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13 March 2020

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Coronavirus Statement from the Principal

Coronavirus Statement from the Principal

Chelsea Independent College has put procedures in place to cope with the present situation with regard to the coronavirus, covid-19. College is open, and our priority is to deliver a safe and secure education for our students whilst safeguarding our staff and stakeholders, in that order. We are following closely the advice of Her Majesty’s Government, and the public health authorities. The Government has adopted a four-stage approach to this outbreak. It can be accessed at the following link: 


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan/coronavirus-action-plan-a-guide-to-what-you-can-expect-across-the-uk 


The first two stages of the UK approach are to ‘contain’ the virus and to delay its spread. The Government’s advice is that masks, which are used in many other countries, are ineffective in this regard. The Government also believes that, at this time, closing schools, would, unless matched with a total shutdown of movement, not stop the virus. The Government and Public Health England position is that frequent handwashing, the use of sanitisers, self-isolation for anyone showing any signs of a cold, flu, or the virus, and restricted travel to and from places where there is especial trouble—broadly, Northern Italy, southern Korea, and central China—can hold back the illness. The Government also suggests that older people, those with compromised immune systems, and those with pre-existing breathing conditions, should distance themselves from possible infection. 

Taking all of this into account, we have introduced plans for self-isolation should anyone show any signs of the illness. We have installed sanitisers across the school. We have obtained electronic thermometers and identified spaces in the college to use if we suspect anyone is ill. We have placed posters instructing people what to do across the college in every room. We have taken advice from the UK Visa and Immigration authority about our capacity to send people home. We have also asked any staff member or student with any illness, including colds and flu, to stay at home. We have conducted risk assessments with regard to older or more vulnerable members of staff. 

Should the situation worsen and schools be closed, we are using google classroom and are also going to use Microsoft teams to ensure that students who are in their rooms or at another location can be taught via video.  All students have been briefed on how to use Microsoft Teams, as have all staff. 
I have, as you know, cancelled our parents’ evening in case of the small risk that any visitor brings any infection into college. 

With regard to public transport, London Transport, which controls all the buses, trains, and underground, has introduced a regime to sterilise transport every day. We are therefore doing everything that we can do, and of course, we are working consistently with our sister college, Kensington Park School, and with the Astrum Education Group. We are a small college, but I am determined to do as much as we can to the highest standard that we can. Should the situation change, or should any circumstances arise in which we need to take further actions beyond our present high state of vigilance, I will ensure that parents, guardians, and agents, are kept fully informed. 


Dr Martin Meenagh 
Principal, Chelsea Independent College 

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