15 March 2020
Updated Sunday 15th March
Please read this letter from the headteacher providing an update on the coronavirus situation, dated 15th March: https://longbenton.org.uk/parents/newsletters
Updated Monday 9th March at 4.00pm:
As you may be aware, 40 children from our school travelled to the resort of Courmayeur, Italy, on Saturday (7 March). The decision was taken for the group to travel after due consideration was given to all government advice available and information from the tour operator based within the resort.
However, since the trip’s arrival in Courmayeur, the Italian government closed all leisure and entertainment facilities within the region as a precaution, which we were planning to use, so the children will be returning home.
Government advice is that people returning from this area do not need to undertake any special measures, such as self-isolating, unless they develop symptoms. I have advised that the children returning from the trip should stay off school on Wednesday, due to the length of the journey home, however they can return to school on Thursday. We will authorise absences for the remainder of the week should the parents/guardians of the students on the trip feel they are too tired to attend school.
To remind all parents, the symptoms of coronavirus are a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath. More information can be found on the NHS website, here .
As always, our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your support.
Updated Sunday 8th March 2020:
We currently have a ski trip taking place in Courmayeur, which is in the Valle d’Aosta province in north-west Italy. We would like to stress that this is NOT one of the areas of Lombardy which have been placed under the stricter quarantine measures reported today (Sunday 8th March). The ski resort in Courmayeur is open as normal, our students and staff have arrived safely and they are all looking forward to their first trip to the slopes. The advice from the Foreign Office regarding travel to Courmayeur is that individuals should only self-isolate on return IF they demonstrate any symptoms. There are currently no cases, nor suspicion of any cases of coronavirus in the Valle d’Aosta region and this has been confirmed by the Italian regional government.
You may also be aware that we now have a confirmed coronavirus case in North Tyneside, although we must stress that this is not connected to our school. The safety of our students is our top priority; please be assured that we are closely following national and local authority guidance and are putting contingency plans in place should we find ourselves in a situation where we have a confirmed case amongst our student or staff body. We know that there is no evidence that children are more affected than other groups (very few cases have been reported in children), so we are doing our best not to add to any hype or overdramatise the issue in school.
We will of course continue to monitor the situation daily and will keep students, parents and staff informed of any changes or updates through our website.