Rossall School – Announcement of Confinement Policy

Our recent ISI inspection report highlighted the fact that the pastoral care of children is truly excellent. As this global crisis unfolds, it is my responsibility to ensure that we are ahead of the curve by minimising any potential risk to members of this wonderful community. There is nothing more important than the well-being of our children and it is for this reason that we are resolutely committed to exceeding the recommendations of Public Health England and other external agencies.

There are 0 cases of Covid-19 at Rossall and 0 in the area local to Rossall. At the time of writing, there are only 5 cases in the whole of Lancashire. (population 1.4 million)

The risk to our students remains extremely low and I am aware that some will consider our confinement policy outlined below overly cautious. However, we are resolved to ensure that Rossall School leads the way in terms of taking sensible measures to protect each and every member of our community.

The measures we put in place will be reviewed on a daily basis and any amendment/update will continue to be communicated.

As a community, we need to be proactive rather than reactive with regards to government policy. We are committed to taking sensible steps to minimise risk whilst continuing to deliver an outstanding quality of education.

The unique nature of our diverse community is one of the strongest features of this School and it is my responsibility to ensure that we look after every member of this community. Parents entrust the care of their children to us and our number one priority will always be the welfare and happiness of each and every young person in this School.

The updates you have received thus far are part of our phased and planned strategy in response to Covid-19. Consequently, we have decided that now is the time to gently transition to the next phase of our plan as this will allow us to:

  • further reduce the risk of transmission for all members of our community
  • enable the school to continue to operate effectively

As from midnight tonight, the School will enter ‘confinement’. This is a preventative measure and one designed to ensure the continued good health of all within our School.

With the exception of the Nursery and Junior School, the School will be closed to day pupils tomorrow (13th March). This is to provide our staff with sufficient time to ensure that we are able to run as two distinct sites when we reopen to day pupils first thing on Monday morning.

Whilst the School will operate within two distinct zones, we are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to teaching and learning. We intend to remain open for as long as possible but we are fully prepared to operate remotely (for our day children) if directed to do so by the UK Government.

Further details will be published in due course but at this point in time we would like to share the following with you:

The School will be split into two distinct zones with staff and pupils allotted to either

  • The day school (Nursery, Junior School, *Years 7-8 and Senior Day Pupils 9 -13)
    *Including Anchor House
  • The boarding school (Years 9-13)

Staff will be allotted to one or other of the two sites. Residential staff will teach our boarders whilst non-residential staff will be allotted to the day school.

Whether residential or non-residential, ALL staff will adhere to our social distancing policy which will be circulated within the next 24 hours.

Similarly, ALL staff will continue to receive daily health checks including temperature scans etc.

Boarding Zone – Key Points

  • Boarders will be permitted to wear masks according to personal and cultural preference.
  • Boarders will continue to receive their meals in the Dining Hall
  • Town leave is cancelled for this weekend but this will be reviewed on a weekly basis
  • Boarders will have access to our own beach, Sports Hall at weekends, Gym etc.
  • At no point will pupils within the boarding zone enter the day zone and there will be a physical delineation between both sections.
  • A normal timetable will resume first thing on Monday morning.
  • All boarding pupils will receive a daily health check which will include a temperature scan.
  • Were a boarding pupil to be required to self-isolate then this would happen in a ‘home-from-home’ suite in our medical centre. The pupil would be attended to by a member of staff 24 hours a day.

Day Zone – Key Points

  • For as long as possible we will continue to operate the day school and we are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to teaching and learning.
  • At no point will pupils within the day zone enter the boarding zone and there will be a clear physical delineation between both sections of the School.
  • Our day pupils will continue to register each morning at the Sports Hall and current health checks will continue to take place.
  • Senior pupils will be taught in the Maths block and Farrell building.
  • Junior School pupils will be escorted to class.
  • Although there will be no activities after school, we will continue to provide the prep facility for our pupils 4.30 – 5.30pm.
  • Lunch will be provided for Day pupils.
  • No day pupil will be permitted to enter the Boarding zone.
  • For the time being all sports fixtures will be cancelled.

Finally, we are incredibly grateful for your continued support throughout this time. The love and support for this community is overwhelming and I am incredibly humbled to lead such an outstanding School.

It is my responsibility to ensure that Rossall remains a calm and safe haven for all our children throughout the coming weeks. We will work to minimise the impact upon their lives whilst taking sensible measures to minimise risk.

Regular updates will be provided to all parents and please do contact us if you have any concerns.

This announcement is simply a continuation of our existing plan which has been in place for many weeks now. I know that the measures taken thus far have provided much reassurance for parents and pupils alike and we now move forward with confidence and clarity.

Jeremy Quartermain

12th March, 2020