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Coronavirus Update

As a community we are all very much aware of the significant media coverage surrounding the global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a School we are doing all that we can to ensure we take a pragmatic and measured approach based upon advice from experts. Our actions continue to be governed by Public Health England, the Foreign Office and the National Health Service. In addition, we are consistently communicating with the Boarding School Association (BSA), Independent Schools Council (ISC), Independent School’s Bursars Association (ISBA) and the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

This webpage will be updated with information as and when there is new information to be shared. We have a designated email address, coronaupdate@langleyschool.co.uk, which is currently receiving a high volume of email traffic. We would therefore politely request that you bookmark this page and return frequently to check for updates as it is becoming difficult to maintain the level of replies required. Should you have an urgent situation surrounding Coronavirus which needs addressing immediately please do contact the Headmasters PA (Senior School – headmasterspa@langleyschool.co.uk 01508 520210 or Prep prepheadspa@langleyschool.co.uk 01603 868206) who will contact the appropriate member of the Leadership Team to respond. Please be assured that any updates which have a significant impact on our community will be flagged via email requesting that you visit this page.

The Leadership Team have developed a comprehensive Contingency Plan and currently all planning/measures that can be in place at this time are being addressed. The health and welfare of our community are, as always, of paramount importance.

UPDATED 19:00 18/03/2020

Dear all,

Following on from the announcement from the government that all schools are required to close at the end of Friday (20th), we are now entering a new phase of how we deal with and respond to the current situation; one that is gripping the world in a way not seen for a generation.

All throughout we have been guided by government advice, whilst also needing, and wanting, to look after pupils and staff who are most vulnerable. We are aware of the difficulties that you are all experiencing, and we want to support you as families as much as we can. We say that we are proud of our warm, caring community and provide a nurturing environment, so it is important that we live it too.

From the end of school on Friday, the way we deliver education will change. This means that:

1. All teaching resources will be delivered remotely. Please refer to the Remote Learning Policy on the website. This will be refreshed and enhanced as we move forward.
2. Pupils will be required to follow the guidelines, work in a structured fashion and ensure they take time away from their screens and get some fresh air/exercise each day.
3. We will support the families of key workers and vulnerable children at this difficult time, so we will offer the option of supervision of their children at either site from 8.30am each day for the final week of term. Pre-Prep and Prep school children should report to the LPSTH reception on arrival. Senior school pupils should all go directly to the Alston Centre. We will continue to review this provision in light of significant staffing changes.
4. If point 3 applies to you, please contact coronaupdate@langleyschool.co.uk, using the subject heading ‘key worker.’ We will then be in touch to make arrangements.
5. Staff who are well and not in the vulnerable category, will be able to come into school to supervise. There won’t be taught lessons, but supervision of pupils whilst they do the set online tasks.
6. The government has also said that exams (GCSE and A level) won’t take place this summer. The Prime Minister also made it clear that ‘we will ensure that they (the pupils and students) will get the recognition and qualifications they need and deserve.’ There will be more detail on this in due course.
I hope that you can see that we are doing as much as we can to support your child’s education, your family and recognising the significant pressures that we, as a country, are currently under.

At such a tough time, we all will be thinking of others worse off than ourselves and I am sure you can think of those in your communities, especially in the vulnerable groups, who are lonely and need support. A suggestion would be to find out the address of a local nursing home and get your children to write to them; I know that those residents would be very grateful and be touched by the care and empathy shown. Just a thought…

Please do refer to the school website for further information, relevant links and regular updates.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Perriss

Headmaster

UPDATED 15:30 17/03/2020
School Operation

To all in the Langley community,

I am writing to update you all about the evolving Covid-19 situation. At a time of maelstrom and uncertainty, it is important that we are calm, sensible and follow government advice. We also need to balance this with protecting our vulnerable staff and supporting parents and families, as well as providing teaching for the children in our care. Not a straightforward scenario!

Therefore, we have decided to make the following amendments to the current position:
1. All school-run transport, Senior and Prep, will cease from tomorrow (Wednesday 18th March); today (Tuesday 18th March) is the final day. Many of the drivers are in the vulnerable category and we must look after them.
2. The Prep School will remain open and run as normal as possible.
3. The Senior School will remain open, although there will be no catering available on this site. Staff and pupils are asked to bring in a packed lunch; the only caveat is that the boarders will have all their meals provided as usual.
4. Peripatetic music staff will not come into school for the foreseeable future.

We have cancelled all large gatherings, assemblies and chapel services for example, under the aegis of ameliorating the risks to pupils and staff. At the moment, we are in limbo with some pupils in and some not; staff will provide learning materials as quickly as possible for those at home, but please bear in mind that the same staff are teaching in school too.

The online platforms will be able to provide a vast array of resources, specific lessons and dialogue with teachers. For those in exam years, we are closely monitoring the situation; we cannot control the government decisions in this, but we can support and reassure the pupils as much as possible.

I am sure that this won’t be the last letter I write to you on this subject. The school website has information, relevant links and will also include updates.

Jon Perriss
Headmaster

UPDATED 16/03/2020
General advice
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
– A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
– A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

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.

Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
– You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
– Your condition gets worse
– Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Wash your hands – We continue to reinforce with pupils the need to wash hands more often than usual for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. This method is very effective and has much greater impact that the use hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser can be used if that’s all you have access to.

The Department for Health has released some useful YouTube videos which have been used with our younger pupils to help reinforce this message.

Prevention – To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands!

Clean – We are continuing to clean and disinfect surfaces using our industrial cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

School opening – In light of the announcement on 12/03/2020 about the move from the containment to delay phase, we will do all we can to ameliorate the risks that our pupils, staff and parents face whilst we remain open. We will shrink the school into its core function. In practice this means that:

  • Pupils and students will come to school, have their lessons, games, music, activities and then return home.
  • There will be no trips allowed in or out of school (see travel below for overseas trips).
  • Any planned event involving large groups of people coming onto the school campus’ will either be cancelled (parents’ evenings, open days) or be for the internal (pupils and staff) audience only. This includes the Prep School plays and house music events at both sites. All of these will be filmed and made available to parents to watch.
  • There will be no sports fixtures, both home and away, for the rest of term.

Boarders – If you board at the Senior School and live overseas, we encourage you to make plans to go home as soon as possible. We don’t know what future restrictions may come into force, so it is better to make plans as early as one can.

Plans for closure – We may be told to close at some point. We are currently ensuring that we are able to deliver academic material remotely so that the learning can still continue from home. Those who are taking public exams should be reassured that this crisis will not disadvantage them – this has been made clear by the government. How the Trinity term will look, especially the exam season, is difficult to predict this far out; we cannot control that at the moment. What we will do is make sure that every pupil is able to keep up with their work wherever they are.

Travel – To enable us to make strategic decision we need our whole community to tell us about travel plans, we will be asking you to submit information to the school in the coming days. Please do complete and return the forms sent out to enable us to take decision based upon a complete picture.

Planned school trips, be it UK based or abroad, are all cancelled for the rest of this term. We are liaising with our insurers and tour providers for the Ski Trip to France, the Geography Trip to Sicily, CCF Trip to Darmoor and the French Trip to France. The Finance Team will be in touch regarding refunds in due course.

Inform – At this current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. Please contact us if you have specific concerns about the medical position of a pupil. As more information emerges, recommendations may change and we will continue to update this page with relevant links to advice.

Don’t panic – Current evidence on COVID-19 suggests that children do not experience severe illness. Public Health England states “We are still learning about how children get infected and how likely they are to transmit it to older people or people with underlying health conditions.”

Remote Teaching and learning Policy – In the event of self isolation and/or temporary school closure please click on the following links for Senior and Prep remote teaching and learning policies:

Exams – Ofqual have provided the following statement regarding public examinations:
We recognise that students, parents, schools and colleges will be concerned about the possible impact of coronavirus on the 2020 summer exam series. Our advice at this time is to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.
We continue to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education and we have met to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.
It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.

UPDATED 13:15 18/03/2020
School Fees 

Dear parents and carers,

At these times of uncertainty, you can be assured that Langley will continue to provide your child with a first class education through online access materials and staff support. School fees will only be refunded if we are unable to provide education in excess of 14 days as per our Terms and Conditions.

I would like to reassure that if you have paid for your child to have lunch or to use the School Bus transport for the Lent term that you will receive a refund for any days that the school is unable to provide these services. This is for the Lent term only. These refunds will be applied as credits to your Trinity term fee bills. We are expecting the school to run as normal at the start of the Trinity term, including the provision of catering and transport.

Also with regards to events and trips, and following the announcement of the Government on 12th March 2020, you will be aware that we have been advised against continuing with any trips (including overseas) and events. Staff and pupils are all very disappointed but understand and respect the rationale behind the decision.

We are currently working with our tour operators and our insurance broker to endeavour to reclaim the cost of the trips. Tour operators are receiving a high level of communications from schools nationally so please do bear with us while we sort out refunds.

We are hopeful that School will continue as normal from the first day of the Trinity term (20th April 2020) and you will be billed accordingly.

Kindest regards,
Sarah Rodgerson
Director of Finance

Please click on the following links for further information on the school fees refund scheme:

Useful links for further information:

NHS information – the first port of call for the public: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

https://www.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/public-health

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/04/coronavirus-covid-19-what-is-social-distancing/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) including sign up for information about a particular destination: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Gov.uk useful links: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Public Health England:  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

iHasco has produced a useful online video which may be of interest

NEWLY ADDED LINKS
DHSC Twitter page which is updated at 2pm every day: https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Public facing information
Latest information and advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

FAQs: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Blog about contact tracing: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/13/expert-interview-what-is-contact-tracing/

Blog about self-isolation: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Public information campaign
Resources for the public information campaign: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-novel-coronavirus-/resources.

Guidance
All current coronavirus guidance produced by HM Government for health professionals and non-clinical settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Guidance for boarding schools: http://www.boarding.org.uk/media/news/article/13449/Coronavirus-disease-COVID-19-guidance-update-as-of-25-2-20

Travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Coronavirus action plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

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