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Corona Virus Update 25/03/2020- Trip Update
We are currently in contact with our travel partners and working with them to process cancellations and deferments where applicable.
There are a vast number of these to work through. Please be patient, we will contact those concerned in due course.
Trips to Iceland, France and Barcelona.
In response to the announcement made on 12th March 2020 by the Government, we have contacted the respective travel companies concerned for definitive guidance on each of the above trips.
As soon as we have any responses we will make them available on our website.
Following on from yesterday's Principal's letter we have received the following statements from the travel providers we have booked our overseas trips with.
Discover the World (Iceland Trip)
“If the FCO advice changes and travel to Iceland was no longer recommended, within a maximum of 48 hours before departure (without any specified restriction dates), then we will be able to provide your group with a full refund or if preferred, the option to move the trip to a later departure period or a different destination. Although, we cannot confirm if any additional costs would be incurred at this stage, as we would need to look at each booking individually. We would however, do our upmost to minimise any additional costs. If students were wishing to pull out of the trip whilst the FCO advice was deeming Iceland to be a safe place to visit, then our standard booking conditions would apply.”
NST (France Trip)
"NST are following advice from the FCO with regard to travel arrangements as these are the highest body – please see the link on our website:
As the Foreign Office aren’t advising against travel to France, should individuals choose not to travel then they will be subject to normal cancellation charges.
Our normal booking terms and conditions must stand during this situation given the number of customers/suppliers this is affecting as we need to remain fair and consistent to all of our groups. Unlike other disruption we have seen in the past which is usually isolated to a particular country this is on a global scale which reduces our ability to financially support our groups.
Should anyone choose to cancel then the scale of charges and the dates they apply are below:
Up to 10 weeks before travel, any pupils who cancel will lose all of the deposits they have paid (as deposits are non refundable). In addition to this, if the group size drops below the minimum that the tour has been costed upon, then the tour price will also need to be recalculated.
Your tour price has been based on a minimum of 60 paying pupils.
Any cancellations after 09/04/2020 are charged a % of the tour cost, but the tour price remains the same:
10/04/2020-21/05/2020 – 60% cancellation charge
22/05/2020-04/06/2020 – 80% cancellation charge
05/06/2020-18/06/2020 – 100% cancellation charge
Should the Foreign Office advise against travel to the destination you are travelling to then this does change things. But only if they state no travel for your dates of travel.
I understand the difficult situation and will do my best to support you as much as I can. As you will appreciate at this time no one really knows how long this disruption will continue, however we continue to monitor the situation very closely and will keep you updated with the official FCO advice should it affect your tour."
Educational Tour Co-Ordinator
Further Information Regarding Overseas Trips:
I am sure you will be aware from the news that the Government have devised a range of possible responses to the Corona Virus, depending on the extent to which it spreads. This response has now moved from the “containment” phase to the “delay” phase. To see the latest Government Plan, click here.
We continue to stay abreast of developments and are in touch with both the Local Authority and with Public Health England. We have installed hand sanitising dispensers around the school to aid students, staff and visitors with hand hygiene and we continue to do all we can to educate our students about the virus and how we can all protect ourselves. We are emphasising the need for everyone to remain calm, to be kind and considerate to each other and to refrain from making jokes about the virus.
We will of course keep you posted of any developments.
I hope everyone has a restful weekend.
I have spoken this morning to a senior official with Public Health England, who is a member of the Thames Valley Health Protection Team. She is very aware of the current Corona Virus outbreak in Woodley and has assured me that everything we have done so far is exactly in line with Public Health England Guidance. The risk of contamination remains very low and that there is no need for any deep cleaning.
We are operating as usual today and we will continue to monitor the situation and respond appropriately to any developments, advice and guidance, or changes to the current circumstances.
I know that this remains a tense and anxious time for many and I have had a few requests for additional information. However, I have a duty of care to protect the privacy and welfare of all stakeholders.
We have done everything that is necessary to safeguard the students and staff at school in line with current guidance.
I will, of course, keep you updated if there are any further developments.
Further to our communication yesterday, please find attached an update from Wokingham. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of any developments.
You will no doubt be aware from the news and social media that there has been a confirmed case of the Corona Virus locally. I have been in communication today with local headteachers and representatives from the Wokingham Local Authority, as well as Public Health England to seek advice regarding this situation, and I am aware of the decisions that have been taken to close two nearby schools.
The affected person returned from a category 2 country after half term and as soon as they became aware of the symptoms, followed advice form Public Health England, which reads in part:
“People who have returned from Category 2 specified countries/areas in the last 14 days, are advised to stay at home if they develop symptoms. All other pupils or students and staff should continue to attend school or university, including their siblings attending the same or a different school (unless advised not to by public health officials).”
Since the diagnosis was confirmed, the rest of the family have been in self isolation and none of the family have shown any symptoms of the virus.
Under these circumstances, advice from the Local Authority that I received today, is that the national advice and guidance from Public Health England remains in force until such time as we are notified otherwise.
Therefore, Waingels will be open as normal until and unless we are advised by the Local Authority or Public Health England to the contrary.
I know that this is an anxious time for us all. However, I would urge all parents, students and staff to remain calm, to follow the advice from Public Health England and to refrain from speculation. I will, of course, remain in close contact with Public Health England and the Local Authority and update you as appropriate.
I am sure I can say on behalf of the whole school community that our thoughts and best wishes are with the affected family. At this time, it is important that we all respect their privacy.
For the full advice and guidance for the COVID- 19 in Educational Settings, including advice on how individuals can protect themselves, click here.
Mr Tom Bartlett
National advice for travellers from areas affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed this week, and we understand that parents and carers may have questions about this. The school is following national guidance that has been issued for educational settings.
The latest accurate information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the current situation in the UK and details about the virus and its symptoms, can be found at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. This is updated regularly and includes the most recent advice in relation to travel from certain parts of Italy - so we encourage you to visit the website for the latest information.
The UK’s Chief Medical Officer continues to advise that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.
As a school, the most important action that we can take to protect against Coronavirus and other germs is to promote good hand and respiratory hygiene. We continue to encourage the children and staff to do the following and ask that you support this at home too. The advice is to:
- wash hands often - with soap and water or using alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available.
- cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin.
We are following national advice and the school is operating as normal. Should the situation change or if we are given different advice, we will communicate this to you.
If you believe you are at risk, then please contact NHS 111 for advice.
Many thanks for your cooperation