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The school recently had a party of skiers in the ski resort of Prato Nevoso, Alps Maritime, Italy, departing their resort for their homeward journey on Thursday, 20 February.  We have been reviewing the latest news regarding the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 through north Italy as you would imagine.  Specific advice, informed by Public Health England and 111 has already been given to parents of children who attended the successful trip.

We would like to make you aware of the following information:

  • Our priority as a school remains focused on the best interests of all students, families and staff.
  • Our ski resort was in the Italian province of Piedmont in the Alps Maritime some distance from the hotspot areas identified by Public Health England (PHE). This is some way to the west of the quarantined regions of Lombardy and Veneto. It is considered to be part of northern Italy, so all members of the ski party do fall under current government guidelines for the control of coronavirus in Category 2. DfE “Category 2: Travellers do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms they should self-isolate and call NHS 111.”
  • Current advice (26.2.20) from Public Health England is not advising that schools shut in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The organisation’s medical director, Paul Cosford, said: “Schools have to take difficult decisions given the complexity of issues that they are facing. What I would say is that our general advice is not to close schools. …What we are clear about is if you have been in the area of northern Italy of concern and you have symptoms – it is a cough, shortness of breath or fever – then you do need to self-isolate, you need to phone NHS 111 and await advice for further assessment or testing.”

  • We are constantly in touch with Public Health England (PHE) and 111 for advice.
  • We have also been in contact with our ski trip provider, PGL who remain active in the region.

We are closely monitoring and following government guidelines and advice with respect to Coronavirus COVID-19.

Further information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

The link this provides government guidance upon returning from northern Italy.

  • As a school, we are following the advice of the government, 111, PHE the NHS and relevant public health agencies. We remain fully open to all staff and pupils.
  • We would ask all members of the ski trip to Italy to read the government advice. As specified, should any member of the party present symptoms (however mild), they should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. They are advised to call NHS111 and seek advice.
  • Current advice is that those who show fever/cold/flu/respiratory/cough symptoms stay at home, self-quarantine for 14 days, call 111 and take further medical advice.
  • If there are no symptoms present, this advice should be ignored and pupils are advised to attend school as normal.

We appreciate that this is an ongoing and evolving situation. We are also aware of news stories relating to other schools in the country. At this present time, we have no plans to deviate from government, 11,1 and PHE  advice and would expect the school to run as normal this half-term. Should matters change over the coming days and weeks we shall communicate with you at our earliest opportunity.