Parents and Carers,
We have been very fortunate that our cases of COVID-19 this term have been very low, but we must not be complacent. Some local schools are in ‘amber’ measures which has meant spilt lunches, staggered starts and ‘bubbles’, we categorically want to avoid this situation as it will limit the educational experience for our children. We are doing all that we can to ensure our community is kept safe and we ask for your support.
I was contacted by the DfE yesterday with some updated information. There is not much change for us, as our community has been wearing masks since September, however there are some iterations to the guidance which you should be made aware of.
The updates are as follows:
- Face coverings
Face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above, unless they are exempt. Pupils or students (in year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.
We expect students and staff to wear masks in communal areas. Some teachers with pre-existing conditions or vulnerable family members may ask students to wear masks in class.
If your child is exempt from wearing a mask, please ensure they wear their exemption card on their lanyard.
All educational and childcare settings should continue to encourage staff and students to test twice weekly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests.
Please ensure your child is completing Lateral Flow testing at home, twice a week. We ask that this happens on Sundays and Wednesdays. Your child’s form tutor can provide them with tests to take home if required.
If your child is symptomatic or has received a positive lateral flow test result, please ensure they are booked in for a PCR test and remain at home until they receive the result.
- Contact tracing and isolation
Any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. You will be contacted directly and told to isolate.
After testing positive for Covid 19 with a PCR test, individuals are now informed if they have the Omicron variant. With this variant, close contacts will be required to isolate for 10 days.
In addition to the Government guidance, there are also other points we need to consider:
- Ventilation: It is very cold at the moment, but thankfully it looks to get a little warmer this week. Windows will be kept open in classrooms to ensure good ventilation. If a classroom is particularly cold, teachers will allow students to wear their coats.
- On-site activities and trips. As far as possible, we will go ahead with on-site activities and trips. However, we will make sensible judgements and may move some activities to virtual events. Our current protocol is that visitors must show a negative LFT and wear a mask, this seems to be going well, but we will review this in due course.
I remain proud of the way our community has responded to the pandemic. It is imperative that we work together to keep each other safe; I will monitor cases daily, continue to review our procedures and keep you updated.
I thank you in advance for your support.
With all best wishes,