Headteacher Update 3rd September 2021

03/09/21

Dear Parent

I hope you are well and that you and your families have been able to enjoy the summer break.

We have been very pleased with the number of students who have attended school this week to complete Lateral Flow Tests. We already have testing for Year 7 and Year 8 planned for Monday 6th September but if your child is in another year group and has missed a slot or you have been away, please encourage them to come in between 9am and 2pm. They should arrive at the bus bay gates where they will be directed to our testing site in the Pastoral Hub. 

Monday 6th September is Progress Day for Years 8 – 11 whilst Year 7 students are in school. On the morning of September 7th all students will be in school for an 8.30am start in zones.

National guidance regarding how schools should address Covid-19 has changed significantly since the end of last term and below I set out how we will continue to manage this in school this term. I also include information that CW&C want us to share with you. What is set out below is how we will be starting the new term in school; our contingency plan is also in place should we be required to re-impose further restrictions at any point.

 

IN SCHOOL

WE WILL CONTINUE:

  • Encouraging all students and staff to complete Lateral Flow Tests at home twice a week
  • Students in zones at the start of every school day
  • Hand sanitising on entry to classrooms
  • Opening windows to aid ventilation
  • Socially distancing where possible
  • Split breaks and lunches
  • Enhanced cleaning during the school day
  • Face coverings as optional
  • A very slightly staggered end to the school day
  • No bells
  • Proactive management of movement around the site with appropriate one-way systems

 

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED? 

  • No official ‘Bubbles’
  • We are no longer responsible for tracing close contacts
  • Face coverings are not compulsory
  • Assemblies will take place

  

CW&C GUIDANCE

CHANGES TO NATIONAL SELF-ISOLATION GUIDANCE

From 16 August, the Government has said that people aged under 18 years and 6 months or who are fully vaccinated will no longer be legally required to isolate if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Instead, such people will be advised (but not legally required) to get a PCR test unless they have had a positive PCR test in the previous 90 days.

Regardless of age or vaccination status, anyone who develops any of the three main COVID-19 symptoms (see below) should get a PCR test as soon as possible and isolate until the result is available. People who get a positive PCR test must continue to isolate as usual.

What should I do if my child develops COVID-19 symptoms?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher)
  • loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

 

If your child develops any of these symptoms, you should arrange for them to have a PCR test as soon as possible. A PCR test can be arranged via the NHS UK (www.nhs.uk) website or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access. Your child should self-isolate immediately and they should not attend school. Please contact the school by phone to inform us your child has COVID-19 symptoms and you are awaiting a COVID-19 test.

What should I do if my child has COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test?

Anyone with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test should self-isolate until the latest of:

  • 10 days after the onset of their symptoms, or
  • 10 days after their test day if they are asymptomatic

 

Self-isolation means your child should not go to school, attend any out of school activities or visit a friend’s house. They should not visit any public places, use public transport or go out to exercise. You should not have vistors into the home except for those providing essential care.

Please contact the school by phone and inform us your child has COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test. It is really important you let us know if your child has confirmed COVID-19 so we can monitor the number of children with COVID-19 across the school.  

What should I do if my child is a contact of someone with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test?

If your child is aged under 18 years and 6 months and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 they do not have to self-isolate as a contact of COVID-19. They are advised to have a PCR test unless they have had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days. Children aged 5 and under are not advised to take a PCR test unless the confirmed case is someone in their own household.

What should I do if my child has a positive result on a lateral flow device test?

If your child has a positive result on a lateral flow device test, they should self-isolate immediately and you should arrange a PCR test as soon as possible. Other members of the household do not need to self-isolate whilst you await the PCR test result if they do not have symptoms and are aged under 18 years and 6 months or are fully vaccinated.

What should I do if my child is unwell with signs of an infection but does not have symptoms of COVID-19?

Your child should not attend school if they are unwell. If concerned you should seek advice from your GP or Pharmacist, they will be able to advise you how long your child should stay off school.

 

Plans for COVID-19 testing in Secondary Schools

All secondary school students should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, prior to their return in the autumn term. These are being carried out at Hartford from August 31st – September 6th inclusive. Secondary school students should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed. By ensuring your child correctly carries out the lateral flow tests, it will be easier to spot asymptomatic spread. A positive Lateral Flow Test should always be followed up with a PCR test and the person testing should isolate until the results are back.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland