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This information and guidance is primarily intended for Derbyshire Local Authority (LA) maintained, foundation and voluntary schools.

We are very grateful to you and your staff in making every effort possible to keep schools open and following the current advice from the DfE.

We would like alert you to the information that was posted on SchoolsNet yesterday. The aim of that guidance is to support you in planning ahead should schools be directed to close by the DfE.

In the meantime, here are some responses to some frequently asked questions:

Question:

What are the payment arrangements for staff who self-isolate?

Answer:

School staff who are required to self-isolate will receive normal pay for the self-isolation period. Normal pay means they will receive the pay that was scheduled and authorised to be paid at the point of self-isolation.

If a member of school staff becomes unwell during the self-isolation period then they should contact their Headteacher so that this absence can be recorded accordingly. 

Question:

Do we need to notify parents or carers if a member of staff is in self-isolation?

Answer:

We know that you will be aiming to keep the school community as calm as possible and understand that parents and carers could become concerned about members of staff who are in self-isolation and the implications for their children.

You know your community best and may need to consider if your normal arrangements for when staff are absent are applicable in this situation. In any communication with parents and carers, it may be helpful to refer to DfE guidance.  Currently, staff should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others.

Question:

What do we do if some parents want to withdraw their children from school?

Answer:

We need to continue giving the correct advice about keeping safe. The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water.

If a pupil does not attend school, despite the school operating as usual and the pupil is not self-isolating, they should be marked as absent. It is for headteachers to determine whether or not the absence is authorised depending on the individual circumstances.

Question:

If more staff self-isolate, at what point should we consider closing school?

Answer:

Current advice remains in place: no education should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

We know that schools are working hard in their cluster-groups to maintain continuity and we’re asking schools to consider doing everything they can to stay open for certain key year groups and for vulnerable pupils. We know that some schools are re-allocating staff across schools or using supply agencies to cover gaps for this vital provision.

Before considering closure, Heads of Special Schools should contact Paula Williams, Assistant Director for Learning, Access and Inclusion, by email: paula.williams@derbyshire.gov.uk

Once again, thank you for your on-going support.

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