has been following the advice from PHE (Public Health England). Display material has been presented in order to educate and encourage all students, staff and visitors to adopt a scrupulous hygiene regime, including washing their hands regularly with soap and water. We are also encouraging social distancing as per government advice.
All students have been issued with the key South Devon UTC safeguarding contact information in the form of a safeguarding postcard to keep with them at all times.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance on washing hands:
Staff and pupils have been asked to be mindful of their activities outside of school and in line with government guidance, avoid social venues and mass gatherings.
How long to stay at home
if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read our advice about staying at home.
Individuals who have recently started to suffer from a new onset temperature of 37.8°C and above, and a new persistent cough (dry or otherwise) for over 4 hours and without explanatory conditions should be isolated immediately.
We will implement these measures as follows:
Any member of staff who displays these symptoms, or lives with someone who displays these symptoms, should not attend work and should remain at home for 14 days. Pupils who display symptoms will be checked by the First Aid team at the college will then be isolated. Pastoral care is uppermost in our minds and we will make sure pupils are cared for and supported during any period of isolation.
We will ask parents to collect their son/daughter who are presenting symptoms outlined above. In the unusual event that a pupil cannot return to a family member or Guardian, the School will make the best possible arrangements to care for them in isolation whilst prioritising the safety of the community.
Please be aware that there have been reports of a scam relating to the Free School Meals… please do not give your bank details in response to e-mails.
Babcock LDP: Safeguarding advice in the event of school closures.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
There is a lot of uncertainty with regards to COVID-19 and as explained the Gov website is really useful as it outlines facts with regards to the incidents happening across the UK.
However, there are still a high percentage of students and even staff who display anxiety and concern over the virus, how it will effect them and how it will effect their loved one. Below is a really useful link to the BBC about how to protect your mental health during this time.
Key points include:
• Avoid social media and online reports
• Only seek advice and guidance from medical professionals and government published websites
• Stay connected with people, through phone calls, face time, messaging ect.
• Eat well, exercise and drink plenty of water.
• Take up a hobby if self isolating
It is important to remember that for those students who suffer with their mental health and anxiety that it is always useful to have an idea on how to support yourself and them during this time. We may also experience students with speech and language needs or ASD who do not understand the situations unless explicitly told.
The “Inclusion and Improvement Hub – Supporting Mental Wellbeing during Coronovirus.” resource includes some very practical and engaging materials to help keep the spirits up and engage the household in positive and rewarding activities.
Sport England’s “How to stay active while you’re at home” is a compilation of some of the most useful tips on how you can get active when you’re at home, if you’re well enough.
Openmindsuk.org are offering a 40 minute online mindfulness course for parents, carers and education professionals.
Themed sessions every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to help children and families find a sense of calm and manage this tricky time.
Different tools to take away and use in every session.
£3 per session.
Book here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Learning Plan/ School Closure Plans
Guidance for Government Schools and Collegestates the following: s
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties, and we will support head teachers to do so.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles: Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
Resuming education and getting back into a routine as soon as possible is important for many reasons.
We also know that in addition to helping our students learn and grow academically, school provides
students with normality, a structure, a place of belonging, and social and emotional support. This is even
more important during a crisis when the world around us is filled with uncertainty.
The student “Home Learning Plan” will enable our students to continue with their learning and to lay the
foundation for their future through reading, research and developing their expertise in all aspects of their
Home Learning Plan
The Study at Home Guide includes a wide range of advice and tips to help you manage learning in a home setting.
Think You Know have shared some high quality Home Learning Programmes online. These might be useful for you to browse through.
The government have published further details about exams and grades. The guidance includes useful reference to how grades will be assigned and opportunities to sit exams should children choose to do so. There will be further analysis of the document and the impact for our students and their progression to next steps shortly.
Further in details from the government on exams and grade: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced
Where Can I Get More Advice About the Corona Virus?
Keeping in Contact During School Closure
KEEPING IN CONTACT WITH US DURING THE COLLEGE CLOSURE
Due to the College being closed, the Reception desk will only be manned remotely. To fit in with our “opening times” of 8am-4pm Miss Emily Phippard (Receptionist) will be available to contact for urgent calls only on 07752296019. If you have general enquiries, please send an email to email@example.com which will be checked regularly.
Please also be aware that our pastoral and safeguarding teams are still available anytime during the school closure. If there are any issues that you feel we should know about, or anything that you feel we can help with, again please email Safeguarding@southdevonutc.org.
For student welfare concerns please contact Mrs Karen Phippard (Lead for Student Development & Welfare) firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, you can speak with her on 07745771644.
For urgent safeguarding concerns contact MASH (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub) on 0345 155 1071 or https://www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/child-protection