Dear Parents, Carers & Families,
Happy New Year to all our families and students. I hope you had a lovely break and were able to enjoy precious time with friends and family. As you may have heard over the weekend, the Department for Education (DfE) has released some more revised information for schools in light of the continued number of cases of the new variant of COVID. Most of the existing guidance remains unchanged; the new measures that are being introduced are temporary and precautionary and will be reviewed by the DfE in three weeks.
The DfE announced that masks should be worn indoors in education settings in England, including in classrooms, libraries and corridors, from the start of the new term until the end of January. The DfE has said that this advice is “short-term only to support pupils and teachers as they return to schools this term” and will remain in place until 26 January, when it will be reviewed. The guidance states that it would ‘not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class’ to support education delivery. In practice this means students wearing face coverings inside all buildings and classrooms until this measure is reviewed; those exempt are to wear their exemption lanyards. This does not include outdoor movement around the academy.
We are testing students who have consented to on site testing this week, before their return to the classroom and we continue to encourage everyone, staff and students alike, to carry out the twice-weekly home testing, using the lateral flow device (LFD) tests and to continue to share any positive results.
Isolation (reduced to 7 days by Lateral Flow Testing)
The government updated its guidance for the general public on isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID last week. Under the change, instead of isolating for 10 days, those who test positive on a PCR test will only have to isolate for seven days providing they get negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven of their isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day six, and the two tests must be taken 24 hours apart. “If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8,” the DfE said. This guidance applies to adults, and the government recently confirmed it also applies to children who usually attend an education or childcare setting.
All staff and students should continue to follow the basic rules of good hygiene. This will help to protect individuals and others from COVID-19. These are:
- washing your hands
- cleaning your surroundings
- covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
We continue to have sanitisers in every classroom and at communal reception desks and we continue to encourage everyone to use these regularly.
Thank you once again for your support with this latest temporary measure; we will, of course, continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with you all should there be any further changes in these next three weeks.
Ms A Croft