We hope that you are enjoyed a warmer and relaxing Easter long weekend.
New guidance has been issued as regards managing COVID going forward. The guidance is available here. There are significant changes.
The expectations around children are slightly different from the expectations as regards adults: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/people-with-symptoms-of-a-respiratory-infection-including-covid-19#Children
COVID remains very prevalent but is not presenting as a serious illness for the vast majority, especially children. Testing is not as readily available anymore and children are now explicitly advised not to test unless advised to do so by a health professional.
Children that are unwell with confirmed or suspected COVID are now expected to remain away from school for 3 days if possible. If they no longer have a temperature after three days, and are generally well enough to be in school, they can return. No one seems to define what ‘if possible’ means and it would be our strong expectation that this guidance is met. I don’t see how we could safely manage a positive case of COVID in school in the first few days of infection. We do have vulnerable staff and children (and family members) in school. Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend their education setting.
Staff that are unwell with confirmed or suspected COVID are now expected to remain away from school and work from home for 5 days if possible. If they no longer have a temperature after 5 days, and are generally well enough to be in school, they can return. Again, no one seems to define what ‘if possible’ means. I would not expect to have a staff member in school with COVID symptoms or a positive test result unless we could have a very remote role for them e.g. grounds work.
Neither staff nor children are now expected to get a negative LFD before returning to school after 5 or 3 days respectively. The absence of a high temperature seems key.
Most Recent Information Update
LFT testing – All visitors to our school are asked to carry out an LFT/LFD test prior to their appointment.
Face Coverings – Following the recent Government update on 28 November 2021, staff, visitors and contractors in education settings must wear face coverings in communal areas of the school unless they are exempt (proof must be provided).
Omicron Variant and Isolation Rules – from 16th August 2021 people are exempt from close contact isolation if they: a) are under the age of 18 years and 6 months, or b) are fully vaccinated (over 2 weeks ago), or c) have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial, or d) are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons. The exception to this is if persons are close contacts of suspected or confirmed Omicron variant cases. Individuals will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. They will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation. Further actions for educational settings may be advised by a local Incident Management Team (IMT) investigating a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Travelling from Abroad – the guidance for persons travelling from abroad is updated regularly. Staff and pupils returning from abroad should follow the government guidance. This can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-abroad-from-england-during-coronavirus-covid-19
Government Guidance for Parents and Carers (1 December 2021) – Click Here
Previous Letters and Information
Please see the following links with the government advice and information on returning to school
The following E-Learning is available for children to access at home:
Select pupils also have access to the following E-Learning systems: