As you may be aware, schools can open in September without most of the covid-19 rules that we have learned to live with over the last 18 months. However, please be aware that we must still follow guidance in keeping the spread of Covid-19 to a minimum. This means that although we can open in September without bubbles, we will still need to be vigilant.
What does this mean for families?
There will be no more ‘bubbles’, therefore assemblies can return, children can eat their lunch in the dinner hall, and we will no longer have the responsibility to request children to isolate. Whilst we may need to support NHS track and trace to identify contacts, this is no longer the responsibility of the school. If a child tests positive and they have been in school 48 hours before, it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to work with NHS track and trace to identify them as contacts. If any children or staff are identified as a contact and they have not developed symptoms, then they DO NOT need to isolate, however, NHS track and trace will ADVISE them to get a PCR test.
If your child develops one or more of the symptoms of Covid-19 while in school, we will still take their temperature and ask them to wait in a ventilated isolation room until a parent/carer is able to collect them. We will then request they have a PCR test BEFORE they can return to school. If you contact school to ask if your child can attend as they have a symptoms but you feel it is just a cold, we can and will refuse entry without a PCR test if we deem this necessary. LFT will not be accepted as evidence.
Just to clarify, families DO NOT need to isolate if we send your child home for a PCR test, unless they are told by NHS track and trace to do so (links to guidance below). But the child must isolate until the results are back.
If we, and NHS track and trace, identify that there is sudden increase in cases in our school then we will work with PHE and it might be necessary to temporarily re-introduce bubbles and other control measures. If this happens it will result in any after school clubs being postponed.
Please continue to keep us informed of cases that impact on your child attending school, and children should NOT isolate if a family member has Covid-19 UNLESS they too have symptoms. Keeping children off due to this will result in unauthorised absences and lead to further action. We will be placing a significant emphasis on attendance from September, any poor attendance levels will be addressed immediately. It is a legal requirement for children to attend school and patterns of absence will be monitored very closely.
Children with Covid-19 must isolate for the 10 days and complete remote learning (children in year 3 and new starters will need access to these systems once they start).
There is also lots of information in the DfE links below to help you, but hopefully this small(ish) amount of information narrows the bulk of it down and is also useful as we start the new academic year.
Ventilated rooms, regular hand washing, and stringent cleaning procedures are still priority. Please ensure that your child wears appropriate warm clothes under their uniform on colder days as we approach the colder months as all classrooms will continue to be ventilated.
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons