Latest Coronavirus guidance
Tuesday 4th January 2022
RE: Coronavirus measures
I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas holiday and would firstly like to wish you all a Happy New Year.
At the start of this week the Department of Education (DfE) have published new guidance to schools to help combat the Omicron variant of Covid-19. There are some important changes which I have outlined in this letter.
It has been much publicised in the media that facemasks are to be reintroduced into classrooms this January. However, this still only applies to secondary schools. The guidance is very clear that facemasks are only required for children aged 11 on the 31 August 2021.
Please do not send your child to school with a facemask as staff will ask your child to remove it. We have also written to our local Health practice emphasising the DfE’s guidance as we have been made aware of some conflicting messages being given by GP’s.
Our staff are not required to wear a facemask when working with children but are encouraged to do so in communal areas where they might meet. For example, the staffroom.
Schools are now encouraged to ask all parents and visitors to the school site to present evidence of a recent, negative lateral flow test (LFD). Until further notice parents and visitors will only be allowed into the school building with a prior appointment and evidence of a negative test result. If you need to speak to a member of our office team or collect your child, please wait under the reception entrance canopy.
Symptoms and Close Contacts
If your child has Coronavirus symptoms you should seek a PCR test for your child. Please inform the school office. Whilst they are awaiting the test and result they must self-isolate at home.
If you have tested your child with a Lateral Flow Test (LFD) and this is positive you must seek a PCR test for your child. Please inform the school office. Whist they are awaiting the test and result they must self-isolate at home.
If a member of your household tests positive on a Lateral Flow Test (LFD), please inform the school office and seek a PCR test for confirmation. Your child can continue to attend school.
If a member of your household tests positive with a PCR test please enquire with the NHS Test and Trace team whether your child is deemed a ‘close contact’. If the NHS Test and Trace team believe your child is a close contact they may continue to attend school if they take a Lateral Flow Test (LFD) for seven days. We understand this situation may be confusing and problematic and ask that you speak to the school leadership team in these circumstances.
If your child has tested positive for Coronavirus, confirmed by a PCR test, the self-isolation period is ten days. Children can potentially shorten the self-isolation period by taking a Lateral Flow Test (LFD) on day 6 and 7 of the self-isolation period. If the test results are negative your child can return to school. Please note the office staff will ask for evidence of these negative test results.
Remote Education and ‘Bubbles’
If your child is self-isolating at home, and is well, the school will provide work via our SeeSaw application. Please support your child with this work. Missing ten days of school is potentially very disruptive to your child’s progress and we must do as much as we can to minimise the disruption caused to your child’s learning.
There are currently no plans to reinstate our ‘bubbles’ as a measure to curb infection. Should infections significantly rise in the school this could be a consideration.
We will be doing our upmost to keep children learning in school. However, if any of our teaching staff become infected with Coronavirus it is extremely difficult to find agency staff to cover. We may combine classes or ask our support staff to teach lessons but this is not sustainable for an extended period of time. As a last resort children may need to work from home for a short period of time.
Throughout the pandemic the support we have received from our school community has been excellent. We again ask for your patience and strict adherence to the measures outlined in this letter. Please do everything you can to protect your child and our school. Parents play a critical role in helping us limit the transmission of this virus and keeping our school open for children’s learning.
I thank you again for your support.
Mr Tim O’Brien