Tuesday 17th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Partial closure of St Marylebone School from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March
This is the second message you will have received from us today. It really is a very rapidly-changing situation and we really appreciate your support at a time when no doubt this is difficult for you also to manage.
In response to last night’s advice from the Government about managing the spread of the Coronavirus, an increasing number of staff and students are following Public Health advice and are not coming to school. As a result, with lowered staff levels, we cannot safely and effectively staff the normal running of the School and so we will have to close partially.
As such, starting tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March, we will open school for students in Years 10, 11 and 13 only. We are prioritising students with imminent public examinations. This means that students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 12 should not come to school tomorrow until further notice. We regret that this is short notice for parents and carers.
Students are all advised to do school work at home independently. They all know how to log into Google Classroom and complete work and all students have private reading books either from the school library or of their own. We will of course step up all reasonable efforts to enable learning to continue at home. Currently the staff who are here are very busy ensuring we can effectively teach and supervise lessons in school.
I must emphasise that at this point we do not have any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus at the School and all action being taken is in response to Public Health advice.
Last night’s announcement by the Government’s Health Secretary can be found at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/controlling-the-spread-of-covid-19-health-secretarys-statement-to-parliament
In terms of attendance for staff and students at school, these are the most important words from his speech to note: “… we are today advising that if you or anyone in your home has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for 14 days.” If this applies to you, please follow this advice and inform the school of your child’s absence in the usual ways.
Meantime, the latest information from Public Health England for schools can be found via this link:
Meantime, in case you did not see it in this morning’s letter, we have have had to take mitigating action on the following things:
1. As mentioned last week, we have had to cancel overseas trips. This process can take some time so please bear with us as we work through each trip and make contact with the relevant travel agencies and families. We are also in the process of re-risk-assessing local and national trips and will communicate with families in good time about these.
2. With regret, we are also cancelling the following school events:
– A-Level Dance Showcase: Wednesday 18th March, evening
– Spring Concert, Thursday 26th March
We are cancelling these as they are large public gatherings, asking many visitors and families to come into the School. We will use our energies better in the coming weeks on teaching and learning.
3. We are also cancelling Academic Review Day on Friday this week, 20th March. Lessons will run for students in years 10, 11 and 13 usual on Friday. This is because we want to make the most of teaching and learning time and we know we are better able to staff a normal teaching day than, in the event of staff absences, Academic Review Day. Please ensure your child knows that Friday is a normal day of lessons and comes to school ready to learn as usual.
The School continues to inform and advise students of the importance of good hygiene, notably use of tissues and hand-washing. Please do the same at home.
In terms of your child’s attendance at school, please use the usual means of informing us. Please note that the School cannot diagnose your child’s symptoms. If your child is unwell and has symptoms that concern you, please follow Public Health England advice.
We understand that this is a very unsettling situation, causing anxiety and alarm for many. The School will continue to try to keep you informed as relevant and meantime, we thank you for your ongoing good communication and support.
You are all in our thoughts and prayers.