8th November 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you would expect, we are constantly monitoring the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 we have within our school setting at any one time so that we are aware at the earliest opportunity if the number of cases meets the threshold set by the Government. When the threshold is met, we are required to consider whether temporary, additional COVID -19 control measures are required.
The threshold set by the Government is:
- 5 children, students or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period, OR
- 10% of children, students or staff who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period
We are writing to all parents/carers to explain the additional, temporary measures we have put in place as more than 5 cases have been identified in Year 7 and this meets the threshold. However, Public Health have closed our outbreak case due the low numbers of cases on returning from half term and the fact that these cases had returned to school by 5th November.
We know that you may find this concerning but it is recognised that education settings may meet the threshold from time to time and we are continuing to monitor the situation and work closely with Public Health England and our local Outbreak Management Hub.
The fact that you are receiving this letter does not mean that your child is a contact of case. If your child has been identified as a contact of a confirmed case, you will have received a separate letter advising you of this. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The measures that we have put in place across the school (Stage 0 measures) are:
- Continue to monitor case levels to determine whether threshold is met.
- Issue regular reminders to parents/carers and staff to be diligent looking out for symptoms; if anyone has symptoms or is generally unwell with cold-like symptoms, headache and/or body aches – advise to get a PCR test.
- 2 x weekly LFD testing for staff.
- Parents/carers asked that LFD testing for a total of 10 consecutive days in addition to a PCR test (on day 2-3 after first exposure) takes place for student household contacts. A child can continue to attend school if their results (PCR & LFD) are negative.
- If cases start to rise, reinforce messaging to staff and parents to look out for symptoms, including wider symptoms, and get a PCR test.
- Maintain good levels of ventilation, use CO2 monitors where available to identify poor air quality
- Maintain good levels of cleaning
- Maintain good standards of hand hygiene (all staff and students)
All of these measures aim to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in school, and a review will be carried out shortly to decide whether some or all of the additional measures can be removed or whether they should remain in place until the next review. Scheduled reviews are in addition to the daily monitoring of case numbers in the school. If any further measures are recommended, we will share the details with you as soon as possible.
Regular Lateral Flow Testing
It is very important that all those who have signed up take part in twice weekly testing. We need everyone with a home test kit to test each week on a Monday and Thursday and inform school of any positive results along with registering the result at: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Test kits are issued in school every 3 weeks and are available from the school reception.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are the recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature and/or
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
If your child develops any of these symptoms, then arrangements should be made for them to take a PCR test as soon as possible. Your child should remain at home while awaiting the PCR test result. Please note that we are also sending students home if we believe they have a symptom requiring a PCR test. Testing can be arranged by calling 119 or via the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. Please keep us informed of the result of the test.
What to do if your child is generally unwell
If your child is unwell with general symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, and/or headache/muscles aches, they should not attend school to avoid spreading infection within the school setting. We may send students home if we believe they present a risk of infection to other students, however it is important that students attend school wherever possible to continue with their learning as attendance in school is statutory.
What to do if your child is a close contact of someone who has COVID-19
We would ask all parents/carers of children in school to arrange for a PCR test for their child/children if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19. Please note that your child can attend school while waiting for the results of a PCR test providing that they do not have any symptoms.
Thank you for your continued support and please rest assured that we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and to be guided by the advice of our Local Public Health Team. I will keep you updated as necessary.