MGS Action on COVID-19

am writing to update you with the action that MGS has and will be taking with regards to the on-going issue of the Coronavirus within the UK.

Firstly, I would like to reassure you that all of the action that we as a school have already taken has been on the advice of Public Health England, the NHS and the Government; and that this action has been both considered and measured to ensure we do not over react or be alarmist – school has essentially continued as normal.

Following last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer we are still at the Containment Stage, but we could move to the Delay Stage in the next 10 to 14 days. If this occurs then schools could be requested to remain closed for a period of time, or, what probably would happen, anyone displaying symptoms of a fever, virus or cold would be expected to self-isolate for 7 days. If the latter happens then this could mean that a significant number of students and staff are away from school whilst we are still in normal operation.

We have not reached this stage yet, and at present there is no reason for the school to close, but it would be sensible of us to prepare for such eventuality. In order to safeguard students’ learning we as a school will need to ensure we can make greater use of our virtual learning environment, our VLE. This will be the only route students will have to continue with their studies, so we need to ensure it is ready for significant and substantial use.

In order for us to do this we have decided to shorten the school day on Monday 16 March, finishing at 1.15pm, to provide capacity and time for school staff to prepare for what might come. Shortening the day is not desirable, but putting in a bit of time now will pay dividends in the future. I appreciate that I am giving you very little notice to make any necessary arrangements but I am sure you can understand the situation we are in is unprecedented. As always, any student not able to get home, or if you would like your child to remain in school, they can. They will be supervised by school staff until the normal time of 3.20pm. Our library will also remain open until 4.30pm. Please email the school on school@mgs.kent.sch.uk to let us know if this is the case.

Some subjects, particularly those that require students to complete essential coursework in school, such as Design & Technology, will, as well as preparing for greater use of the VLE, use next Monday afternoon to keep students in school to continue with their work. If this is the case, individual students and their parents will be contacted by the subject teacher.

We are continuing to receive daily information from the Government about the impact of the Coronavirus, and we are particularly keeping an eye on how this impact will affect the run-up to the summer examination period. In the meantime, we as a school will continue to go about our business as normal – lessons will be taught, homework will be set, our extra-curricular programme will continue - but also preparations will be made to ensure that this business continues as well as possible if the situation requires us to.

Regards

M Tomkins

Headmaster