Renfrewshire Council

Director of Children's Services letter to staff and parents at Mossvale Primary School - 8 October 2020

Letter sent to staff, parents and carers at Mossvale Primary School  by Renfrewshire Council's Director of Children's Services Steven Quinn, 8 October 2020.

Please note - this letter was also sent to staff, parent and carers at Mossvale Early Learning and Childcare Centre and St James's Primary School, Paisley.

Dear parent/carer, 

As a parent or carer of a pupil at Mossvale Primary School, you will of course already be aware of the NHS Test and Protect activity taking place in the school. First of all, to all those who have tested positive for covid-19, I wish you a full and healthy recovery. Please let the school know if there is anything that we can do to support your recovery.  

I appreciate the numbers of staff and pupils now being required to self-isolate will have caused concern and I wanted to write to you all to offer reassurance over that. 

The advice of the health authorities is that the school remains safe to be open and I wanted to update you on the work we and our NHS colleagues are doing to make sure that stays the case. 

Current cases and self-isolation 

Following on from the communication you received on 3 October, a number of staff and pupils in the school have been identified as positive cases and been advised to self-isolate. 

This reflects the fact there is currently a rising number of cases across Renfrewshire and the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area in general. 

It is worth briefly reminding everyone of what happens when we become aware of a positive case. We, the school and the NHS work together to identify everyone who has been a close contact of that person during the period they may have been infectious, and they are contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. 

There is a detailed process and risk assessment to establish close contacts. It does not necessarily mean an entire class will be asked to self-isolate if a positive case is identified. Only those identified as at risk are contacted and everyone else is safe to attend as normal. The requirement to maintain patient confidentiality limits how much we can tell parents in these situations. 

Safety measures 

The health, safety and wellbeing of your children and our staff is the number one priority for me and my team. Across Renfrewshire we prepared thoroughly for our pupils returning to school in August. We have closely followed all national guidance, based on expert scientific advice, to ensure we do everything possible to keep them safe and provide the best learning environment possible. 

That includes an enhanced cleaning regime across all buildings, cleaning of surfaces during the day, promoting good hand hygiene, advising physical distancing where possible, careful management of pick-ups and drop-offs, and, more recently, the use of face coverings among over-12s.  

We have at all times followed the public health advice and as a result extra measures have been brought in as a precaution, with additional enhanced cleaning and an additional deep clean of the building, which took place last night. We also continue to work closely with our environmental health team, to ensure all necessary measures are in place.

The advice from the NHS is they are completely satisfied the school has robust measures in place to stop the spread of the virus.  

If any parents at the school have a specific health concern relating to them or their child, we would urge you to speak to your GP or a healthcare professional. There may be things the school can do to support and offer extra reassurance, but we can only do this on the basis of medical advice. 

I would also reiterate the general advice around Covid19 symptoms as we all have a role to play to help stop the spread. If your child or someone you live with displays any of the three main symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperate, loss of taste or smell) please do not send them to school - you should all stay at home and book a test for all who have symptoms. 

Impact on learning 

We are aware that there will be concerns regarding the impact on your child's learning. Staff are supported by my senior management team and plans are in place to ensure continuation of learning.  

I would like to end by thanking you for your patience throughout what I know has been a challenging time for all involved. I can assure you nothing is more important to us than the safety of our pupils and staff and we and the school will continue to do everything in our power to look after that. 

Further information on health and safety arrangements in our schools and on how we are handling cases of Covid19 in schools can be found on the council website 

You can also find out more information on what to do if you or your child has symptoms via the NHS Inform website.

I would like to offer my best wishes to you and your families for the school break. 

Yours sincerely, 

Steven Quinn 

Director of Children's Services, Renfrewshire Council 

8 October 2020