Government guidance as followed by the school
Reporting of Covid cases over the Easter period
If your child shows symptoms of COVID or is being tested, since finishing school on Friday 26 March 2021, this should be reported to the school using firstname.lastname@example.org
The e-mail account will be monitored during the half-term period from 10-12 noon until Friday 2 April 2021 to enable us to inform others they need to isolate.
Updated 29 March 2021
Letter to children and young people from the Secretary of State for Education
The Secretary of State for Education has today written to children and young people to recognise the impact of the disruption they have faced over the past year and to thank them for their resilience. He outlines his continued commitment to supporting children and young people to recover from the disruption now that they have returned to school and college. The letter also highlights the importance of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and the vital role this plays in helping to prevent the virus spreading.
Updated 26 March 2021
Primary school pupils and rapid asymptomatic testing
On advice from Public Health England (PHE), pupils in primary schools and children in nursery settings are not included in the rapid asymptomatic testing programme.
PHE has advised that there are currently limited public health benefits to testing primary-aged pupils with lateral flow devices (LFD). In addition, primary-aged pupils, particularly younger children, may find the LFD testing process unpleasant and are unable to self-swab.
We are advising that primary-aged pupils should only be tested if they are symptomatic, in which case their families should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and book a PCR test for the child.
Updated 18 March 2021
Support is available through a number of sources for those families in need. Please see our letter here for further information.
Update to guidance for parents
We have updated our guidance on what parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19.
The guidance now includes information on returning to boarding school from overseas, including arrangements for pupils to quarantine on arrival in the UK. It also provides additional information to support parents considering elective home education for their child.
We have also published a collection of guidance providing information for parents and carers of children attending early years settings, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This collection brings together information and guidance for parents on:
Updated 15 March 2021
Updated guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to include a section on asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This section provides information on how members of a household, childcare or support bubble of a primary or secondary-age pupil or college student can access twice-weekly testing.
Updated 8 March 2021
Please see the posters below with support advice to families available from Essex County Council:
Updated 4 March 2021
Asymptomatic testing information for parents and adults in households with children at school or college
NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Test kits can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below.
Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.
Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly:
If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.
Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.
Travelling to school safely
As part of your ongoing communications with your pupils and their parents, you may wish to share the following messages on how pupils can travel to and from school safely:
Further information can be found in our guidance on transport to school and other places of education. The Department for Transport has also created resources that can be downloaded and used by education settings to promote safe travel to school.
Updated 3 March 2021
All children will be returning to school on Monday 8 March 2021. Please see our letter for further details. Other helpful information below can also be read in conjunction with this letter.
24 February 2021. Changed the guidance document 'What parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19' to an accessible version.
Letter from Essex County Council providing information for home testing for households
Updated 1 March 2021
Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff
Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus (COVID-19) do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is important to help stop the virus spreading. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we all need to play our part to help protect each other.
On Sunday 28 February, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that from Monday 1 March, households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March. Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders. The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed:
Schools should not give test kits to parents, carers or household members and should not order more test kits for this purpose. Letters containing advice on where to access testing will be made available for schools to share with parents and staff shortly.
This guidance provides information on who can be tested and how you can get a test.
Supporting Children, Young People and Families emotional wellbeing and mental health on their return to education
The following links have been provided by Essex County Council:
The Essex Wellbeing Service will be providing navigators to help you find the right support for pupil’s and their families emotional wellbeing and mental health needs on the return to education. This is an early intervention offer to provide additional support to education settings on top of what you will already be offering. The Essex Wellbeing Service has developed a navigator service to both signpost and provide a triage service depending on the needs of your pupils and their families.
To access the Essex Wellbeing Service navigators, phone this number: 0300 303 9988
This is accessible from the 8th March 2021.
Families can use this directly, or request support from school/setting staff.
There will be promotional materials available to share this vital information with families.
Recovery and Return to Educational Settings suite of resources has two further webinars for families:
Please share these links with your families to provide them with some helpful advice and information to support their emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The Essential Living Fund is available for families who need emergency help with heating, water, food, bills and other essential household items. Families can call 0300 7900 124 (8:45am-5:00pm). www.southend.gov.uk/ELFforessex
National and local research findings are indicating that social, emotional and mental health needs continue to be a priority and concern. There are four themes that we have prioritised:
· Essex’s social, emotional and mental health pillars of support
· Disordered eating
· Self-injury (self-harm)
· Loneliness and isolation
We will be providing helpful succinct information in a poster format about how to support children, young people and families in these areas.
Updated 25 February 2021
Updated guidance for keeping children safe online
We have updated our guidance for parents and carers to keep children safe online. The measures announced over recent weeks to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), although essential, have disrupted people’s day-to-day lives.
As a result of these necessary measures, almost all of us are likely to be spending more time online, including children. This guidance contains resources for parents and carers to help keep their children safe online.
Updated 8 February 2021
We have been passed the following links which may be helpful to parents:
Supporting Parents Helpfinder (Young Minds)
Times are tough for many people right now. Parents find themselves pulled in many different direction and children may be struggling being in the house for so much longer than usual.
A mixture of concern about covid, work from home and children at home, along with a possible financial impact make for a stressful household.
Young Minds have created a useful 'Supporting Parents Helpfinder'. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child's mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).
Find the help finder here: https://youngminds.org.uk/supporting-parents-helpfinder/
When emotions explode (Young Minds)
Young Minds have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.
Download the poster here:
Updated 2 February 2021
DfE have updated the guidance for parents and carers whose children attend out of school settings making it clear that as far as possible, parents should try to limit the number of settings their children attend.
Updated 1 February 2021
Children’s Mental Health Week begins today
Children’s Mental Health Week, an annual week-long campaign run by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, begins today and will run until Sunday 7 February.
This year’s theme is “Express Yourself” with the focus on children finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas through creativity. Mentally Healthy Schools have created a toolkit of resources for children, staff and parents to use during Children’s Mental Health Week.
Throughout the week, we will be using our social media platforms to share a variety of mental health resources including ‘wellbeing for education return’ and the children and young people’s psychological first aid training which is run by Public Health England.
Updated 29 January 2021
Concerned about how COVID is affecting you or your family? Please click here for details of support groups that can help you.
Updated 18 January 2021
Useful information on seeking medical advice for children unwell or injured
Updated 11 January 2021
Oak Academy free to access
Mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone have said they will move to “zero-rate” the Oak National Academy after the online education provider agreed to move all its content to a single domain.
Updated 14 December 2020
Please see the information below that may be of help to you.
Updated 5 October 2020
Please click here for the Covid-19 symptom parental support tool
Updated 24 September 2020
Updated 18 September 2020
Click here for a flow chart to help with child's illness symptoms and attending school.
Updated 17 September 2020
The following link provides information of where in Essex testing will be taking place. This is updated every Friday.
Current dates and locations for mobile testing units. Mobile testing units are at various locations across Essex and they are run by the Ministry of Defence.
Updated 16 September 2020
The fastest way to get a test result is to go to a testing site. Individuals will need a pre-booked appointment or they will not be given a test. People can also order home test kits to be sent directly to them. To book an appointment or order a home kit, please visit:
These routes remain the primary channels for any individuals displaying coronavirus symptoms to get a test.
Who to contact in an emergency
If at any stage someone at your setting cannot cope with the symptoms or their condition significantly worsens, use the https://111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 service. If you do not have internet access, dial NHS 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.
Updated 14 September 2020
Please click on the link below for some helpful advice regarding COVID-related pupil absence and some FAQs regarding Track and Trace:
Updated 10 September 2020
Hands, Face, Space campaign
A new public information campaign has been launched ahead of winter to highlight how everyone can help to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Yesterday the Prime Minister launched the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign urging the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak. In line with this they have produced a communications toolkit for universities in England, but which may be of wider interest. Consistent adoption of these behaviours is particularly important in places outside of educational settings which do not implement the wider protective measures in the system of controls set out in our detailed guidance:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Schools and other education settings must ensure that staff and pupils clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating.
Responding to those with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
It is vital that educational settings only ask children or staff to self-isolate and recommend they get a test if they develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those sent home to self-isolate, having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, should only get tested if they develop symptoms themselves. The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. The capacity of the NHS Test and Trace system must be protected for those with symptoms of the virus. Booking is essential for drive in and walk in test sites, and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
No one with symptoms should attend their nursery, school, college or university.
Updated 14:30, 16 July 2020
10 top tips to encourage children to read in support of Reading Together Day
To support the very first Reading Together Day, we have published tips for parents and carers of primary-aged children to help them encourage and support their children to read. They contain ideas on how to plan reading opportunities at home and make reading enjoyable and engaging, including during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Updated 14:30, 16 June 2020
Updated handwashing advice
It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:
Updated 9:15, 11 May 2020
Our school counselling colleague has prepared some tips to use during these unprecedented times for you and your families. Please click here for more information.
Updated 9:33, 18 March 2020
Information on how to talk to children about Coronavirus to support children’s mental health and wellbeing if trying to alleviate children’s anxiety. Please see the video link below:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.