Coronavirus Update

17 Mar Coronavirus Update

Betty Layward Coronavirus Information

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and trust with the current school situation with coronavirus. It is really important that we remain positive at all times so the children don’t worry.


I wanted to reassure you that we are continuing to monitor the situation from the Department of Education (DFE) and take advice from Public Health England (PHE). We are also taking guidance from Hackney. As things stand, we remain open and are operating a normal school day, but we are planning the logistics around home learning, should schools have to shut.

The children are talking more about coronavirus and we are mindful that we do not want them becoming too anxious about the situation. We are answering any questions honestly and age appropriately, so that the children feel informed and have fact-based information to help process the situation. We also use the opportunity to repeat what they can do to keep safe – wash hands, use tissues etc. We really want the children to feel safe and not worried.


Newsround have produced some helpful resources that you might want to share with your children: Coronavirus: Dr Chris answers YOUR questions (BBCNewsround)


The Young Minds mental health charity has some very helpful guidance for parents and older children

To ensure that families receive the most current information, we will add other contact details to our system. If you would like another family member to be added to our text and email system, please call the office. Please make sure we have the most up to date information for you too.


1. Government guidance on coughs and temperature

Current government guidelines state that the most common symptoms of coronavirus are the recent onset of:

·         new continuous cough and/or

·         high temperature

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild infection. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.


·         If you think your child have a persistent cough or temperature (over 37.8 degrees), the guidance is to stay at home.

·         If your child does not have a temperature and you feel their cough is not persistent, please do send your child in as normal.

·         If a child does show symptoms we are concerned about, we will contact you immediately and they will be sent home. In this instance, we request that you follow the current government guidelines and the child stay isolated for 14 days.


For further information, please do look at government guidance here:


When you record your absence on Studybugs or ring in please give a detailed explanation of symptoms and why your child is not in school. Thank you.


2. Staffing in school

The staff and I will be following the same government guidelines, but the situation could have a significant impact upon the staffing at the school at some stage, including possible shared classes, part or whole school closure. The staff are working really hard to keep the school day as normal as possible.

We will do all that we can to stay open, utilising supply agencies, our own cover staff and leadership team. In addition to this, we will communicate very clearly the situation to you as parents via email or text. We will always prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff.


3. School closure

Unless you hear otherwise, school will be open. If we do have to close due to challenges with staffing or directed by the government, the DfE or PHE, we will communicate this to families via text and email. We will also try to give as much notice as possible.

Please note that if the school is closed, the Fit For Sport after school provision will also be closed.


4. Home Learning if school is closed

As part of our preparations for coronavirus, we are currently organising a way to send work home electronically to support the children’s learning if they are not in school. Work could include;

  • Comprehension / grammar tasks (for older children)
  • Maths tasks
  • Timestables
  • Topic-based activity with cross-curricular links
  • Daily reading and writing
  • Other curricular activities such as Science, History and Geography enquiry questions

If the school were to close, more details would be sent out to parents about how this would work.

In addition to this, we wanted to inform you of some changes regarding events taking place at Betty Layward in the next few weeks. All the decisions that we make take into account the wellbeing of both pupils and staff, and have not been taken lightly. These are precautionary measures to avoid unnecessary risk for children, their families and staff.


School trips / large events

For the foreseeable future, we will no longer be going on any trips to central London or using public transport for local trips.


Variety Show

This has been postponed. We will let you know the new date as soon as possible.


Visitors to school

We are keeping visitors to school to a minimum and would ask parents to avoid coming into the school building unless absolutely necessary. Any visitors to school are being asked to use alcohol hand sanitiser.


Parents’ Evening

Due to the current situation, we have decided to cancel Parents’ Evening. We will rearrange for the summer term. Parents will receive their child’s school report as they were due to being sent out anyway later this term.

Hackney Half

Training for Hackney Half will continue, but we will wait to see if the current date of May 16th remains or is moved, in light of the London marathon being moved from April to October.


Rest assured, we are doing all we can do ensure the wellbeing of everyone at Betty Layward whilst being vigilant, but pragmatic about the current situation.


I will continue to keep parents updated on the situation, should there be any changes.

Thank you once again for your kind words and positivity during this time. It enables us to help the children to not feel worried or anxious. Thank you for your support and understanding and please do contact me if you have any further questions.


Best wishes

Jessica Bailey

Betty Layward Primary School

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