MAESTEG SCHOOL – JOINT STATEMENT

Bridgend County Borough Council press release 2.9.20

Council offers reassurance over Covid-19 concerns: https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/news/council-offers-reassurance-over-covid-19-concerns/

Frequently asked questions about Maesteg School

Q1. Are you referring to ‘Maesteg School’ or ‘Maesteg Comprehensive School?’
A1. The formal name of Maesteg Comprehensive School is ‘Maesteg School’.

Q2. How safe is it for me to send my child back to the school next week?
A2. The local authority is satisfied that the school site is as safe now as it was at the start of this term.
It is critical that all learners, their families, and staff follow Public Health Wales advice in respect of the virus and under no circumstances should learners or staff attend schools/settings if they:
· feel unwell, have any of the three identified COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, or a high temperature or loss of or change to their sense of taste or smell) or they have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 7 days; or
· live in a household or are part of an extended household with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Q3. Is there a need for a deep clean at the school or has it already been done?
A3. In addition to the increased frequency and enhanced cleaning already in place within the school, a further deep clean was undertaken at the school on Friday 4 September 2020.

Q4. If the school does close as a precaution and children are sent home, what provision is the local authority putting in place if the children cannot return home (i.e. if the parents are at work or no other family members are available)?
A4. The pupils will be moved to a suitable part of the school where they will receive appropriate supervision until they are collected by parents/carers.

Q5. Will there be testing on children on their return as a result of this positive test of staff?
A5. No. This is not necessary. The local authority is following Public Health Wales guidance and the requirements of the NHS Wales ‘Test, Trace and Protect’ (TTP) service.

Q6. Was the member of staff who tested positive displaying any symptoms while they were at school?
A6. No.

Q7. Is there any link between the publicised COVID-19 outbreak in Maesteg and the case in Maesteg School?
A7. No.

Q8. Were there any pupils in the school when the member of staff who received a positive test was present?
A8. No.

Q9. Why is the school open, as planned, to staff and pupils?
A9. The school is compliant with Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and TTP guidance. All reasonable measures have been undertaken to ensure the safety of staff and pupils.

Q10. At what point will the school close (if necessary)?
A10. Maesteg School will continue to follow TTP advice in relation to the management of this incident. Should the school be directed to close, it will close. All schools in Bridgend benefit from robust risk assessments. Schools will only remain open if it is safe to do so.

Q11. When will the school communicate with its staff?
A11. All staff have already received communication in respect of this matter (via a verbal briefing on Friday 4 September). The school will continue to update staff, liaising closely with trade union colleagues, to ensure the safety of all site users.

Q12. Will all staff return to school from Monday 7 September?
A12. Currently, all staff, except those identified as needing to isolate, will return to school on Monday morning.

Q13. How will this incident affect the return of pupils?
A13. On Monday 7 September, Years 7, 11, 12 and 13 will return to school as planned. However, the school may need to amend the introduction of pupils in other year groups during the week. The school will communicate any changes with parents/carers.

Q14. How will the school communicate with parents/carers?
A14. The school will issue individual letters to parents/carers (via iTouch) and publish relevant information on the school website.

Q15. If the school is closed, will pupils benefit from remote learning?
A15. If pupils are required to stay at home, the school will continue to provide learning materials (as during lockdown).

Q16. What if parents/carers are unsure whether to send their children to school in light of this incident?
A16. The local authority recommends that parents/carers should discuss any concerns they may have with the school.
It is important that parents/carers make every effort to send their children to school.

Q17. Why didn’t the school notify parents/carers earlier of this incident?
A17. The school acted swiftly to minimise any impact on staff and pupils to ensure the safe running of the school. As soon as advice and guidance were received from the relevant bodies, the school and local authority communicated key messages with stakeholders.

Q18. Why are certain staff members self-isolating?
A18. The school has followed TTP guidance and only those members of staff that are required to self-isolate are doing so.

Q19. How do we know that staff who are currently attending school are safe?
A19. Staff are advised to strictly observe the control measures established within the school’s policies and procedures. If these measures are followed, the risk of transmission is limited.

Q20. Will the school’s whole workforce be told to self-isolate if someone tests positive?
A20. Only those who have had close recent contact with someone who then tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to self-isolate.

Q21. What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in my child’s school or setting?
A21. A positive test on site does not require closure of that site. The process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’ and where schools and settings follow these guidelines carefully, there is no cause for alarm.

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