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A message from Matt Dunkley CBE:

14 February 2020 weekly update

14 February 2020

This week, Matt provides an update from Public Health England on Coronavirus and shares his experience from The Spirit of Try Angle Awards.

Dear Colleagues

Update from Public Health England - Coronavirus

There are now eight confirmed cases of Coronavirus (10 February 2020) in the UK and understandably, there is some concern among local school communities.

Experts at Public Health England (PHE) continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases. Should a school pupil or staff member be identified as a contact of a confirmed case they will be asked to self isolate by PHE. We are advised that in these cases there would not be a need for a school to close or take further action and everyone else can continue to go about their daily routine, e.g. going to work or school as they would normally.

The student or staff member will be given specific advice from PHE. To discuss specific concerns with PHE, below are the contact details for the Kent health protection team:

In hours: 0344 225 3861 (option 1)
Out of hours: 0844 967 0085

These can also be found on the Government website.

Area Education Officers should also continue to be kept fully informed of school specific circumstances, as they would be for any school incident or emergency. You may find that the KCC 'Emergency Planning in Kent Schools 2020-21' guidance will provide more information about how to maintain business continuity.

For any general health queries people should call NHS 111.

We ask that you share the generic hand hygiene messaging among your school community. This is the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ messaging which is vital to help prevent the spread of any virus. Please also display the posters where appropriate.

You can get more information about Coronavirus on the following websites:

We’ve included more information below for you to share with families and school staff.

You can share the information in our Advice from Public Health England to share with your school community document (DOCX, 14.8 KB) with families and school staff.

The Spirit of Try Angle Awards - Sunday 9 February 2020

I was delighted to join the 24 finalists and their guests at the 25th anniversary of Spirit of Try Angle County Final last Sunday 9 February.

This was the first time I had been able to attend in the Awards and I was interested to learn about its history. The awards were first introduced in 1994 by a KCC Youth Worker, Bill Butler to raise the profile of young people aged 11 to 18 (or who have additional needs aged up to 25) in the community who really try, often with none or little recognition, to do their best.

I listened to some fantastic and inspirational stories which highlighted the remarkable achievements and selflessness of many of our young people. The nominations really did recognise the efforts and achievements of these young people in our community.

The overall winner of Spirit of Try Angle 2019 award was Jessica Roberts. Huge congratulations to Jess, who is quite an extraordinary young person who overcomes a number of chronic health conditions. Jess was described as courageous, determined and positive and who always remains positive and happy despite the challenges of her condition. Jess has completed her GCSEs and is now looking to the future and the chance to become a nurse.

My thanks to everybody involved in making the awards ceremony run so smoothly, and finally my congratulations to all nominees and winners.

Matt Dunkley CBE
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education