Changes to Christmas Holiday

12 Nov 2020 | BY leekhigh

12 November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Changes to Christmas Holiday

I hope that you and your families had an enjoyable half term break.

I am writing to let you know about some changes to our Christmas holiday dates. It has been agreed by The Talentum Learning Trust Board that for all trust schools, the autumn term will now end two days earlier than planned. We will now break up for the Christmas holiday on Wednesday 16th December. The trust board has issued the following statement about this change:

“Following a board meeting, The Talentum Learning Trust board have decided that all schools in the Trust should use the last two days of this term for training and deep cleaning purposes. The time will be used for staff to further develop their skills in online and platform-based learning, which has become ever more important. Additionally, schools need time at the end of this term to deep clean before the Christmas break closure. This cleaning work needs to be more intense due to the nature of this term, increased virus numbers and the need for more students to be in the indoor areas due to weather constraints. It is recognised that teaching and learning time is precious, but it is felt that both activities are essential to delivering a safe and productive experience in and out of school for all of our students.

The board would like to thank all our staff who are working exceptionally hard to support our students across the schools. Combined with the great support from parents and carers, we will get through this challenging time and be even stronger; moving to what hopefully may be a more normal life as soon as possible.”

These changes are subject to the national situation remaining the same for schools for the remainder of this term. The start date of the spring term remains the same with all students expected to return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

In light of the ongoing national lockdown in England I must also take this opportunity to remind you that any student with symptoms of coronavirus or living in a household with someone who has symptoms (or who has had a positive test result) must not come to school. Your household would be expected to self-isolate (anyone who has symptoms should isolate for 10 days and members of their household for 14 days) and take a test, which can be booked through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.

We ask that parents and carers inform the school immediately of the results of a test and then follow the government guidance below:

  1. If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop selfisolating.
  2. If someone tests positive, they should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to selfisolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

Finally I must also inform you that the government guidance on face masks in schools is now mandatory for the duration of the national lockdown in England. This states that face masks must be worn when “moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained”. The guidance also applies to students travelling on dedicated school transport. This does not change the school’s expectations on the wearing of face masks but it does make it a legal requirement that we implement the guidance. Students persistently failing to bring or refusing to wear face masks must therefore expect to face serious sanctions which may include being isolated in school or sent home. I am pleased to note that the vast majority of students are already meeting these expectations. I would be grateful though if you would continue to remind your child about the importance of following all COVID-19 safety procedures.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

P. Evans


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