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St John Fisher Primary a Catholic Voluntary Academy, Sheffield
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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Local Authority Update

4th Mar 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Here is the latest advice that we have received from the Local Authority:

As you  may have read that the management of a possible pandemic can move through a number of phases. At the moment efforts are being focused on containing any instances of infection. 

There are no reported or confirmed outbreaks of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sheffield at the moment.

Local Authority advice is aligned with national advice and information which, for schools, comes from both the Department for Education (DfE) and the NHS.

Below are the relevant web pages for you to check current advice. Please note that these web pages may be updated and, so will need to be checked regularly so that you have the most up to date information.





You will have seen yesterday that the Government has issued national plans for dealing with the virus.

It is important to note that these plans, mainly, relate to the later phases of a coronavirus pandemic. We are not at that stage at the moment. Please be reassured that Sheffield City Council will provide further advice on these if any provisions become needed.

There have been some instances reported of parents/carers choosing to keep their children at home until things are clearer with regard to COVID-19. The position of the Local Authority is that this is an unnecessary step and, as we are continuing to operate business as usual, all such absences will be treated as unauthorised and the usual processes will be applied.

In all cases – unless you hear differently from the Council and/or Public Health England – you can assume that it is safe for schools to operate as normal and for planned events to go ahead.



If any cases are confirmed, which are linked to an individual school or organisation, then Public Health England will direct the situation and control what needs to be done.

The DfE yesterday confirmed that “No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.”

We have been asked about the deep cleaning of schools. Be assured that arrangements are in hand should it become necessary. However, he Local Authority will not be publishing details of this yet until all requirements have been assessed fully.



As a school we commit to sharing any information with our parents/carers as soon as we receive it. This will usually be done via the website and/or Parentmail. Please make sure that we have your current contact details.

You might also consider signing up for automatic alerts from our SJF website. You can do this by ticking the appropriate boxes and submitting your email address in the bottom right-hand corner of the SJF website homepage.

Great care is being taken to share information positively without causing undue alarm to our children. We recognise that some are already becoming a little anxious simply because of what they have seen online, on television, they have heard on the radio and from conversations that they overhear.

We are offering, and will continue to offer, support to any child who is worried as we always take the thoughts and feelings of our children seriously. If you think your child is becoming anxious, please let us know.

We have emphasised the importance of effective handwashing with all the children and they have been shown (and had an opportunity to practise) the special 'SJF handwash'!

This should last for no less than 20 seconds (basically the 'Happy Birthday' song sang twice) and involves all parts of the hand.

A video will be uploaded to the SJF website shortly. We have also increased the frequency of hand washing in school so that now the children are now required to wash their hands more, at set points throughout the school day. 

Special attention to the cleaning of places touched by human hands e.g. stair bannister rails, door handles etc. is being taken by our cleaning and maintenance team and there is a continuing focus on maintaining high standards of cleanliness.

Guidance has already been shared with parents and carers regarding children coming to school with their own hand sanitiser products and we ask that this is supported please. Please do not send your children into school with any products. 

If you have any questions please email us on

Thank you.