Covid-19 and Coronavirus Information
Frequently Asked Questions and SPH Support
Updated 26/03/20 @ 14:00
St Philip Howard Catholic Voluntary Academy has a duty of care to all its students, staff and wider community. We are following the advice given out by the Department for Health and Social Care, Department for Education, Public Health England and the St Ralph Sherwin Multi Academy Trust. We are monitoring all advice and guidance given from central government and will keep this page updated on a regular basis.
We have complied a selection of information / resources that we will regularly review to help our community in dealing with this challenging and unprecedented time.
If I need to communicate with school, what do I do?
All communication with school is now via email until further notice. For all general enquiries, please use the following email address:
For those who have been identified as meeting the key worker criteria, please contact the school using the following email address:
We will respond as soon as feasibly possible.
If you are trying to contact staff directly via their email address, please be mindful that this member of staff may not be able to reply immediately due to various different factors including illness. In which case, we advise that the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is your best line of communication with school.
Where can I find more information about Coronavirus?
The Government advice on all matters regarding Covid-19 and Coronavirus can be found here:
Department for Education guidance regarding Covid-19 and Coronavirus can be found here:
NHS and NHS 111 guidance regarding Covid-19 and Coronavirus can be found here:
What is my responsibility as a parent?
First and foremost, it is your responsibility to ensure your child’s safety. It is imperative that you follow all government instruction about staying at home and ensure your child upholds social distancing if they exercise outside of the home. We also remind parents of the importance to check what their child is accessing online, this includes websites and social media platforms. As children are now at home, you need to check what they are viewing and who they are talking to. We recommend using parent shield, offered by your internet provider (we advise you speak to them directly) to put blocks on the wifi. We also recommend that you look at your child’s phone regularly to check on what they are doing. Further support is available on our website https://www.sph.academy/parents/information-parents/keeping-your-child-safe and on the following external website https://parentzone.org.uk/advice/parent-guides.
Is the school open to pupils?
From 3pm on Friday 20th March 2020, the government has declared that schools in England will close to all but a few pupils until further notice.
Why is the school closed to all but a few select pupils?
As part of the government’s protective measures for public health in the fight against Covid-19, and to slow down further transmission of the virus amongst the population, the government has decided to close schools to the majority of pupils.
What pupils are allowed to attend school?
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care: This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare: This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services: This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government: This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arm’s length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods: This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security: This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
Transport: This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services: This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
To be clear, if one parent (for example, Mum) is a Key Worker and their partner isn’t, they still meet the Key Worker criteria.
The government has asked schools to carefully assess the response of parents/carers in order to prioritise the supervision of pupils in school given the reduced number of staff that schools are operating with.
In order for us to plan as best as we can under the extreme circumstances, we ask that you email us on email@example.com as soon as possible.
The government has also requested that children deemed ‘vulnerable’ should also attend school.
If your child meets the ‘vulnerable’ criteria, we will contact you directly.
I am a Key Worker, can I keep my child at home?
Yes! The government guidance is that parents should keep their child at home if they can, even if they are Key Worker. We are operating a skeleton staff and we envisage that as the virus spreads or more people go into self-isolation, we might have even less staff available, so if you can keep your child at home, please do.
If my child is attending school, what do they need?
We are suspending all uniform rules, so children may attend school in their own, suitable clothing. The government has asked that children attending school arrive with clean clothes each day, washing worn clothes asap after they have been in school. We will also provide them with any necessary equipment for their learning. They will need to bring their PE kit or other suitable clothing for sports, so that they can participate in daily exercise and PE. If they cannot participate in PE for any reason, please let us know by providing a note. We will also be providing children with a free lunch from our canteen, The Lunchbox. You may wish to provide some additional snacks or drinks for your child during the day.
If my child meets the criteria and is attending school, what if they become ill with symptoms of Covid-19?
If your child has symptoms of Covid-19, they will not be allowed to attend school and you and family should follow NHS advice.
NHS advice is to stay at home for 7 days if your child has either:
· a high temperature – they feel hot to touch on their chest or back
· a new, continuous cough – this means they have started coughing repeatedly
· Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If there is an emergency, please call 999.
As of Monday 16th March, the government is recommending ‘whole family isolation’ for 14 days if one or more members living in a household is experiencing symptoms:
· a temperature of above 37.8 C or
· a persistent cough.
All members of the family should avoid leaving the house.
The government recommendation is also for all members of a household to stay at home if someone in the household is either over 70 or suffers from one of the following conditions:
· chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
· chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
· chronic kidney disease
· chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
· chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
· problems with your spleen - for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
· a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
· being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
· those who are pregnant
What do I do if my child or my family needs to self-isolate?
Please contact us at the school on 01457 853 611, or alternatively, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
My child is not attending school, where can I find work?
In order for some education to continue, staff are busy uploading work to the school’s VLE. This can be found at http://sph.myvle.co.uk/login/ or via the link on the school’s website. If you have any problems with your child accessing their account, please contact Mr Kays on MKays@sph.academy who will be able to assist. Pupils already have access to other online platforms used by some subjects like Maths. We understand that not all children have regular access to a computer, tablet, mobile device or the internet to access work. If this is the case, please contact Mr Kays on MKays@sph.academy so that provisions can be made. If your child has special educational needs or is entitled to additional support in school, please contact Mrs Barber, our SENCO on PBarber@sph.academy where she or a member of the SEN Department will be able to help and assist should you need additional support. The work set on the VLE does not need to be completed immediately, but we recommend that children spend a few hours a day completing some work. Other educational resources are being produced by organisations such as the BBC. These can be accessed via the internet on https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize and https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc. CBBC programming is also available via the BBC iPlayer.
Please be advised, the VLE is experiencing high demand as children and parents access the system nationally. Please have patience when trying to access the resources. Remember, all the work set doesn’t need to be completed immediately.
Recording attendance during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak:
What are you doing to ensure good hygiene in school?
As well as our standard cleaning procedures our cleaning priority is to ensure that we keep frequently touched objects and surfaces clean – this is taking place regularly throughout the day. We have ensured that cleaning materials meet the suggested recommendations. We continue to promote hand-washing and good hygiene and have provided locations around the school for pupils and staff to frequently use hand sanitizer. We have also provided pupils with guidance and advice about hygiene.
What additional support is there for my child or if I have a child protection or safeguarding concern?
If you have an immediate concern for a child or vulnerable adult, you must contact Call Derbyshire / Starting Point on 01629 533 190 or inform the Police by ringing 101.
For those families who are already working with our Student and Family Support Worker, Charlotte Marshall, and need additional support or advice during school closure, please contact her on CMarshall@sph.academy or on the mobile number you have already been provided with.
https://www.safe4me.co.uk/resources/ - Advice and Support for parents, carers and guardians as part of our commitment to working in partnership to keep children and young people safe.
https://www.services.actionforchildren.org.uk/derbyshire/ - committed to helping the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK break through injustice, deprivation and inequality.
https://www.changegrowlive.org/young-people/derbyshire-cgl-young-peoples-service Derbyshire CGL is a free and confidential drug and alcohol outreach service for young people up to the age of 19
https://www.childline.org.uk/ Childline – online, on the phone, any time. Need to talk? Get support – 0800 1111
https://www.samaritans.org/ Samaritans - Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 08457 90 90 90 or 116 123 or email email@example.com
https://www.kooth.com/ Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
https://www.healthyyoungmindspennine.nhs.uk/ Healthy Young Minds – A child and adolescent mental health service
https://www.togmind.org/services/hive Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind – mental health service
http://www.crossroadsderbyshire.org/ If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse, Crossroads Derbyshire offers confidential advice and support in Glossop, the High Peak and the North Dales. If you need help, or know someone who does, call on 0800 0198 668
http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/startingpoint If you are concerned that a child is suffering or is at risk of significant harm please contact Call Derbyshire on 01629 533190 immediately
We also recognise that children and young people are extremely concerned and anxious about Covid-19 and Coronavirus. This website provides pupils with help and support with their questions and concerns: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/what-to-do-if-you-re-anxious-about-coronavirus/
What do I do if my child is entitled to free school meals and is not attending school under the set criteria?
We are offering a packed lunch for children on free school meals until Friday 27th March. Lunch can be collected in the school playground via St Mary’s Rd between 11:30 and 12:15. From Monday 30th March, the school will be operating a voucher scheme. School will be contacting all parents eligible for the scheme via InTouch and telephone. We will be issuing you with a £50 voucher per child which can be redeemed at www.vouchershopexchange.co.uk where you will be asked to input a unique cheque code and validation code (which will be given to you by school).
- Parents can select from a number of shops to use the voucher.
- The whole value need not be used in any one visit and reducing balances will be available for subsequent use.
- The voucher cannot be used for alcohol, tobacco or fuel.
- Parents will receive emails with the vouchers once activated and a barcode will be generated for printing or scanning at the checkouts or codes for online shopping.
The voucher should last parents until the end of the Easter period, by which point we will review government advice and decide on further support.
What is happening about the GCSEs?
On the 18th March 2020, the Secretary of State for Education announced that GCSE assessments and examinations would not take place. In a statement, he said:
‘We can confirm that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year.
On the 20th March 2020, the Secretary of State for Education gave further clarification as to what will happen regarding the awarding of GCSE grades this summer.
The 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 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. The 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.
The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. We will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.
We recognise that some students may nevertheless feel disappointed that they have not been able to sit their exams. If they do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021 if they so wish.
What are you doing about visitors to the school?
We are not accepting visitors into the school and will conduct any essential meetings remotely.
What are you doing about school trips, visits and sporting fixtures?
Following government advice and advice from our multi-academy trust, we are cancelling all trips and visits until the end of the academic year. This will be disappointing for our pupils and their families but we will try to rectify and plan alternatives at a later date. The school will begin the process of claiming any monies already spent from our insurers and more details will be provided to parents in due course. Sporting fixtures have been cancelled. As regards the School Prom for our amazing Year 11’s, we hope to arrange something later in the year that is a fitting tribute to their hard work, effort and resilience in what has been a very challenging and upsetting time for all.
What can I do if I need any extra support or advice or I / my family are in a crisis?
There are several organisations who can assist you should you need additional help or support, especially if the school is closed to all pupils and staff, these can be found below:
NHS: ring 111 (Contact your GP by telephone for referral to CAMHS for Child Mental Health etc.)
Police: ring 101 (unless it is a threat to immediate danger then call 999)
Ambulance / Fire Service: ring 999
Call Derbyshire / Starting Point: 01629 533 190 (concerns about a child or vulnerable adult)
Derbyshire Domestic Violence Helpline: 0800 019 8668 National Helpline: 0808 2000247
High Peak Citizen’s Advice Bureau: 0300 456 8390
High Peak Borough Council: 0845 129 8075
Glossopdale Foodbank: 07811 684282 or 07811 684282 https://glossopdalefoodbank.org.uk/
High Peak Foodbank: 01298 214 926 www.highpeakfoodbank.co.uk
Jobcentre Plus New Claims: 0800 055 6688 Existing Claims: 0800 169 0310
How will I be informed of any updates?
As a school, we will continue to keep you updated in relation to our operation via In Touch, the website and social media. If you have recently changed any details (address, email, telephone number), please contact us on 01457 853 611, or alternately, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful Resources for Parents/Carers and Students coping with change: