Latest guidance from IVC regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic
13 March 2020
I want to share with you the latest guidance that we have issued to all staff at IVC over the past 24 hours so that you can be confident we are taking as many steps as possible to protect your children from this pathogen.
Yesterday’s briefing from the PM clarified a number of issues:
- Confirmed infection rates bear little resemblance to the actual infection rates due to delays and difficulties with testing.
- The Government wants to delay any closures of large events/schools as the benefit will be too limited at the current time – but likely as infection rates escalate.
- This pandemic is not likely to be a short term infection and may persist for many months.
- It is possible that many of us will experience family members becoming ill and we need to support each other at this time.
In this new stage of DELAY, the PM was clear that anyone with a new continuous cough or fever should self-isolate for 7 days. We have asked staff to be vigilant with these symptoms and let us know as early as possible if they experience either, but particularly a fever. As of this morning, we have sent home two members of staff with a slight fever and they will self-isolate for 7 days as recommended. These are members of our support staff and not the teaching staff. As per the advice, it is not necessary for students or staff in contact with those staff that are sent home to take precautions, unless their fever is confirmed to be COVID-19 related. If this is confirmed then we will notify parents/carers as soon as possible.
We are currently reviewing all trips and visits that are due to take place over the rest of this academic year. We are consulting with insurance providers regarding the language exchanges as we do not want parents to be out of pocket, and we have already cancelled the netball visit due to take place on Monday. We will issue more guidance to parents/carers regarding trips early next week but it is important to flag up that all trips are being reviewed.
We have taken the decision to cancel the Year 11 parents’ evening planned on 31 March. We will ask staff to identify any students where communication with parents is required. This will be done via phone calls by the subject teacher or where a number of concerns exist, by the Head of House.
We have briefed staff today about how to prepare for a full College closure and we are confident that should that directive come through from Government we could respond immediately. If this takes place, we will issue advice to parents/carers via intouch, Edulink, the College website and social media platforms. Please be assured that we are taking steps to provide support and work for all students but will prioritise support for those students approaching their exams.
Our immediate concern is how to manage the site safely in response to anticipated staff illness. If it becomes clear that we are unable to staff the full timetable for Years 7 to 13 then we will look to implement a programme of scaled closures to specific year groups so that we can staff the Year 11 and 13 students over the next few weeks. We are not supportive of the advice to collapse classes and run larger class groups – this seems a perfect way to ensure that the virus spreads rather than hold it back - so we will need to look at closing the College to certain year groups on a phased basis.
We are hugely grateful for your support and patience at this difficult time. There is lots of advice circulating but very little of it is much support to us as school leaders. We are working very closely with local school leaders to discuss strategies that best protect our students and staff and indeed your families. The PM’s comment about how this is likely to affect us all is very sobering and we urge you to take all measures possible to look after those in your families that are most at risk from this illness.
If you have any questions or concerns then please contact any of the leadership team on the email addresses below.
Behaviour and safeguarding - Ms Katie Jarvis firstname.lastname@example.org
Website, communication and office 365 - Mr Simon Warburton email@example.com
Curriculum, assessment and other queries - Ms Victoria Hearn firstname.lastname@example.org
Impington International College - Ms Jo Sale email@example.com