Dear Parent(s)/Carer(s),
As you are probably aware, the government’s guidance on the coronavirus has changed from the ‘contain’ phase to one of delaying the spread of the virus. We are getting in touch to let you know what we are doing in light of this, and what support we need from parents to help make sure our college community keeps safe and calm.

I want to reassure you that here at Carmel College we are taking all necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government and the local authority.

What is the current situation?
• The college remains open for all students – this is the current official guidance we have been given

• Students should attend college unless they feel unwell. if your child has any of the following symptoms they should remain at home for 7 days:
– a new, continuous cough
– a temperature (at or above 37.8oC)

• If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally by informing college (details on their ID cards)

• Current advice is that there is no need for everyone in the household to isolate, but this is down to the judgment of parents

• We will keep all families up-to-date with any changes to the current situation as they emerge.

We have had no formal instruction or details about this summer’s exams – for now we are continuing to prepare our students for the exams as they are scheduled for May and June.

As reported last week the college continues to plan for a range of contingencies with regards to how we would ensure that external exams would be run in line with regulations, but at the same time keeping students and staff safe.

We will be running the Internal Exams as planned next week – this would keep us on schedule in terms of completing teaching and offering students a final exam mock/prep before moving into a revision focus for those in the Upper 6th in April.

There will be a slightly amended timetable next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to accommodate this – Friday the 27th is scheduled as a marking day – students will not be required to attend college that day.

What we are doing to protect and support students and staff
• If a student feels ill on the college premises or presents with the symptoms of a cough or cold, we will contact you and support them organising a journey home

• We are ensuring that our cleaning schedule is thorough and that areas of high traffic are cleaned more regularly

• We are issuing daily reminders to all students about hand-washing and using tissues. We are also reminding them about using these sensibly

• There are hand sanitizers in public areas for the use of students and staff and we have now restricted other visitors coming into college

• We are speaking to all students about how we will set work in the event of a change to government policy on school and college openings

What we need you to do
• If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the student’s PAT as soon as possible via email/telephone

• Talk to your son or daughter about the coronavirus. It is a worrying time and we should make sure all feel supported.

• Check that your son/daughter has access to their college email and to the college learning platform: Connect. If there are any issues can you ask them to inform their PAT in the first instance.

• We will be sending out a daily update to students and all parents/guardians at the end of each college day

• Consult the NHS website, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111

• Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools and colleges

• Government’s travel advice if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you are taking abroad should go ahead

This is a time of high anxiety and I know parents are worried about the impact this might have on our community. The wellbeing of students, staff and our community is of paramount importance and we will work together to ensure we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.

Thank you for your continued support.