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  • COVID-19 - 24TH MARCH 2020

    Yesterday evening, Boris Johnson addressed the nation to announce what amounts to an almost complete ‘lockdown’. At Rossall, we welcome this measure, given that it provides an excellent opportunity to ‘flatten the curve’ and ensure that health services are not placed under additional strain. 

    People should only leave home to:

    • Shop for basic necessities – infrequently
    • Take exercise (once daily) 
    • Seek medical support or provide care or help a vulnerable person
    • Travel to and from work when absolutely necessary

    People are asked to refrain from:

    • Meeting friends
    • Meeting relatives whom you do not live with
    • Attending weddings, baptisms, or any other form of religious ceremony
    • Participating in public gatherings 

    The following are closed

    • All shops selling non-essential goods
    • All libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship
    • Cinemas, pubs, hotels, restaurants etc.

    Alongside the closure of schools, these measures now replicate the measures that have been put in place across much of Europe. Here at Rossall, we have been planning for and gently moving towards this potential reality for some time. Very few non-residential staff are now permitted to enter any area of the site. Those who live on site are respecting the terms of the ‘lockdown’ and practising social distancing. Only one nominated member of each household is allowed to leave the site to buy essential groceries etc. Otherwise, our boarding community and residential staff are in a state of complete ‘lockdown’. 

    The UK government has stated that the measures currently in place will be reviewed in three weeks’ time.

    Yesterday, the government published detailed guidance on isolation for residential educational settings and we would like to share this with you:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings

    The government treats a boarding school community as a single ‘household’ but at Rossall we are practising social distancing and avoiding bringing our remaining boarders together as one group. The above document sets out very detailed advice regarding isolation and the procedures to follow were a child to present with symptoms of the coronavirus.

    Whilst many of our boarders have returned safely to their home countries, we are committed to looking after those who are unable to travel home due to the cancellation of flights or other significant factors.  Parents should now feel reassured that the government has made it clear that it has no intention of closing down boarding schools or residential educational settings in entirety. As our previous bulletins have highlighted, we have anticipated the potential imposition of these restrictions by the protocols and procedures we have already put in place. Consequently, we have the facilities, resources and personnel to cope effectively with any eventuality. 

    You should know that we will continue to look after all children with care and compassion and we are very sensitive to the potential emotional and psychological implications of familial separation. With this in mind, it is our intention that all children residing with us should feel that they are part of a supportive family during the forthcoming weeks. In essence, we will treat our boarders as if they are our own children. Regular contact with home is very important for all children who are remaining at school and please do tell us if you have any technological problems maintaining close contact. 

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions about the School’s response to the current crisis. I appreciate that these are unsettling times but I do believe that the government’s measures are essential in order for us to get on top of the virus. 

    Remote Learning 

    Thank you so much for the positive comments regarding the quality of teaching and learning now taking place online. I am delighted by the success of this initiative and incredibly grateful to all staff for investing so much time and energy into an approach to teaching which is a little different from normal classroom practice – though the essentials remain the same.  

    Throughout this period, we will provide very regular updates on life at School on both our Facebook page and Twitter account. This will include school assemblies, information about public examinations, our response to coronavirus and various educational matters. Hopefully, we will also include content that is more light-hearted and celebrates those elements of life at Rossall which put a smile on all of our faces. 

    In the meantime, wherever you are, do keep safe and look after your loved ones. Sending love and support to all Rossallians near and far. 

    Jeremy Quartermain

  • COVID-19 - 23RD MARCH 2020

    NOTICE FOR PUPILS IN EXAMINATION YEAR GROUPS

    (Year 11 and Year 13)

    With confirmation that all external examinations have been suspended for our pupils, we write to you in order to clarify our position as a School. 

    We understand that this is an exceptionally unsettling time for all of our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils. We are aware that they have worked very hard to prepare for their upcoming examinations. Understandably, they will feel disappointed and frustrated that they will not have the opportunity to demonstrate their formidable progress and considerable achievements in the format that they both expected and deserved. 

    It is essential for all of our students to be provided with an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and experience a sense of closure before the conclusion of this academic year. In part, this will perhaps be partially provided by the grades published in due course. However, we believe that it is our responsibility to provide all students with an opportunity for their efforts and achievements to be acknowledged through a process of formal assessment.  

    Consequently, students in Year 11 will work towards the completion of the Rossall Senior School  Diploma. In addition to this it is our intention to confirm places within our Sixth Form (for both internal and external applicants) as soon as possible so as to remove a cause of real anxiety for some of our boys and girls. 

    Students in Year 13 will be awarded  the Rossall School Sixth Form Diploma upon completion of their studies with us. 

    Both these diplomas will serve as a tangible  record of achievement for each of our students and the graduation certificate for our Year 13 students will be accompanied by a valedictory reference written by the Headmaster.  

    Key features of the diploma will include:

    • Record of grades awarded by the exam boards (please see note below)
    • Record of internal grades awarded as a result of internal assessments to be sat in May 2020 (In all likelihood these assessments will be sat remotely)
    • A personalised reference summarising each student’s unique journey through Rossall highlighting all individual achievements, sporting or creative contributions, and a comment on soft skills such as leadership and teamwork
    • Each student will receive one of the following grades
    1. i) Pass
    2. ii) Merit

    iii) Distinction

    1. iv) Starred Distinction 

    Full details of the Rossall Diploma, along with dates and logistics will be published later this week. It is our intention for this diploma to be validated externally. 

    Information from Examination Boards 

    The Department for Education has shared further details with regards to  assessment for GCSE and A level courses.

    In essence, the process will be as follows: 

    • At some point, examination boards will ask schools to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe each student would have received if examinations had gone ahead.
    • This judgement will be based upon a range of evidence and data including both trial examinations and non-examination assessment.
    • The examination boards will then combine this with other relevant data, including prior attainment, to produce a grade which the government is aiming to release before the end of July. 
    • The DfE has stated that if students do not believe the correct process has been followed, then they will be able to appeal the results citing additional evidence.  
    • Additionally, if individuals do not believe that their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit additional  examinations once schools reopen their doors physically.

    The IB intends to publish its guidelines and FAQs by Friday 27th March. Once we have further information regarding the criteria that they will use to award the IB Diploma, we will, of course, inform students and parents. Students taking the IBDP are fortunate to have a relatively strong evidential basis in the form of coursework submissions and we presume that, in part, this will inform the level of grades awarded. 

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind regards, 

    Dina Porovic
    Deputy Head (Teaching & Learning) 

    Stephen Prest 
    Director of Sixth Form

    Bethan Jones
    Director of the International Baccalaureate

  • COVID-19 - 20TH MARCH 2020

    Despite a lack of clarity from the UK government, we feel that the time has come to advise those who can return to their home country safely to do so. This is because:

    1. It is likely that cases are going to escalate in the UK and the government press conference this evening suggests that more significant measures may be introduced in the near future and these could impact upon travel arrangements. 
    2. It seems increasingly likely that any period of ‘lockdown’ may last for a significant period of time. 

    Please contact your child’s houseparent(s) if you would like to discuss options.  If you book a flight for your child could you please submit travel details using the online form https://form.jotformeu.com/50212685423348 and we will arrange transportation to the airport. 

    If the journey from School to Home is likely to involve significant risk then children will be able to remain here at school. Similarly, if there is a disruption to flights which makes the journey impossible then we will continue to care for children as outlined in previous bulletins.  

    Jeremy Quartermain
    20th March, 2020

  • COVID-19 - 19TH MARCH 2020

    NOTICE FOR GCSE PUPILS AND A LEVEL STUDENTS

    This morning the UK Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson confirmed that it will not be possible to run examinations and that the government was moving ahead with plans to ensure that all GCSE and A level candidates would receive their results in August as would normally be the case. 

    Mr Williamson did not give further details on exactly how this process would work but confirmed that further details would be published tomorrow. Once that information is published we will ensure that we communicate the implications of that, to all of our pupils and parents. 

    While the latest information available from IGCSE providers suggests that these international qualifications may continue outside of the UK, the implications of the government’s announcement for UK centres which run these qualifications are not clear. As above, once we have received clarification on this matter, we will provide further updates. 

    As we announced yesterday, we are moving ahead with our plans to assess and award a Rossall School Diploma and a Rossall Sixth Form Diploma, to our GCSE and A level students. 

    The provision that we will put in place will provide us with a clear evidence-base on which to draw upon, when the government announces the process by which it will expect educational establishments and the examination boards to award grades. 

    Furthermore, it will also allow us to formally recognise the industry, ambition and ability of our Year 11 and Year 13 students who have worked so incredibly hard over the past two years, and who we are confident will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

    Following the publication of further details from the Department of Education, we will tomorrow release further details regarding the practical details of the Rossall School Diploma and the Rossall Sixth Form Diploma. However, we can confirm that all pupils and students will be able to access learning and any further assessments that may be required, whether in person or through Google Classroom and Google Meet. 

    Indeed, we wish to reassure parents of pupils and students in all years, that the introduction of digital technology and our robust forward planning for such an eventuality, means that lessons will be able to continue, uninterrupted, for all members of the Rossall Community.

    NOTICE FOR IB DIPLOMA STUDENTS 

    The International Baccalaureate Organisation today updated IB Schools on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that they are currently working through the options available to them, with a target of providing clarification on the May 2020 examination session no later than 27 March 2020. 

    The IBO also confirmed that schools should continue to submit students’ work and that they were exploring solutions to ensure that IB Schools can provide students with official documentation for use with university admissions, should students be unable to sit some or all of their examinations. 

    We hope that this does provide reassurance for both students and their parents at what is a frustrating and unsettling time. 

    Given this information provided by the IBO, our very clear advice to our IB students is that they should continue preparing for their examinations as usual. 

    Once we receive further clarification from the IBO, we will update students and parents. 

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to be in contact. 

    Kind regards, 

    Dina Porovic
    Deputy Head (Teaching & Learning) 

    Stephen Prest 
    Director of Sixth Form

  • COVID-19 - 18TH MARCH 2020

    BRITISH BOARDING SCHOOLS TO CONTINUE OPERATING AS NORMAL

    Tonight, the UK School’s Minister Baroness Berridge confirmed that Boarding Schools have been instructed to carry on operating and caring for their students as normal. 

    This followed the UK government’s announcement that all schools in England will shut, to all except the children of key workers, at the end of the school day on Friday until further notice. As you will be aware, we had already taken the decision to close the school to day pupils from this point forward, although our boarding provision will continue to operate unaltered and all students will continue to be taught. We are very pleased that the UK government has now confirmed their support for the strategy that we have been adopting for some time and we know that this will bring much needed clarity and reassurance to all of our parents. 

    NOTICE FOR YEAR 11 AND YEAR 13 PUPILS

    Furthermore, the UK government announced that GCSE and A-levels exams scheduled for May and June will not go ahead but that they will work with Ofqual to ensure students get the qualifications needed to move onto the next stage of their educational journey.

    We anticipate that one of two possible things will happen:

    • The exam season will move to later on in the summer, possibly as late as July or August.
    • No examinations will run and qualifications will be awarded on the basis of school certification.

    Regardless of external decisions made, students will need to continue working towards their GCSE and A-level qualifications. This will ensure that if examinations do take place, students will be in the strongest possible position to fulfill their potential. Similarly, if qualifications are awarded on the basis of school certification, we will be able to issue grades with confidence and reward the continued hard work of our students. 

    Rossall School is well set up in this regard as we have already put systems in place which will mean that pupils can continue to access learning whether in school or at home. Indeed, having anticipated that such an eventuality may arise, we have put in place a Rossall Senior School Diploma which will be sat by all Year 11 pupils (either remotely or in person) at the end of the Summer Term and similarly, a Rossall Sixth Form Diploma for all Year 13 students who complete their studies with us and graduate at the end of the summer term. The outcome of this will then be shared with future employers and universities. 

    As soon as further guidance is issued from the relevant authorities, we will of course communicate this, and the implications for our pupils and students, to you.  

    If, in the meantime, you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards, 

    Jeremy Quartermain
    Headmaster 

    Dina Porovic 
    Deputy Head (Teaching & Learning) 

    Stephen Prest
    Director of Sixth Form 

  • COVID-19 - DAY PARENTS

    It is with a heavy heart that we have concluded that we are now approaching the time for the School to enter the next phase of our planned response to the unfolding Covid-19 crisis. The government’s recent advice regarding social-distancing and the need to self-isolate is, ultimately, irreconcilable with the demand that schools should remain open. Throughout this period, we have put in place measures to ensure that our children remain safe and whilst it is indeed the case that expert opinion indicates that children are extremely unlikely to develop more than the mildest of symptoms, we are mindful of our wider social responsibility to the people of the Fylde and beyond. 

    Rossall School is a community which comprises parents, grandparents and nearly two hundred and fifty members of staff. It is a community which includes individuals who are vulnerable by virtue of their health and or age. It is our duty to safeguard the interests of all members of this community and failure to do so would place us at odds with our ethos and values. This is an occasion when we have to have the courage to do what is right even although it is, undeniably, a very tough call. 

    Transitioning to the next phase of our plan will bring to a conclusion this current period of uncertainty. Moreover, we can now focus all of our energies upon operating remotely. We are committed to ensuring an outstanding quality of teaching during the weeks that lie ahead. Obviously, we will resume normal operations as soon as we are permitted but, in the meantime, we will devote all of our energy and time to ensuring an interactive, inspiring and stimulating educational experience for all of our wonderful children. Thank you so much for the positive feedback thus far from those who have been participating in lessons remotely.

    The current arrangements will cease from  4:30 pm on Friday, 20th March 

     

    From Monday 23rd March all lessons will be taught remotely and at the following times:

    Sch 1 08.05 – 08:45

    Sch 2 08:55 – 09:35

    Sch 3 10:00 – 10:40

    Sch 4 10:50 – 11:30

    Tutor Period 11:35 – 12:25

    Sch 5 13:00 – 13:40

    Sch 6 13:50 – 14:30

    Revision Slot 14:40 – 15:40

    It is important that parents work with us to ensure that children digitally attend all lessons. Dina Porovic will circulate parental guidance which will discuss issues including:

    1. Assessment and assignment completion
    2. Tutoring arrangements
    3. Effective use of Google Classroom and Google Meet
    4. Ensuring an appropriate working environment 
    5. Intensive preparation for public examinations
    6. Reporting

    Whilst children are not physically in attendance at School, they should maintain a disciplined approach to their studies and seek to remain full members of the School community at all times. As you would expect, our teachers are investing a huge amount of time and energy into ensuring that the curriculum is entirely deliverable online. They are committed to going above and beyond to ensure that all children receive the very best of support until they are in a position to return to School next term. 

    Unless required to self-isolate, teachers will continue to deliver their lessons from the School itself and they will teach from classrooms where they have excellent technological support on hand.  

    As you are aware, many boarders have elected to remain in School over the Easter holidays and so, in that limited sense, we will, of course, remain open. However, our boarders have already entered isolation and, consequently, they are at very low risk of infection. You will understand that it is simply not possible for us to reduce the level of risk for day pupils to a similar extent because they leave the site regularly.

    With the inevitability that an increasing number of day pupils and staff will have to self-isolate, maintaining the current status quo would make it difficult if not impossible to ensure a parity of offering between the boarding and day sections. We feel strongly that all pupils deserve the same experience. 

    Moving to a remote phase has clear benefits insomuch as:

    1. Children have equal access to their teachers
    2. Children will return to their normal teaching groups as original sets will be reconstituted.
    3. A quality delivery of the curriculum is no longer dependent upon external factors and we stop being  ‘hostages to fortune’. 

    Children of Key Workers: Nursery to Year Nine

    We are conscious that a number of our parents work in vital services such as the police, health or education sectors. It is important that we provide childcare for those who, by virtue of their profession, are not permitted to work from home. Consequently it is our intention to accommodate a small number of children in School so as to ease the burden on parents – many of whom may be working long hours to combat this infection. 

    Please contact Matt Turner or Catherine Stacker if you would like your child to be supervised in School whilst they complete School work. We have limited capacity so it is important that we only offer this to children of such workers. The two Junior School sites will be utilised for this purpose.

    At this time, the Nursery will remain open.

    Finally….

    I wish to thank all members of this community for demonstrating the very best of human nature and acting with grace, kindness and compassion through what have been difficult days. There will be those within this part of the world who will need extra support during the next little while and it is my hope that Rossall can play a leading role in terms of helping vulnerable members of our local community here on the Fylde.

    I am looking forward to and praying for the time when we will have the opportunity to renew the bonds that bind us so closely and enjoy the warm embrace of those relationships that enrich our lives here at Rossall. Throughout the weeks ahead, I will remain entirely at your service and please do not hesitate to contact me at any time should you have any questions or should you simply feel like a chat. It is my resolve to be here for you in the good times and the times when we need each other. We are a community and not just a school. 

    Wishing you all the best until normal School life resumes in the very near future! 

    Jeremy Quartermain

    18th March 2020

  • COVID 19 - BOARDING PARENTS

    As part of our regular Covid-19 update, I can inform you that there are 0 cases of Covid-19 in school, and 0 cases in the area immediate to Rossall. At the time of writing, there are just 15 cases in the county of Lancashire (population 1,210,053).

    Rossall School is a community which comprises parents, grandparents and nearly two hundred and fifty members of staff. It is a community which includes individuals who are vulnerable by virtue of their health and or age. It is our duty to safeguard the interests of all members of this community and failure to do so would place us at odds with our ethos and values. Consequently, we are closing the physical site to day pupils from 4:30 pm on Friday. This does not affect the boarding community which is already in isolation. 

    Obviously, we will resume normal operations as soon as we are permitted but, in the meantime, we will devote all of our energy and time to ensuring an interactive, inspiring and stimulating educational experience for all of our wonderful children whether they have elected to remain here with us on site or chosen to learn remotely.

    The current arrangements will cease from  4:30 pm on Friday, 20th March 

    For our boarders, there will be little change other than a few adjustments to the timing of lessons. 

    As of Monday 23rd March, we will be closing the site to all day students at Rossall who will continue to access learning online. 

    Our boarding community will continue to attend lessons in an isolated environment at the following times (GMT):

    Sch 1 08.05 – 08:45

    Sch 2 08:55 – 09:35

    Sch 3 10:00 – 10:40

    Sch 4 10:50 – 11:30

    Tutor Period 11:35 – 12:25

    Sch 5 13:00 – 13:40

    Sch 6 13:50 – 14:30

    Revision Slot 14:40 – 15:40

    Dina Porovic will circulate parental guidance for on-line learning which will provide clear advice on matters including:

    1. Assessment and assignment completion
    2. Tutoring arrangements
    3. Effective use of Google Classroom and Google Meet
    4. Ensuring an appropriate working environment 
    5. Intensive preparation for public examinations
    6. Reporting

    Children who are not physically in attendance at School should maintain a disciplined approach to their studies and seek to remain full members of the School community at all times. As you would expect, our teachers are investing a huge amount of time and energy into ensuring that the curriculum is deliverable online and teaching and learning continue uninterrupted. 

    Unless required to self-isolate, teachers will continue to deliver their lessons from the School itself and they will teach from classrooms where they have excellent technological support on hand.  It is our intention to communicate with you as frequently as possible and so do feel free to contact us through your usual channels to raise any specific concerns you may have.  

    Jeremy Quartermain

    Wednesday 18th March 2020

  • COVID-19 - 17TH MARCH 2020

    We draw considerable reassurance from the much tougher measures that the UK government announced yesterday and has now introduced. It is clear that we have now moved to the ‘suppression’ phase of the virus. Whilst the number of cases in the UK remains comparatively low, it seems perfectly sensible for the government to have introduced measures such as:

    • Social distancing
    • Self-isolation for people over seventy years of age (and/or with pre-existing medical conditions)
    • A ban on public gatherings
    • Avoidance of cinemas, restaurants, pubs etc.
    • Self-isolation for a period of fourteen days for anyone demonstrating symptoms such as a persistent cough.

    I am told that traffic on public roads is now very light and it is clear that the majority of people are practising social distancing and working from home where possible. Generally, people are only venturing out for essential journeys.

    It is the UK government’s decision that all schools should remain open at this time – though this may well change in the days to come. As you are aware, we have already isolated our boarding community because we believe it is our responsibility to minimise risk in every regard. Day pupils continue to receive temperature scans and health checks every day and the day school is operating entirely separately from the boarding school.

    As I indicated yesterday, these are uncertain times and a relatively small number of our boarding parents have decided that they want their children to travel home in the coming days. Others are very happy for their children to remain here now that we have put in place additional measures such as our confinement policy. It is reassuring that were the UK government to order schools to close, then boarding schools would be permitted to remain open as has already happened in Ireland.

    As we indicated yesterday, parents who do wish for their children to return home should contact Mark Pryor at holidayarrangements@rossall.org.uk to confirm travel arrangements The advice from the BSA is that in such cases this should happen sooner rather than later. They also state, ‘some parents may be more concerned with the risks associated with travelling home and prefer for students to stay in school.’ Whichever path you choose, you have our full support.

    At all times, no matter what the circumstances, our boarders will benefit from the highest standards of teaching and learning and an outstanding quality of pastoral care. In the weeks ahead, our boarding staff will continue to work hard to ensure a warm and caring family-centred home-from-home environment.

    Online Learning

    Much of our energy is now directed towards ensuring that we are in a position to deliver an outstanding quality of education should we be compelled to operate remotely – either partially or fully. It is our responsibility to ensure that teaching and learning continues unimpeded during the weeks and months ahead. This is very labour intensive for our teachers but we are absolutely determined that our pupils should make the same progress as if they were here with us in school.

    It is enormously important that all parents work in partnership with us to ensure that their children’s education proceeds as normally as possible. Dina Porovic will send around pupil and parental guidance which will address issues such as daily routine, technological concerns, contact with tutors and form groups etc. There are plenty of reports in the media of children supposedly on ‘lockdown’ in European countries who are spending their days socialising rather than applying themselves to their studies and we do not want this for any of our own boys and girls. We will do everything within our power to provide children with an outstanding quality of education but parents will need to work with us on this. Those who do not study for a protracted period of time will be left behind.

    Jeremy Quartermain

  • COVID-19 UPDATE - 16TH MARCH 2020 -BOARDING PARENTS

    We understand that this must have been an anxious weekend for many of you. It is our intention to communicate with you as frequently as possible in order to keep you fully informed of events here in school. 

    As with previous updates, there are 0 cases of Coronavirus in school and 0 cases in the area local to Rossall. At the time of writing, there remains no increase of cases in Lancashire with just 6 cases for the county (population 1,210,053). Nationally, there are just 22.7 cases per million of population – very significantly lower than for many European countries. 

    For your reference, should you wish to track the number of cases in the UK, then you should use the Public Health England online tool, which can be found here

    There are many conflicting reports in the press which have served to fuel anxiety and the reliability of much of the information on social media is clearly of a highly dubious nature. I would reiterate that your best and most credible sources of news remain Public Health England and the BBC. 

    We are aware that there are various rumours circulating on Whatsapp groups that tend to heighten emotions.  For the sake of clarity:

    • Day students have not been asked to remain at home. However, they are being educated in a separate and self-contained area of school as outlined in previous communications. This is now in place and running very smoothly 
    • Only a relatively small number of our senior boarders left school last week to return home, as many of our parents believe that the safest place for them to remain is in the very self-contained environment that we have created here at Rossall.  The exact number of students to have left school at this point stands at ten. However, there are some further students who have made arrangements to travel home this week. We have detailed below the procedures for students who wish to return to their home countries. 
    • Should the school be required to close to day pupils by the U.K. government then the government has confirmed to the Boarding School Association (BSA) that boarding schools will remain open to boarders and, consequently, we would continue to operate in a self-contained and controlled environment. Day students would access lessons remotely. 
    • Should there be circumstances where the U.K. government requested us to close to all students then borders would remain under our care until arrangements could be made for them to return home. 
    • The indications from the government in the U.K. are that they are not planning to close schools at this stage.
    • In the event the school was forced to close physically,  then the teaching elements and educational provision would remain fully operational, with learning and assessments taking place online. This is already up and running and has been accessed by students who are learning remotely. 

    Whilst it is not possible to eliminate risks entirely, we are working to reduce risk to an absolute minimum level – certainly to what we consider a much lower level than that presented by air travel and public transport. As a reminder, these are the measures we have already taken. We have:

    • created an isolated boarding zone to remove contact and interaction between day students and boarding students. There is now zero interaction between the two groups including for PE lessons and activities. 
    • catering arrangements have been separated.
    • every single visitor, teacher and day student has to undertake a temperature check and complete a  medical declaration form on entry to the day zone.
    • local teachers are practising social distancing when not in school.
    • increased the number of hand sanitiser stations in school and availability of hand sanitiser products.
    • increased the frequency of disinfecting of school sites.
    • continued ongoing training for all members of the community with regards to hygiene matters.
    • any student returning from abroad needs to isolate for 2 weeks off-site before returning to school.
    • students have been permitted to wear masks.
    • Our Director of Boarding meets with our medical team (which includes a doctor) first thing every morning.

    Should a student be diagnosed with Covid-19 in school, then this is what would happen:

    1. If a boarder displays symptoms, regardless of how mild they are, then they will immediately be referred to the school medical centre and would be isolated until given the all clear. That isolation will take place in School (either in the medical centre or in one of our Summer School boarding houses). Members of Rossall staff have already volunteered to look after a student in the isolation area if needed.
    2. If a student was diagnosed with Covid-19 and the NHS advice was to remain isolated for 2 weeks, then we would provide that isolation in school and under our care. Again, members of staff have volunteered to do this. 
    3. Day pupils will be using separate medical facilities, and, should they present symptoms, they will be isolated well away from the boarding zone and then sent home.
    4. Because of the nature of our site, we would be able to isolate and contain a significant outbreak. 

    It is especially important that students in Years 11 and 13 remain in school. If a Year 13 student leaves now then it may make achieving a place at a top university considerably more challenging. 

    Current government guidelines suggest that GCSE and A-level exams will go ahead as planned. Leaving the school and the UK may mean that your son/daughter will not be able to sit the qualifications they have worked so hard to prepare for.

    We understand parental anxiety is high when children are so far away, but it would be difficult to imagine a more protected and isolated campus anywhere in the UK at this point in time.  We are concerned that flying represents a significantly higher risk of transmission for our children and, arguably, has implications in terms of social responsibility.  It is also worth remembering that every member of  our Senior Leadership Team has young children here at School – something which we would not contemplate if there was any real evidence of there being a significant risk to their health. Indeed, as you will be aware, all the available scientific evidence firmly indicates that this is not the case. 

    Nevertheless, we do recognise that at a time like this some parents will decide that they would like their children to return home to be close to them. Therefore, whilst the School remains very much open and fully operational, we are, of course, entirely supportive of such decisions. Ultimately, every family must make the decision which feels right for them. 

    If you do wish to temporarily remove your child from the physical campus of the School for a limited period of time, then the  school policy is as follows:

    • Students leaving should obviously not be subject to quarantine at their port of entry
    • Students will be expected to attend all their online lessons; the school has already initiated remote learning. 
    • Students will receive regular one-to-one contact from their tutors to monitor academic progress etc.
    • Students still retain their registered status as Rossall students and any such absence will be deemed authorised
    • Students are expected to return to Rossall at the earliest possible date to continue their studies in person. Rossall has already prepared contingency plans to provide isolation if required in those circumstances. This week we will be announcing details of our new Rossall satellite campus where this can be provided. This will be entirely staffed by Rossall staff. 
    • Contingencies have been put in place to allow mainland Chinese students to access learning materials, resources and lessons from within China

    Our teachers are committed to ensuring that, educationally, the needs of our pupils continue to be met during this time. The school will continue to operate remotely throughout this period. Above all else, our thoughts and best wishes are with you at what is undoubtedly a difficult time. 

    If you decide that you would still like your son/daughter to come home, please can you inform Mark Pryor (holidayarrangements@rossall.org.uk) of their travel arrangements.

    Jeremy Quartermain                                                                                     

    16/03/2020

  • COVID-19 UPDATE - 16TH MARCH 2020 -DAY PARENTS

    Today was the first day of Rossall School operating across two distinct sites – Day and Boarding. As a Day parent, we thought you might appreciate some details regarding the new set-up:

    • Teaching staff and the senior team are split evenly across the two sites
    • The Day site is situated in the Maths and Farrell buildings. 
    • Lessons for all subjects take place in these buildings. Some classrooms have been adapted to make it possible to teach practical subjects such as Art and DT.
    • Classrooms have been designated for particular year groups with teachers rather than pupils moving between lessons where possible.
    • Learning Development is situated in Anchor House.
    • All lessons in Year 7 – 11 are overseen by a member of teaching staff:
      • In Year 7 – 9 all lessons are taught by staff who are on the Day site
      • In Year 10 and Year 11 lessons for core subjects are taught by teachers who are on the Day site.
      • Optional subjects in Year 10 and 11 are taught by the pupil’s subject teacher. If the teacher is on the Boarding site, such lessons are taught remotely with pupils being supervised to ensure that they are supported and engaging fully with the lessons being taught
    • Sixth form lessons continue to be taught by the student’s subject teachers. Where these lessons are taught remotely pupils are expected to attend, contribute and submit work virtually
    • Sixth form pupils have access to a suite of rooms designated for private study and group remote learning.
    • We use Google Classroom and Google Hangouts Meet for all remote interactions.
    • Break time snacks are provided through the Rosshop and lunch is served in the Performing Arts Centre. The food on offer is the same on the Day site as it is on the Boarding site

    Some parents have been in touch to request clarification regarding support for examination year groups. We can confirm that content coverage and revision in Year 11 and Year 13 continue undisrupted. All resources are now stored on Google Drive and as such, teachers can access and share such resources from any location. Although revision sessions have been temporarily suspended while we adjust to a new routine, these will recommence as soon as routines are set.

    Should there come a point where we are directed by the government to close the school to day pupils and operate remotely we will continue to maintain a full timetable of lessons. Our teachers will ensure continuity of learning through online lessons, one-to-one contact with tutors, sharing of digital resources, marking of assignments and intensive examination preparation. 

    As the situation evolves we will continue to refine our approach to ensure the highest possible quality of education. We will take on board guidance for best practice and will ensure that professional development for our colleagues enables them to make the most of the digital tools available.

    We understand that this is an anxious time for many of you. We know that clear and regular communication at this time is key and we will endeavour to keep you fully informed. Should you have any questions or concerns over the coming days and weeks please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Above all else, our thoughts and best wishes are with you at what is undoubtedly a difficult time. 

    Jeremy Quartermain                                                                                     

    16/03/2020

  • COVID-19 - 12TH MARCH 2020

    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

  • COVID-19 - TERM DATES 2020 - 11TH MARCH 2020

    Rossall School Summer Term 2020

    Summer Term 2020 (new dates)

    Boarders return Monday 13th April
    Term starts Tuesday 14th April
    Half Term starts Friday 15th May (Start of Study Leave for Years 11/13)
    Boarders return Sunday 31st May
    Term resumes Monday 1st June
    Completion of all GCSE and A Level Exams Wednesday 24th June
    Term ends Friday 3rd July

    Headteachers and governing bodies are naturally reluctant to amend term dates because there is a general understanding that such amendments impact adversely upon travel and childcare arrangements. However, after considerable consultation with a good number of staff, parents and pupils, it is now clear that the best interests of our whole school community are served by commencing the Summer Term a week earlier than previously published.

    We were due to break up on Friday 3rd April and return to School on Tuesday 21st April. However, the vast majority of our boarders have elected to stay in the UK for the Easter break and, consequently, the School will remain open to children throughout this period. Given the isolated and autonomous nature of our site, it is clearly much safer for children to remain here during the holidays rather than travelling to other parts of the UK or overseas.

    Many have elected to remain in School and structured revision sessions are being put in place for year groups taking public examinations. Furthermore, various onsite activities will be available for children in other year groups.

    With this in mind, there is a general consensus that it would be most sensible to return to School on Tuesday 14th April (a full week earlier than previously stated). This move will support all those children taking public examinations (day pupils and boarders alike) as they will receive additional tuition ahead of their examinations.

    Whilst the Summer Term will now commence on 14th April, we intend to offer all those children in non-examination year groups the opportunity to take an extended Summer Half Term break. This additional week means that the Summer Half Term will now run from Friday 15th May to Sunday 31st May. However, if this presents childcare issues for any of our families, then School will make provision to help during this time (Monday 18th to Friday 22nd May) so as to minimise potential inconvenience or additional expense.

    This adjustment to our term dates will provide a much needed opportunity for our boarders to return home to visit their parents and loved ones. It is important for us to consider the emotional needs of families who have been kept apart as a consequence of the current travel restrictions in place due to coronavirus. I know that all members of this wonderfully compassionate and caring community will consider this adjustment a considered and measured response to the current situation.

    I am grateful to our fantastic staff for agreeing so readily to change their holiday plans to accommodate our children in this way. I should also add that I am incredibly proud to lead a body of staff who demonstrate such steadfast determination to put our sons and daughters above their own personal interests. Obviously, we have to balance the interests of all members of our community and,as you know, we are a particularly diverse community.

    I do understand that for some families this change to our published calendar will present some challenges; especially given the comparatively short notice. However, there is overwhelming support for us providing a longer break in May – not least because we hope that, as the summer approaches, life will begin to return to normal across much of the world.

    Additional Note: Overseas Travel during the Easter Break

    As you are aware, it is most likely that those who travel abroad at Easter will be required to self-isolate for a period of time once they return to the UK or indeed upon arriving in the destination of their choice. Whilst we are most fortunate that Rossall School is a relatively isolated and self-contained community, it is important that we take robust measures in order to protect all members of our School.

    From this point forward, Mark Pryor, Senior Master, will be responsible for making decisions regarding proposed travel plans. You should contact Mark Pryor m.pryor@rossall.org.uk if you are contemplating:

    • travelling overseas during the Easter break
    • travelling from overseas to visit children within the UK
    • Anticipating your child living with anyone who has travelled overseas during the last fourteen days

    Mr Pryor will consider requests on a ‘case by case basis’ and he will take full account of the most up-to-date guidance provided by independent bodies including:

    • Public Health England
    • World Health Organisation
    • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    • Independent Schools Council
    • Boarding Schools Association

    We would caution against all foreign travel, not least because of the very obvious risk of transmission whilst travelling through airports and on board aeroplanes.

    Finally, it is worth remembering that we are fortunate insomuch as, so far, our region (Lancashire) has been affected very little by coronavirus with only four cases being diagnosed within a population of over 1.4 million. (see Sky News – 11th March).

    The cautionary steps that we have taken over recent days means that Rossall is becoming increasingly secure as a site. Furthermore our isolated and self-contained situation means it would be very easy for us to enter a state of greater containment whilst continuing to offer an outstanding quality of education.

    Jeremy Quartermain

    11th March 2020

  • COVID-19 - 9TH MARCH 2020

    I should begin by thanking all parents for the overwhelming level of support and positive feedback that you have provided for us at this time. It is very reassuring to know that the measures that we have put in place are deemed to be well-considered and proportionate.

    This is an evolving situation and it is our intention to be proactive and preemptive in order to mitigate against potential risk factors and address any possible causes of anxiety amongst members of our community. You should know that our children are calm and happy. For them, life continues as normal but with additional safeguards relating to hygiene and overseas travel.

    As a point of note, every single one of our boarders has been in the UK for longer than 14 days with no signs of infection. The student who had been in Milan during half term has now successfully completed her period of self-isolation and rejoined her boarding house.

    At this stage, we believe that it is important to take sensible measures to ensure that all members of our community remain fit and healthy. Over recent weeks, we have already taken the following steps:

    • Increased the number of hand-sanitizers throughout the school
    • Ensured that we have sufficient supplies of masks, tissues, bottles of hand-sanitizers and disinfecting agents.
    • Provided ongoing training for all staff relating to all aspects of public health/hygiene.
    • Carefully monitored the health of all members of our community
    • Put in place arrangements to ensure that the School would continue to operate remotely – should the need arise.
    • Required all visitors to the School to complete a medical health questionnaire
    • Prohibited anyone from visiting the School who has been to a Category 1 country at any point during the last fourteen days.
    • Augmented our existing disinfecting/cleaning regimes across all areas of the School.
    • Developed a number of robust procedures with the school doctor and medical staff to be actioned quickly if necessary

    As numbers of cases worldwide continue to increase, we believe that it is prudent to gradually introduce several additional measures that we believe will provide further reassurance to our parents and help to diminish the risk of a transmission or isolated outbreak of coronavirus impacting directly upon any member of our community. As you are aware, the risk to children under the age of nineteen is extremely low because:

    Transmission is less frequent and accounts for less than 2.5% of all cases
    Symptoms in children under the age of nineteen tend to be very mild indeed. Less than 0.2% of children infected with coronavirus develop serious symptoms.

    Nevertheless, it is our responsibility to safeguard all members of our community, including parents and staff. Consequently, we are introducing additional measures to ensure that the School continues to function normally in every other regard.

    Temperature Scans/Health Checks

    From tomorrow morning, visitors, day pupils and non-resident staff entering the School campus will be subjected to additional health checks. This is to reduce the risk of infection from any external source.

    Before pupils and staff are permitted to move freely within the school site, they will have their temperature taken and be asked to confirm that they have experienced no symptoms suggesting a risk of infection. They will also be asked to disclose if they have been in close contact with anyone who has travelled since their last health check

    Anyone with an elevated temperature or demonstrating any other relevant symptoms will not be permitted to enter the School site. They will only then be permitted to return to School when they have been given the ‘all-clear’ by a medical professional.

    For the sake of clarity, a visitor includes anyone entering the School site who is not a current member of staff, pupil or parent.

    Parents of children will not be permitted to enter any building unless they have gone through the same checks as staff and pupils.

    Classroom doors to be left open to minimise risk of transmission.

    Swimming Pool and Outside Lettings

    External use of the Swimming Pool has been suspended for the time-being. The virus is not waterborne but given that the swimming pool is used extensively by outside groups it seems sensible to minimise the risk that this presents.

    Our Sports Facilities are used by members of the local community both in the evenings and at weekends. We intend to suspend community usage until the end of April.

    Access to the School site

    Access to the School site will now be restricted to either the Sports Hall Reception. The only exception to this is for Infants and Nursery Children and their parents.

    We will keep arrangements for town leave for boarders under review but it may well be that this is suspended at certain times. If it is, then we would obviously arrange for deliveries to be made for our pupils.

    All deliveries will now take place at the side entrance of the Sports Hall and, consequently, no delivery vehicles will be permitted on the main school site.

    Travel during the Easter holidays

    This is an obvious area of concern for some parents though we know that a majority of our boarders intend to remain in the UK with many electing to stay at School during this relatively brief break.

    We have decided that there will be no additional charge for children wishing to remain at School during the Easter holidays – given that it is now our clear recommendation for our international boarders and given the very obvious risks associated with air travel.

    Currently, it is most likely that anyone (including day pupils) travelling overseas during the Easter break will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days within the UK upon their return. Later this week, we will provide additional details regarding adjustments to the Easter Holiday which would be designed to minimise the amount of time that our borders would be apart from their families.

    Finally……

    Please do remember that if you have any concerns then do contact us immediately. Parents sometimes imagine that we might be too busy to respond but we always have time for you. Our children and our parents are our priority at this time. By taking these measures and exceeding the recommendations of Public Health England, the World Health Organisation, and the Boarding Schools Association we are confident that we can minimise the impact upon pupils, staff and parents.

    It is worth noting that the risk to students at Rossall remains extremely low because of our semi-autonomous and self sufficient nature. We have planned extensively for various scenarios and monitor the situation daily. Should there be significant increases of Covid-19 in the UK then the school will be ready to respond to allow teaching to continue in a safe environment.

    Finally, thank you once again for working with us to ensure that we continue operating as normal but with additional safeguards and precautions now in place.

    Jeremy Quartermain

    9th March, 2020

  • COVID-19 - 5TH MARCH 2020

    Our first priority is the health and well-being of our boys and girls. The responsibility to ensure that our children are safe and nurtured within an environment in which they may flourish underpins all operational and strategic decisions that our leadership team takes. The current situation is concerning from a medical perspective. However, this is not simply a clinical conundrum to be grappled with by immunologists and virologists. There are profoundly human dimensions to this situation and it is a situation which has emotional and psychological implications for young people and adults alike. It is natural for us to feel anxiety when contemplating any threat to the well-being of our children and those whom we love. As a School, we feel obliged to ensure that we take steps to minimise the risk of us unknowingly becoming a source or conduit for infection within the communities in which we live and work. Moreover, it is our natural desire to respond compassionately and calmly in order to minimise the potential anxiety and distress caused by uncertainty or familial separation.

    If you type ‘coronavirus’ into Google then you will be confronted with just under three billion results. Rumours, misinformation and uncertainty abound. Individual countries have adopted strikingly different strategies when confronted with cases of infection. For those with family members in a number of different jurisdictions, this can appear both confusing and contradictory. It is tempting for us to conclude that some countries are taking the situation more seriously than others or that some governments are responding more effectively than others. However, as this global crisis develops, there are some common threads emerging; especially in terms of those preventative measures that we can all take in order to limit the impact of this virus.

    It appears to be the case that the risk to children is very low indeed. The vast majority of confirmed cases have occurred in adults and, globally, there have been only about nine cases reported in children under the age of ten. Indeed 98% of reported cases are in those over the age of nineteen. Just as the mortality rate for Chickenpox is twenty five times higher for adults than it is for children, all available evidence suggests that the risk of very serious complications occurring in children under the age of nineteen is less than one in five hundred. Symptoms in younger people are typically very mild and are most unlikely to progress to a pneumonic phase.

    “From everything that we’ve seen, and for reasons that are unclear to us, it does seem that this is primarily impacting adults,” Richard Martinello, an associate professor of infectious disease at the Yale School of Medicine, told Business Insider in early February.

    How are we determining our response to this situation?

    We follow the latest guidance and advice provided by the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the Department of Education.

    We work very closely with our medical practitioners in our Medical Centre (which itself is linked to Fleetwood Broadway Medical Centre). The School Council is kept informed of all developments and Dr David Elliott (member of Council) has provided support and guidance over recent weeks.

    In terms of the potential impact upon public examinations, we are provided with regular updates from JCQ and OFQUAL.

    We consult with colleagues in other independent and maintained schools and receive daily bulletins from both the Boarding School Association (BSA) and the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

    The Senior Leadership Team meets every morning to review the latest developments and make any necessary amendments to our existing position.

    A committee dedicated to responding to this situation meets together regularly to agree short and mid-term strategies. The School has an extensive risk assessment plan in place which takes account of an extensive, if not exhaustive, set of eventualities.

    What are we doing to reduce the risk of potential infection?

    All children in the Junior School, Nursery, and Senior School have benefited from briefings and training sessions related to personal hygiene. This educational programme has been enhanced by excellent resources provided by Public Health England, the World Health Organisation and the BBC.

    Communal facilities within boarding houses and in all other parts of the School campus (such as washrooms) are disinfected several times throughout the day.

    Hand-sanitisers have been installed throughout the School and the School has stockpiled supplies of soap, bleach, disinfectant, hand-sanitizer and packets of tissues.

    All movements of boarders are tracked carefully and any member of staff intending to travel abroad for any purpose is required to inform our HR department well in advance of any proposed trip.

    Visitors to the School must adhere to our procedures which are published on our website and communicated directly to individuals and visiting school groups. Please view our visiting guidelines here.

    All visitors to the School site are required to complete a Health Declaration Form upon arriving at reception.

    Some events, such as the forthcoming Rossallian weekend, have been cancelled due to the fact that some of those attending would potentially have a heightened risk of complications were they unfortunate enough to contract the infection.

    What are you doing to prevent the risk of possible infection created by those who returned to Rossall School after Half Term from high risk areas?

    None of our boarders have visited areas which require individuals to self-isolate. (i.e. Category 1 countries). These areas include Wuhan, Iran, Korea and a number of towns in northern Italy.

    No student returning from a Category 2 country has presented any symptoms which would require them to self-isolate. However, we did ask one student to isolate because the student concerned had visited Milan during the Half Term break. This student’s period of isolation will conclude this weekend and, thus far, the student has presented no symptoms. As we explained at the time, we were exceeding guidance by asking the student to self-isolate but we are determined to be vigilant at all times.

    For further information see:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

    What happens if a student presents at the medical centre with symptoms?

    Any student suffering from a cough or a cold is reviewed by our medical team upon visiting the medical centre. Our medical staff utilise algorithms designed to ensure appropriate assessment and subsequent management of patients within a primary care setting.

    Primarily, our medical team assesses patients for any symptoms such as shortness of breath or raised temperature. Thus far, no one has presented symptoms which would suggest a suspected case of Coronavirus.

    Fine, but what would you do were a student to present such symptoms?

    A student presenting such symptoms would be isolated immediately and would be placed under strict medical supervision. PHE guidance, “Management of a suspected case of COVID-19” would be followed.

    Were a case of Coronavirus to be confirmed, then we would take directions from the local Public Health England Protection Team and from our local NHS trust.

    What would you do if a student tested positive?

    A member of the School’s Leadership Term would contact parents immediately to appraise them of the situation.

    The student would then come under the care of the National Health Service (NHS) and we would be guided by their recommendations and the local PHE Health Protection Team with regards to further steps.

    Presuming that they were not hospitalised, then the boarding student(s) concerned would remain isolated but within our care.

    Boarding students would be kept under close medical supervision and looked after by staff members. Day pupils would be expected to be isolated at home.

    Have you made plans to isolate groups of children?

    Yes, we have an extensive risk assessment plan which includes provision for isolating a child or groups of children both on-site and off-site.

    Do you envisage a situation where the school is compelled to close for a period of time?

    Currently, there are no plans for the School to shut and the clear advice from the government is that Schools should remain open. However, it is possible that a school could be required to operate remotely were there to be an outbreak of Coronavirus.

    Can a high quality of teaching and learning be maintained when children are not present within School?

    Obviously, such a situation would present challenges but it is an eventuality for which we have planned extensively. A full timetable would be maintained through the use of video-conferencing apps such as Google Hangouts Meet. Similarly, Google Classroom would be utilised to ensure workflow between staff and pupils. Parents and pupils should feel reassured that work will be set and marked if the School entered a phase of operating remotely.

    Who can I talk to if I am still worried?

    Houseparents and all members of the Senior Leadership Team are on hand to answer your questions or talk through any concerns. Our primary concern is the welfare of our children and, by extension the welfare and peace of mind of our parents. Consequently, please feel free to email or phone us at any point during the working week or during the weekend.

    During the Easter Holidays will Rossall School remain open?

    Yes, the School will remain open during the Easter Holidays and Lucy Barnwell has circulated details of our holiday programme to all parents and guardians of boarding pupils. We strongly advise against travel to any part of the world where there is a high incident of infection – not least because students would be required to self-isolate upon their return. This would present particular problems for our Year 11 and Year 13 students who are due to sit external examinations.

    Finally, this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will keep you informed of any changes to this information. It is always our intention to work in close partnership with our parents in all matters pertaining to safeguarding and welfare. We are aware that this situation is potentially distressing for those pupils who face the prospect of not seeing family members for longer than usual and we are working closely with them to ensure that they are fully supported. I should add, that we will ensure that if a child is unable to return home during the Easter break, then he or she will be able to do so as soon as restrictions are lifted – even if that means being absent for a period of time during the Summer Term. Our thoughts are with all of our families and we will work tirelessly to look after all members of this wonderful community.

    Jeremy Quartermain

    5th March, 2020