Newsletter: Keeping our school community safe

Dear Parents,

Although there have been no significant developments in advice for schools since Friday in terms of how we should manage the coronavirus threat there are now confirmed cases of the infection within 10 miles of Thorney.  I have, therefore, decided that we need to put some measures into place to ensure that we are keeping everyone at school as safe as possible.

From Tuesday morning, all staff and children will be asked to:

  • Ensure they wash their hands as soon as they can after entering the building
  • Record their temperature using a digital thermometer as they enter the building and at the end of the day
  • Wash their hands before they leave the school at the end of the day

Whilst normal body temperature varies from person to person, there are some averages we can use to identify if anyone is running a fever, defined by the government as 37.8 degrees or above. A rough measure of this is if your back or chest feels hot.

The average body temperature ranges are;

  • between 36.6 – 37.2 degrees Celsius for children
  • between 36.1 and 37.2 degrees Celsius for adults aged 18 – 64
  • below 36.2 degrees Celsius for adults aged over 65

My reasons for implementing these measures are as follows:

  • We have both a child and an adult at the school with significantly reduced immunity levels
  • We have a number of children and adults with reduced respiratory levels due to asthma
  • Two members of staff fall into the groups at risk because of their age
  • The children who are pre-verbal cannot tell us if they are feeling unwell.
  • The difference between feeling well and having a fever is only 0.6 degrees Celsius
  • Many of our children’s internal sensing systems do not work well. They have much higher thresholds than neurotypically developing young people in terms of the body’s inbuilt sensory warnings such as pain and feeling hot or cold and so will not recognise themselves that they have a fever level temperature.

If anyone is found to have a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or above, the following actions will be taken:

  • Adults will be sent home
  • Children will be put in a room on their own with an appropriate adult or adults keeping a distance of at least 1 metre, if this is possible given the child’s needs, parents/carers will be contacted and asked to come and collect their child from school straight away
  • Neither adults or children will be allowed back into school for at least 7 days

If a child will not co-operate with these simple measures which, given the situation we are in seem to me to be reasonable and responsible, I will have no choice but to ask parents to come and collect them, as I cannot allow one member of our school community to potentially put the rest of the school at risk.  Hopefully this will not be necessary.

Yours truly

Tim Howley