Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you and your families are well and enjoying the summer holiday.
I am writing to let you know about arrangements for the return of students in September. School reopens for all students on Thursday 2nd September. Year 9 students should make their way to the Fulmar Centre by 9.00am, students in all other years should go straight to their tutor group rooms.
ACTIONS TO COMPLETE BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL
– Before returning to school, it is very important that students complete two Lateral Flow Tests and report the results using the online form on the school’s website at: https://forms.office.com/r/neXDWtjc3u, and also to the NHS at: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. These tests should be taken 3-5 days apart, preferably on Sunday 29th August and Wednesday 1st September.
If you do not have any LFT test kits, they are widely available from local pharmacies or can be ordered online at: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flowtests.
– Should any students be unable to complete a LFT test at home, they can do this at school in our on-site testing facility prior to returning. Please email email@example.com to arrange this (please note this may mean a slightly delayed start date for your child).
CONTROL MEASURES IN SCHOOL
What has changed?
– Schools received revised guidance from the DfE in August. This means that there are some measures which schools are no longer required to implement. Our updated risk assessment can be accessed at: https://lhs.ttlt.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/sites/9/2021/08/Corona-Virus-Whole-School-Risk-Assessment-September-2021.pdf
– Face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms or communal areas. However, face coverings are still strongly recommended for crowded spaces and for students this means on public or school transport. Furthermore, if any student prefers to continue to wear a face covering in school, this is acceptable.
– Schools are no longer required to operate bubble systems which means that some activities such as assemblies and school trips can resume.
– Schools will no longer be required to ‘track and trace’ cases as they had previously, but we do continue to have a role in supporting and working with health protection teams in the case of local outbreaks.
What stays the same?
There are some control measures which are very important for us all to retain and these are:
– Students and staff to continue to complete asymptomatic LFT’s twice a week (this is due to be reviewed by the government at the end of September)
– Hand and respiratory hygiene (we will continue to ensure students are encouraged to wash hands regularly/provide sanitiser and encourage the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ approach)
– We will retain one-way systems inside buildings, specified year group social spaces, and separate year group sittings for lunch.
– We will maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, including enhanced cleaning of touch points
– Occupied spaces will be kept well-ventilated as much as possible
– Following public health guidance when an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test (please see the current revised guidance on this at the end of this letter)
To reduce the spread of transmission in the community, we ask for your support by reminding your child about these measures and particularly continuing with the Lateral Flow Tests.
It is important to remain aware that coronavirus has not gone away. The above information could change quickly in the event of a local outbreak. We are required to operate a ‘stepping up and stepping down’ contingency plan, where we could be advised to implement additional actions should there be a change in the local situation.
Our normal expectations for students regarding uniform next term remain the same:
The school uniform is:
– A black blazer with the school badge.
– A plain black V-neck jumper or cardigan can be worn with the blazer if required.
– A white long or short-sleeved shirt (not a polo shirt).
– A school tie.
– Plain black trousers (not denim, leggings, fashion trousers, cords, or sportswear).
– Plain black footwear.
Students should also have a warm winter coat.
Jewellery must be removed completely for practical activities in some lessons.
Students must always wear clear studs in piercings for health and safety reasons.
From the start of next term, we are returning to our normal policy on mobile phones in school. Students may bring mobile phones to school, but they must be kept out of sight and on silent throughout the day. Students seen using a mobile phone, unless they have been instructed to do so by a member of staff, will have it confiscated. Mobile phones that have been confiscated will be kept securely in the school office until a parent/carer or other adult family member collects them. If parents/carers need to contact students urgently during the school day we ask that they call reception on 01538 225050.
Please rest assured that we will do everything we can to give all our students the best possible start in September. I hope that you and your families enjoy the remaining few days of the holiday.
Thank you for your support.
CHANGES TO CONTACT TRACING IN EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE SETTINGS
The Prime Minister announced on 12 July that Step 4 of the roadmap would go ahead on 19 July. One of the key changes that took place from 19 July is that education and childcare settings are no longer being asked to conduct routine contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts.
NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts.
SELF-ISOLATING AND TAKING A TEST
1. If your child has symptoms, they and other members of the household should selfisolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a PCR test for them. If the PCR result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the PCR result is positive, they, other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must selfisolate until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
2. If your child has a positive result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a confirmatory PCR test. If the confirmatory test is taken within two days and the result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the confirmatory PCR test is positive (or is taken more than two days after the LFD), other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the LFD test.
3. PCR tests can be booked online through the NHS Test & Trace website or by calling 119.
4. PCR test results will be recorded with NHS Test and Trace automatically, but you should also communicate the result to school.
5. If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.
6. You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals – or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice (see below).
SELF-ISOLATION AND/OR TESTING OF CLOSE CONTACTS
7. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a nonhousehold close contact by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
8. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts.
9. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they no longer needed to selfisolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take an PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as nonhousehold contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts (see points 5 and 6 above). Further guidance on these changes to selfisolation will be provided shortly.
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