Urgent Update - Coronavirus

18 March 2020Latest News

Dear Parents and Carers,

I have a further update for you in regard to Coronavirus and the situation unfolding in Seaton
Primary School, across Devon and the UK as a whole.
Firstly we have seen a significant rise in the number of children not attending school. Some of this is
due to illness, but many families are having to self-isolate. This number will undoubtedly rise over
the coming days.

We now have a number of members of staff, now unable to come into work. With the depletion in
pupil numbers we can manage the current situation but no replacement staff are available to cover
posts. Some classes will have to combine though the overall class sizes will be the same due to the
fall in pupils currently attending school. If numbers of staff fall further then we may have to
suspend some classes / year groups (this has already happened in a number of schools). These pupils
will not be able to attend in this case.

Dawn Stabb (who leads Children and Young People’s Services in Devon CC) wrote to all school
yesterday outlining procedures for school closures in case this measure has to be taken.
Update from the Department of Education (17th March 2020) –
“Today the Chancellor has confirmed the Government will continue to pay for free early years
entitlement places even if settings are closed on the advice of Public Health England or children are
not able to attend due to coronavirus. We expect local authorities to follow the Department’s
position, and to continue early entitlements funding for all childminders, schools and nurseries. We
will not be asking for funding back from local authorities.”

Recording School Pupil Absences
Where a pupil is in self-isolation, it will be recorded as unable to attend due to exceptional

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not selfisolating, they should be marked as absent. The circumstances must be explained to the school.
Where a pupil cannot attend school due to illness, as normally would happen, the pupil should be
recorded as absent in the attendance register and the school will authorise the absence.
Symptoms and advice for Coronavirus remain the same –
 Coughing, difficulty breathing and a fever (37.5 degrees plus).
 If you show any of the relevant symptoms then pupils should stay at home and self-isolate
for 14 days.

That is all the updates I have for you at the moment but the situation is changing rapidly in all
schools as I type. We are doing our upmost at school to keep everyone safe and reluctantly more
decisions will need to take place. I do realise that these are unsettling times but the understanding
and support from our school community has been fantastic. Please keep checking for updates.

Kind regards,
Nic George
Head of School

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