Coronavirus Advice to Parents, Pupils & Governors

This page is regularly updated with the government's latest advice to education and schools relating to COVID 19.  These are unprecedented times so Toynbee School will continue to follow Public Health England & the Government's advice and Action plan, in all matters relating to Coronavirus.   

The HELPLINE for advice and information on Coronavrius is as follows:

                     Phone: 0800 046 8687
                     Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

                     Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

All links are updated regularly by the government and NHS including the most recent advice in relation to travel.

 

The most important action that we can take to protect against Coronavirus and other germs is to maintain social distance & promote good hand and respiratory hygiene. The advice is to:

 

  • wash hands often - with soap and water or using alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available.

  • cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin.

  • use the hand sanitising stations which we have set up across the school.

 

The latest Government Advice

 

On 16 March, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

  • A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

School Closure

 

ON 18 March the Government announced that schools would close for an indefinite period of time, at the end of the day, on Friday 20 March.  Our plans to cope with a closure will now be implemented.

  

 

  • With regard to GCSE examinations, the school will be following any advice and guidance which emerges in the coming days.  The government's decision to cancel examinations has shocked educational institutions and as a consequence the details of what that will mean in reality is still being thrashed out by the government and Ofqual.  SEE BELOW under Updates 24 March

 

School Trips, Events & Sports Fixtures

The government announced that school trips abroad should not go ahead.  The school will communicate with insurance companies and inform anyone affected as soon as possible.  We have cancelled/postponed school trips and activities planned to take place from 17 March into the foreseeable future and communicated to parents about individual trips.

How can You Help?

 

Now that the decision has been taken to close schools indefinitely, it will be important for your children to have some structure and routines in their lives.  Please discuss with your child how and when they are going to complete the tasks set by teachers  - we do not know how long schools will be closed but it will vital for them to keep their brains learning.  

This is a great time to read a book for pleasure.  The website 'Good Reads' has lots of recommendations for young people as well as adults and suggests new book titles they may like based on previous reading.  Reading a book is possibly one of the best ways of increasing your brain power as it improves word recognition, knowledge, spelling, extends vocabulary and offers a great imaginative escape.  In books you can go anywhere in any time period - something that we may all appreciate in the coming weeks and months.

Although we are setting work via 'Show My Homework' it does not always need to be completed online or using a computer.  Good old paper and pen is perfectly viable as well.  

Report of Actions taken by Toynbee school   

Updated 19.3.20

The school will be closed to all year groups tomorrow 20th March except for Year 7.

The school will be closing for an indefinite period of time at the end of the day on Friday 20 March.  

We have held an assembly for our Year 11 Pupils this morning as they are the pupils most affected by the latest announcements.  It was very sad to see them leave school under these circumstances.

The school is currently discussing what arrangements can be put in place for children of key workers. 

 

We would ask for your support in not calling us with questions today as at this stage we need planning time to put together sustainable solutions for the future. We received all of the information about the closure and other matters at the same time as you. We will update you later today.

In terms of year 11 we are acutely aware of the stress and anxiety the Government`s announcement has caused and the concerns about exams.  Our message is not to worry about exams. The government will put out a plan for this and we will share things with you as soon we are informed. The situation for Year 11 pupils will be the same across the country and the Department for Education will put plans in place.

Friday 20 March

Dear Parents, 
As part of the government’s closure of schools, the provision for children of critical workers is of paramount importance. Toynbee will be open during the school closure to support the children of critical workers.  Attached is the government’s criteria and guidance for what constitutes a critical worker. 
 
In order to plan for this effectively, we are asking parents to complete the attached form if you feel you qualify as a critical worker and you cannot keep your child safe at home.  Critical workers are defined as parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response, including those who work in health and social care and in other critical sectors. However, many parents working in these critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.  
 
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=u_Gc0UtdlkGdKtWZiT1io16H2NNVufJBkpGfranCou1UMUVM M1JKMFpBMlc1RU9PNVpBWkM1N1kxQy4u 
 
Once we have an idea of numbers, we will be in contact directly with those parents about provision for Monday 23rd March
 
Further emails will follow regarding the provision for vulnerable pupils and the arrangements for pupils eligible for Free School Meals. 
 
Yours faithfully,  Mr M. Longden Headteacher 

GCSE Exams Update - 24 March

Following the decision to close schools and not go ahead with this summer’s exams, the government has announced more details of how grades will be awarded this summer. We know how keen you are to have some clarity, so we wanted to share this information with you.

Here are the main points:

  • Regulators will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with us and the other exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students.
     

  • Exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
     

  • To produce this, teachers will be asked to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment. Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges soon.
     

  • Exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
     

  • Regulators and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising the approach, to ensure that it’s as fair as possible. More information will be provided as soon as possible.
     

  • The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.
     

  • These grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.
     

  • We’ll also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students aren’t disadvantaged.
     

  • Students will be able to appeal their grades if they don’t believe the right process has been followed.
     

  • There will also be an option to sit exams early in the next academic year for any students who wish to – and students can also choose to sit exams next summer.

We hope this new information will answer some of your questions – but appreciate that you may still have some.  We promise we’re monitoring the situation via the regulators and government to get all the answers, so please bear with us.

We’re here to support you through these extraordinary times, and we’ll share new details as soon as we get them. We’ll be keeping our website updated with any new information too.

Working together, we’ll ensure that the hard work by you and your students will all be worthwhile – and that your students have the grades they need to progress to the next stage of the lives.


Thank you for your patience and support.

STAY AT HOME GUIDANCE

The Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.

The full stay at home guidance is available at:

Ofqual update on examinations  3rd April

Since the Secretary of State announced that the 2020 exam series in England would be cancelled to help fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Ofqual has developed a process which will fairly recognise students’ work and make sure they get their grades in time to progress. Ofqual has today set out how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer and published further guidance for education staff, students, parents and carers.

For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. These should be fair, objective and carefully considered judgements of the grades schools and colleges believe their students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams and should take into account the full range of available evidence.

Ofqual has published a message to students to reassure them that they, and exam boards, will do everything they can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that students are not disadvantaged because of this unprecedented situation.

Guidance from Ofqual on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020 can be found here:

         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcses-as-and-a-level-awarding-summer-2020

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