Covid - 19 September 2021 Update
Re: Covid-19 Precautions Update
I hope you and your family have had a fun and relaxing summer break. I am writing to remind you about our Covid-19 arrangements as we return to school.
The Government has published guidance for parents and carers about schools during Covid-19. You can read the guidance here or by searching ‘gov.uk What parents and carers need to know.’
When we return to school, what precautions will be the same?
COVID-19 symptoms and positive tests
Do not send your child to school if they are showing one or more Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste) or they have had a positive test result.
Pupils with symptoms must stay at home and arrange to have a PCR test. Should the result be positive they will have to self-isolate. Should they receive a negative result, they can return to school.
If a pupil shows symptoms at school, parents will need to collect them and request a test.
Pupils and staff will continue to wash their hands thoroughly and often.
‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’
We will continue to follow good hygiene around sneezing, using and then disposing tissues safely.
We will continue to have a thorough cleaning schedule with regular cleaning equipment and a focus on frequently touched areas.
We will continue to ensure that the school is well ventilated.
Senior leaders at school will continue to meet regularly to assess the risk at school. If positive cases begin to rise, we will, in consultation with Public Health England and Oasis, follow an Outbreak Plan to determine which precautions it is appropriate to reintroduce to break the chain of transmission.
There is no need for primary age pupils (those in year 6 and below) to take regular tests. Those staff who consent will continue to take two tests each week at home in the new term until the end of September, when the government will review this.
When we return to school, what precautions will be different?
The government is no longer recommending that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (or bubbles). In light of this we will be carefully considering our best approach to assemblies, how lunch is served, and the use of subject-specific classrooms.
Tracing close contacts and isolation
Schools are no longer responsible for contact tracing. Instead NHS Test and Trace will contact the family of the pupil with a confirmed case to identify who they have been in close contact with.
Children under the age of 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case. Instead, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and they will advise for your child to take a PCR Test. They do not have to self-isolate whilst waiting for the test result. Should the result be positive they will have to self-isolate. Should they receive a negative result, they can return to school.
We strongly recommend that if your child is asked to take a PCR test that they do so for everyone’s safety.
We are of course pleased that some of the COVID-19 precautions are reducing, however we will only open safely if everyone continues to take the pandemic seriously.
Children must only come to school if they are well, and everyone is responsible for following all precautions that remain in place. As is clear in the guidance, we as a school will be prepared to reintroduce further COVID-19 precautions should it be necessary, and we are advised to by Public Health England.