Following the advice of The Boarding Schools Association, NHS Wales, The Welsh Assembly Government and The UK Government, we have contacted all staff, parents, guardians and agents outlining our position on Novel Coronavirus and what actions we are taking to safeguard the community. The WHO have declared the outbreak of Coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern and the risk in the UK is currently set to ‘moderate’ by the chief medical officers. Our policy is robust and we acknowledge that it goes beyond what many other schools are currently doing but the decisions that we have taken are designed to secure the health, safety and wellbeing of a large international community, the majority of whom are boarders.
Our policy continues to be:
1. All students and staff should avoid travel to the countries currently listed by the UK Government as the worst-affected areas. Any travel to these countries will result in 14 days of self-isolation prior to returning to CSFC. Travel to a country not on the list which, whilst there, is added to the list, may result in 14 days of self-isolation. 2. All students and staff should avoid all contact with anyone who has recently travelled to any of the countries on the list. Any contact must be declared and advice will immediately be sought from NHS Wales and could result in 14 days of isolation. 3. All students and staff should follow the advice on hand hygiene and how to avoid the risk of infection which has been sent to them. 4. Anyone who experiences flu-like symptoms whether at CSFC or elsewhere, should self-isolate and call NHS Direct (or local healthcare services if outside of the UK) for immediate advice. They will self-isolate until they are advised by a medical professional that they are safe to return to CSFC.
At present, most forthcoming events are set to continue as planned but we are respectfully requesting that no one travels from an affected area to visit the college for Parents’ Evening, Cultural Event, Glee or any other event until further notice. We very much looking forward to offering a warm welcome to local guests at these events but hope that you understand that, in order to be absolutely safe, we will be greeting all guests with a raised hand rather than a hand-shake. We now turn our attention to planning for a worst-case scenario, stressing that these plans are a broad outline of how we would respond under worsening circumstances and that, under any circumstance, we would seek and follow the advice of medical professionals and local government. We sincerely hope that by following our current policy, all members of the community will remain safe and we will not have to enact our emergency plan.
A member of the CSFC community reports flu-like symptoms whilst away from the college:
We request that all members of the CSFC community notify us if they have flu-like symptoms whilst away from the college and do not return to CSFC until advised to do so.
· That person will be asked to self-isolate at home or with their UK guardian. · NHS Direct or local medical professionals will be contacted and immediate advice taken and followed. · Teachers at CSFC will send work and communication via email will be on-going.
A member of the CSFC community reports flu-like symptoms whilst under the duty-of-care of the college:
If any student or member of staff experiences flu-like symptoms whilst in the college or the boarding accommodation, they should disclose it to the school medical staff immediately.
· A local student or a non-resident staff member will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days unless a medical professional gives them clearance to return to CSFC. · A boarder or a residential member of staff who is unable to return home, will be isolated under the duty of care of the school if they are unable to be supervised by their guardian. · NHS Direct will be contacted and immediate advice taken and followed. · A deep clean of all areas of college accommodation which may be contaminated, will take place. · Teachers at CSFC will send work and communication via email will be on-going.
There is a confirmed or suspected case in the College
· CSFC will follow all advice from local authorities and confirm the decision to close/partially close. · We will communicate regularly with all stake-holders, sharing precise information.
If NHS Wales agrees it is safe to do so:
· CSFC will ensure all local students and staff return home safely and self-isolate until told otherwise. · Boarders may be able to return to their guardians, or may be required to remain in college accommodation.
i. To guardians: we will notify guardians of collection/travel arrangements and confirm the daily communication strategy.
ii. In boarding accommodation: we will establish isolation zones (following advice), taking into account staggered infection zones, and ensure that all students have access to clean drinking water, soap, sanitizer and other essentials. Food will be delivered, three times daily, to each room following all food hygiene guidelines and appropriate advice.
· Teachers will regularly send work remotely, to all students. · Senior staff will continue to manage the situation and communicate daily with all stake-holders.
Once again, we stress that it is our hope that this plan is never enforced but work in the belief that it is better to be prepared for a worst-case scenario than to find ourselves in that situation without a plan. Detailed plans of which areas of the boarding accommodation will be used, how they will be supervised and by whom, have been drawn up in consultation with professional medical personnel. We are securing the resources that we would need, under such circumstances.
We seek the support of our parent body, alongside guardians and agents, by reminding all students to check their emails regularly and ensure that they are able to access Google Classroom from their own laptops and tablets as this will become their primary source of access to educational materials, in the event of having to be remotely educated.
Rather than causing alarm, we hope that this message serves to reassure you all that the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the CSFC community is and always will be our top priority and that we will continue to do everything that we can to ensure that Cardiff Sixth Form College continues to educate all students to an exceptionally high standard, throughout this complex international situation.
The UK Government updates their website regularly, which can be viewed here
Please see additional information on self-isolation here
Further updates will follow and we thank you all for your support.