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Public Health: 'Exemplary response'

Update for Tuesday 3rd March

Dear Parents,


Further good news to report this morning, with 2 further negative test results. I hope this will mean my updates can become less frequent.


The Department for Education continues to publish updates, and yesterday was very clear: “No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.” I continue to be in contact with the Public Health authorities, local schools, Governors and Trustees and other stakeholders to monitor the situation. We will be paying close attention to the details of the national plan, due to be announced today.


Test results are now taking longer to be processed as there are so many across the country, so it may be towards the end of the week before I can confirm the final results of all the tests we know about. I am talking to all students through their scheduled assemblies this week to provide the calm reassurance needed in challenging times.


Many thanks again for all your support.

Best wishes



Update for Monday 2nd March

Dear Parents,


We are following up with 3 families who are still waiting to hear test results; the vast majority are now back, and are all negative.


Best wishes for the week ahead.


Update for Sunday 1st March

Dear Parents, 

Further good news: another negative test result. We will check through our tracking on Monday to follow up with any families who have not yet shared with us their test outcomes. Please do let us know if you have any news for us.

Best wishes


Update for Saturday 29th February

Dear Parents, 

We have had good news of further negative tests during the day.

Best wishes


Update for Friday 28th February

Dear Parents,


You will be pleased to know that so far the outcomes of Covid-19 tests are negative. We are expecting more results today and over the weekend.


I am in regular contact with the Public Health authorities, as you would expect. The specific guidance for this school is to remain open, and follow all the steps that we have taken. The advice I have circulated to the community three times this week is very clear that those who travelled to a category 2 area and are showing symptoms should continue to self-isolate and call NHS111. Everyone else should attend school as normal. That remains the case.


This is clearly a worrying time, though media and social media responses continue to be unhelpful. I asked for kindness and restraint in this regard earlier in the week. I need to emphasise that further. In challenging times young people need to feel our support, reassurance and resilience. I am particularly grateful to very many of you who are showing that this week.


I shall continue to provide updates as they are available or if the situation changes. I know there are reports in the media about a small number of school closures. Our procedures in this regard have not changed; always assume school is open unless you hear otherwise. The school website is updated if closure is necessary for any reason. If school were to close during the day, it is worth discussing with your child how they would make their way home, especially at this time of year

if the weather were to deteriorate rapidly. Identifying an alternative plan, perhaps with a friend or relative in close proximity to the school can sometimes be very helpful.


Continued good wishes,



Update for Thursday 27th February 2020

Dear Parents,

I understand the anxiety around the worldwide spread of Covid-19. I shared the Public Health Guidance on Tuesday morning as soon as it changed, and again yesterday to ensure everyone had access to it. I am sharing Public Health Harrow’s message again below. It is worth reading and may well address any concerns you have.

I spoke to the Director of Public Health Harrow and the Divisional Director of Education Services yesterday evening, as well as our Governors and Trustees. I am grateful for their support well out of office hours. They confirmed the approach that we are taking is in accordance with their guidance. Any students on the ski trip or others who report visiting any areas on the category 2 list who exhibit symptoms at school will be isolated and collected and their family asked to call NHS111. If your child exhibits symptoms at home, please do not send them to school, and call NHS111. They provide medical advice about self-isolation, testing, and when to return, not the school. Please inform us of the advice provided to your family. We have not been made aware of any members of the school community on the category 1 list.

This afternoon we hope to hear the outcomes of some of the tests that have been carried out. I will continue to liaise with Public Health and provide updates as they are available. I know these are worrying times, and I hope you are reassured as you can see we continue to follow all the guidance available, and are proactive in monitoring the situation. Thank you for all the messages of support we have received over the last few days.

Best wishes



Coronavirus (COVID-19):  Advice for parents/guardians

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.

There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.

For information on COVID19 please see the NHS website:

Returning (or visitors) from affected areas

Advice if you have travelled to or transited through Category 1 and Category 2 countries/areas in the last 14 days^

Category 1 countries/areas

Category 2 countries/areas

Wuhan city and Hubei Province (China) (see map)






Daegu or Cheongdo (South Korea) (see map)^

Hong Kong

South Korea^* 

Any Italian town under containment measures (see map)^

Italy: north^* (see map)











^The guidance for Italy, Iran, and Daegu or Cheongdo (South Korea) applies to individuals who returned from these specific areas on or after 19 February 2020.

*Except areas of the country specifically referred to in Category 1.

Category 1 countries/areas:

If you are well, and have returned from these specific areas since 19 February 2020, or have returned from Hubei province China in the past 14 days, follow the self-isolation advice from PHE. Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu.

Your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities. Call NHS 111 (or regional contacts below) to inform them of your recent travel to the area.

If you become unwell you should follow the self-isolation advice from PHE and immediately call:

NHS 111 (England and Wales)

Public Health Agency 0300 200 7885 (Northern Ireland)

Your GP or NHS24 111 (Scotland)

Category 2 countries/areas:

If you are well, you do not need to self-isolate. Your family do not need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities.

However, if you become unwell within 14 days after return from these countries/areas you should follow the self-isolation advice from PHE and immediately call:

NHS 111 (England and Wales)

Public Health Agency 0300 200 7885 (Northern Ireland)

Your GP or NHS24 111 (Scotland)

If you or your children are planning to travel in the coming month

We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel abroad to countries where there is a higher risk of transmission.   The affected countries are: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand. Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),  Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar.  Travellers currently in countries that are reporting cases of COVID-19 should follow local public health advice. UK travellers should also ensure they are up to date with the latest advice from FCO and PHE.

Please refer to for the latest travel advice.

Public Health England has also issued general advice for members of the public

What does self isolation mean?

Self isolation means that the person should stay at home and isolate themselves within the home unless there is a need for medical attention.  This advice is a precautionary measure to minimise the spread of the virus within the community.   The advice from Public Health England on self isolation can be found here:

What actions can everyone take

A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices to stem the spread of viruses: these include regularly washing hands with soap and water and always sneezing or coughing into a tissue and then disposing of it.  

Further information is available from which is updated regularly.


Carole Furlong

Director of Public Health




Here is the message shared with the community on the morning of 26th February 2020


Dear Parents,

I want to provide a further update regarding the school response to Coronavirus Covid-19. The Director of Public Health Harrow referred to the steps we have taken and our management of the situation yesterday evening as ‘exemplary’ but I want to provide further details of it to reassure you during these trying times.

As you know, the ski trip returned on Sunday from northern Italy. The trip was north of the ‘Pisa line’, but not to the quarantined areas. As a result, the Government advice is for anyone showing symptoms to self-isolate and call NHS111. If there are no symptoms, students and staff should attend school as normal. Here is the public health blog, with further details from the guidance I shared yesterday with all families:

We shared this advice with all students on the ski trip yesterday morning, and 10 students and 4 staff let us know they felt they had some symptoms. Staff went home and sought advice and students were isolated and swiftly collected by their families. We are tracking the advice they are given, and some have been tested for the virus according to individual medical advice. They remain in isolation until they are advised to return or results come through, which usually takes 48 hours. I am in close contact with all staff involved.

I will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. We are taking advice to ensure we are as prepared as possible in the event that any tests are positive.

I have been made aware of comments about this situation on social media last night. I understand the Covid-19 situation is worrying, but you can see we are following all guidelines available. We have been liaising directly with Public Health England, as well as the local authority, other local schools, Governors and Trustees. There are no easy decisions in this situation; none are taken lightly, all are taken carefully in the best interests of the students. Be under no illusions that social media comments add further pressure to an already challenging situation. Please contact us directly if you have any questions. If you feel the need to make comments about this on social media or elsewhere, please be conscious of this, and show the kindness and restraint we teach our young people about responsible use of social media. Thanks to those who have already encouraged others to do the same.

I would like to make sure this message reaches all parents. Please do ask if your friends have received it, ask them to check junk folders and alter their settings to allow messages from this address. This message is also on our website to ensure any concerned members of the community are able to access it. Thank you for your continuing support.
Best wishes

Chris Woolf
Pinner High School