13th March 2020

I am writing to you all following the government’s latest advice with regards to the ‘delay phase’ of dealing with the spread of coronavirus.

The current advice is to stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms. These symptoms are a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) or a new, continuous cough.

Naturally this will apply to children as well as adults so any absences from school due to the symptoms of coronavirus will be authorised by the school. I must point out that if families choose to keep their children off with no medical reason or symptoms, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. In the case of authorised absences, we will take a measured approach towards issuing absence letters which are normally triggered by certain attendance percentages. If a child has been isolating for 7 days, and therefore following government advice, this absence will be discounted from absence figures and will not be used as a trigger for attendance concern letters. A child may only return within the 7 day window if they have not been displaying the symptoms above and, in such cases, their attendance would be treated in line with our usual policy.

Like many schools, we may face a situation where staff similarly have to self-isolate and this could impact on the school and raise the prospect of school closure. We will seek to avoid school closure for as long as we can and would only close the school if we were unable to adequately supervise the children and ensure their safety. During the upcoming period we may have to adapt or suspend our usual timetables and curriculum to ensure we can keep the school open for children.

We will try to minimise any impact on the school and its community as much as possible but we will always be guided by advice from the government and the Department of Education which is updated daily.

Further information on the government’s response to coronavirus can be found here:

I will continue to provide updates throughout this unprecedented situation.

Yours sincerely

Mark Gilronan