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Fawbert & Barnard's Primary School

Learning for Life


Government guidance as followed by the school

Updated 11:00, 1 April 2020 

Please see the updated DfE link with guidance for parents and carers giving support for keeping children safe online:


Updated 9:00, 24 March 2020

Please see the latest updated information from Essex County Council below.

Updated 19:00, 22 March 2020

Dear parents and carers

Thank you so much for your kind messages, they really do mean so much and are greatly appreciated. We have vouchers available from the school office for those entitled to Free School Meals (not universal).  Please come and collect these by 11:00 am on Monday 23 March 2020.  Any uncollected vouchers will be hand-delivered by staff after this time.

I need to reiterate - the safest place for your children IS AT HOME.  The only people who should bring their child to school next week are those whose work is critical to saving lives and keeping the nation going (food, utilities etc..).   My staff are putting their health and the health of their loved ones at risk by coming into work, so that these Critical Workers can continue their very important work. 

If you are a Critical Worker, you will need to bring proof of your employment (eg. a Health worker badge or a critical worker's employer's letter) when you bring your child to school.  I understand you may not have this available for Monday, but it will be required if you wish to continue using our service from Tuesday onwards.

It has become very clear that we must change our social habits. Please see the advice below...

EVERYBODY in the UK has been asked to stop non-essential contact with other people and avoid all unnecessary travel. This is known as social distancing.

It follows people with flu-like symptoms - such as dry cough and high temperature - being asked to self-isolate at home, to avoid infecting others.

Social distancing means avoiding unnecessary contact with other people. It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around. Everyone is now advised to follow self-distancing measures, especially the over-70s, pregnant women and adults normally eligible for a flu jab.

- Work from home whenever possible
- Avoid all unnecessary travel
- Stay away from pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues
- Avoid gatherings with friends and families wherever possible

- You can go for a walk or run outdoors if you stay 2m (6ft) away from others
- You can see family and friends if it's essential
- You can walk your dog
- You can provide essential care for elderly relatives and neighbours if you have no symptoms
- You can go to the shops to buy food and groceries

Please go to the BBC website to see the rest of this useful article. 

Again, I urge you to practice social distancing and stay at home with your children.  Please look after yourselves.

Very best wishes
Sue Spearman

Updated 9:00,21 March 2020

From Friday 20 March schools, childcare and other educational settings are closed for everyone except:

  • children of critical workers
  • vulnerable children

 We have published guidance for parents and carers:

Critical workers

If parents’ work is critical to the coronavirus response, their children will be prioritised for early years and education provision.

The Government has published a list of critical workers:

Updated 14:43, 20 March 2020

Please see our updated guidance and letters below.  We are currently preparing a list of provision for key workers and have vouchers for those in receipt of FSM available from the office as of this evening.

Updated 09:57, 19 March 2020

We are making preparations to close on Friday 20 March 2020 from 3:15 pm except for those families who are key workers or vulnerable children.  Please see our letter below for further information.  We will be updating this page as and when we receive further information.

Updated 12:08, 18 March 2020

Please note the current cancellations:

  • We will be postponing  all clubs 
  • Parent visitors and volunteers are asked not to come into school until further notice
  • Any parents meetings arranged with a member of staff are also postponed for the time being

We will be opening the school gates slightly earlier at the beginning and end of the day to ensure that there is not a queue of people on the public footpath.  We would ask everyone to leave swiftly and to try to stand away from other people. 

The school is not to close at the moment but we will be asking all parents and carers to let us know if you work in a health role and do not have cover for childcare so we can remain open for you as a priority, if needed.  - Letter issued through parentmail and below.

Updated 9:33, 18 March 2020

Please see a letter below from Essex County Council on how schools are currently operating.

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:

Update at 15:50, 17 March 2020

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, 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:

17 March 2020

The school is open. However, family isolation is now in place so if someone in your family is displaying the following symptoms then the whole family needs to stay at home for 14 days:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

Please contact the school to let us know if this is the case.

We will be cancelling workshops where adults visit such as reading and phonics.  Parent consultations, Dotty Day, Easter bonnet parade and any trips proposed for this side of Easter have also be cancelled.  After-school clubs have been cancelled from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

We are asking parents/carers to deliver and collect their children as swiftly as possible.

Class pages will be updated as and when class teachers can as they are still teaching.  In the meantime, reading books, Matheletics, TT Rockstars can be used.

Information received 16 March 2020

What you need to know:

  • staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal
  • if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home
  • clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using your standard cleaning products
  • supervise young children to ensure they wash their hands for 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitiser and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

In terms of the advice that everyone should self -isolate if they are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, the guidance for this can be found here:

Students with coughs/colds/temperature:

  • Students self-isolate on Public Health England advice and the school obliges on that.
  • We can check that they are ok but if they do not return after a 7 or 14 day period then the school does usual absence warnings etc.

Students with low immunity:

  • The DfE has had no guidance on what they should advise on staff/students with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • On Tuesday Public Health England had guidance on what parents/carers can do if children have medical/auto immune issues
  • Students need to go to their GP to ask the GP to write a letter for the school to prove that he/she is at more risk than other children.
  • This only allows the student to be out of school for 7 or 14 days if their doctor states they are more at risk than anyone else.
  • If any parent of a student wants to take their child out of school, the school can deny that unless they receive a doctor’s letter to say that they are at more risk than anyone else.
  • If a student is out of school without a doctor’s note, then it is an unauthorised absence.

Current advice remains in place:
No education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

The school are:

  • receiving daily updates from the DfE
  • promoting the regular washing of hands
  • tissues are available throughout the school
  • we have thermometers to check temperatures and any child showing symptoms,  parents will be contacted in the usual way
  • the school will be following ECC advice for recording of attendance
  • the school has adequate supplies of soap and cleaning essentials

Should the school close we will be following the procedures set out in the letter dated 16 March 2020 below.

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

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.