Covid-19 Information

The safety of our students, families, staff and wider community is our top priority. Our school is now open and we have made changes to ensure that our students can return as safely as possible. 

If you would like to find out more about the measures put in place, please read our returning to school leaflet.

We are following the government guidelines and continue to monitor any updates closely.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

 Public Health Letter for families - 23rd September 2020


We have put together some information for families in different languages: 

Covid information - Polish Covid information - Portuguese Covid information - Romanian Covid information - Lithuanian 


What to do if you have symptoms

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  • Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

For information about what to do if you have symptoms, please visit the NHS website.

Remote learning

It is important that children can continue their education. We have plans in place to make sure children can continue their education from home, if schools needed to close again.

If you are looking for online learning material, please use Oak National Academy resources. 

Advice for families

The government has published advice for families around returning to school. We hope our families find this helpful.

APPENDIX 1: Covid-19 emergency safeguarding arrangements


During this time of unprecedented challenge for the nation, schools have remained open to support the most vulnerable pupils as well as the children of key workers. This has meant that normal operating procedures have had to be reviewed and amended to ensure that staff, pupils and their families can be supported and remain safe. This appendix to the trust wide Safeguarding and Child Protection policy provides an overview of how Hethersett Academy is meeting the challenges of the current situation and ensuring that safeguarding remains a priority.

This appendix should be read in conjunction with the trust wide safeguarding policy and actions not covered in this appendix should be actioned in accordance with the overarching guidance provided in this parent policy. 

1. Continuity planning

Continuity planning for DSL coverage during the period of school closure has been undertaken to ensure that pupils will be supported in the event that the DSL, or their alternates, become infected and unable to work. The continuity structure for Hethersett Academy is as follows: 



Contact email


Claire Tilbury

Alternate DSL

Sarah Brown

Backup DSL

Anna Twaite

Backup DSL

Francesca Darke

Backup DSL

Tiffany Bruen-Brooks

To ensure that safeguarding is supported in all academies across the Inspiration Trust, weekly safeguarding meetings between DSLs will take place. These will be undertaken using Google Hangouts to limit the need for unnecessary travel and support social distancing. In the event that the DSL is unable to participate in the meeting due to illness, they will designate a replacement. Following each of the weekly meetings it is the responsibility of the DSL in each academy to cascade information to all alternate DSLs and staff as appropriate.

2. Vulnerable children. 

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans. 

Those who have a social worker include children who have a Child Protection Plan and those who are looked after by the Local Authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in section 17 of the Children Act 1989. 

Those with an EHC plan will be risk-assessed in consultation with the Local Authority and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. Many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home. 

Eligibility for free school meals in and of itself should not be the determining factor in assessing vulnerability. 

Senior leaders, especially the Designated Safeguarding Lead (and their alternate) know who our most vulnerable children are. They have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edge of receiving children’s social care support. 

Hethersett Academy will continue to work with and support children’s social workers to help protect vulnerable children. This includes working with and supporting children’s social workers and the local authority virtual school head for looked-after and previously looked-after children. The lead person for this will be: Jane Diver. 

There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will have the opportunity to attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. In circumstances where a parent does not want to bring their child to an education setting, and their child is considered vulnerable, the social worker and Hethersett Academy will explore the reasons for this directly with the parent. 

Where parents are concerned about the risk of the child contracting COVID-19, Hethersett Academy or the social worker will talk through these anxieties with the parent/carer following the advice set out by Public Health England. 

Hethersett Academy will encourage our vulnerable children and young people to attend a school, including remotely if needed. 

3. Attendance monitoring. 

Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-today attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance.

Hethersett Academy and social workers will agree with parents/carers whether children in need should be attending school – Hethersett Academy will then follow up on any pupil that they were expecting to attend, who does not. Hethersett Academy will also follow up with any parent or carer who has arranged care for their child(ren) and the child(ren) subsequently does (do) not attend. 

To support the above, Hethersett Academy will, when communicating with parents and carers, confirm emergency contact numbers are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available. In all circumstances where a vulnerable child does not take up their place at school, or discontinues, Hethersett Academy will notify their social worker. 

4. Reporting a concern. 

Where staff have a concern about a child, they should continue to follow the process outlined in the school Safeguarding Policy, this includes making a report via CPOMS, which can be done remotely. 

In the unlikely event that a member of staff cannot access their CPOMS from home, they should email the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Principal and the Director of Inclusion for the trust. This will ensure that the concern is received. 

Staff are reminded of the need to report any concern immediately and without delay. 

Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children in the school, they should report the concern to the Principal. If there is a requirement to make a notification to the Principal whilst away from school, this should be done verbally and followed up with an email to the Principal. 

Concerns around the Principal should be directed to the Chair of Governors.

The Inspiration Trust will continue to offer support in the process of managing allegations. 

5. Safeguarding Training and induction 

DSL training is very unlikely to take place whilst there remains a threat of the COVID-19 virus. 

For the period COVID-19 measures are in place, a DSL (or deputy) who has been trained will continue to be classed as a trained DSL (or deputy) even if they miss their refresher training. 

All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020). The DSL should communicate with staff any new local arrangements, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child. 

Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter Hethersett Academy, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction. 

If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic and will accept portability as long as the current employer confirms in writing that: 

• the individual has been subject to an enhanced DBS and children’s barred list check

• there are no known concerns about the individual’s suitability to work with children

• there is no ongoing disciplinary investigation relating to that individual 

For movement within the Inspiration Trust, schools should seek assurance from the Head of HR that the member of staff has received appropriate safeguarding training. Upon arrival, they will undertake a safeguarding briefing to confirm local safeguarding processes where they differ from the whole trust approach as set out in the main safeguarding policy. 

6. Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff 

It remains essential that people who are unsuitable are not allowed to enter the children’s workforce or gain access to children. When recruiting new staff, Hethersett Academy will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for their setting, including, as appropriate, relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2020) (KCSIE). 

In response to COVID-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact. 

Where Hethersett Academy are utilising volunteers, we will continue to follow the checking and risk assessment process as set out in KCSIE. Under no circumstances will a volunteer who has not been checked be left unsupervised or allowed to work in regulated activity. 

Hethersett Academy will continue to follow the legal duty to refer to the DBS anyone who has harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult. Full details can be found in KCSIE. 

Hethersett Academy will continue to consider and make referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) as per the KCSIE and the TRA’s ‘Teacher misconduct advice for making a referral. 

During the COVID-19 period all referrals should be made by emailing 

Whilst acknowledging the challenge of the current National emergency, it is essential from a safeguarding perspective that any school is aware, on any given day, which staff/volunteers will be in the school or college, and that appropriate checks have been carried out, especially for anyone engaging in regulated activity. As such, Hethersett Academy will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in KCSIE.  

7. Online safety in schools and colleges 

Hethersett Academy will continue to provide a safe environment, including online. This includes the use of an online filtering system. Where students are using computers in school, appropriate supervision will be in place. 

8. Children and online safety away from school and college 

It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per the trust wide Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police. 

Online teaching should follow the same principles as set out in the Inspiration Trust code of conduct. 

Hethersett Academy will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements. 

Below are some things to consider when delivering virtual lessons, especially where webcams are involved:

• Staff must only use platforms provided and supported by the Inspiration Trust to communicate with pupils and host remote learning.

• No 1:1s, groups only 

• Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household. 

• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred. 

• The live class should be recorded so that if any issues were to arise, the video can be reviewed. 

• Live classes should be kept to a reasonable length of time, or the streaming may prevent the family ‘getting on’ with their day. 

• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background. 

• Staff should record the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held. 

9. Supporting children not in school 

Hethersett Academy is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its Children and Young people.

Where the DSL has identified a child to be on the edge of social care support, or who would normally receive pastoral-type support in school, they should ensure that a robust communication plan is in place for that child or young person. 

Details of this plan must be recorded on CPOMS, as should a record of contacts that have made. 

The communication plans can include; remote contact, phone contact or ‘Virtual visits’ undertaken via video conferencing software. Other individualised contact methods should be considered and recorded. 

Hethersett Academy and its DSL will work closely with all stakeholders to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan. 

This plan must be reviewed regularly (at least once a fortnight) and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate. 

The school will share safeguarding messages on its website and social media pages. 

Hethersett Academy recognises that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Teachers at Hethersett Academy need to be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home. 

Hethersett Academy will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and recorded on CPOMS. 

10. Supporting children in school 

Hethersett Academy is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its students. 

Hethersett Academy will continue to be a safe space for all children to attend and flourish. The Principal will ensure that appropriate staff are on site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate, to maximise safety. 

Hethersett Academy will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England on handwashing and other measures to limit the risk of spread of COVID19. 

Hethersett Academy will ensure that where we care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children on site, we ensure appropriate support is in place for them. This will be bespoke to each child and recorded on CPOMS. 

Where the Principal of Hethersett Academy has concerns about the impact of staff absence – such as absence of the Designated Safeguarding Lead or first aiders – they will discuss them immediately with the trust.

11. Support from the Multi-Academy Trust

The Inspiration Trust (IT) Director of Inclusion will provide support and guidance as appropriate to enable the DSL to carry out their role effectively. This may include both group and individual ‘supervision’ sessions via video conferencing and visits to academies.