16th November 2021
Update on Covid-19 in school
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:
- Five children, pupils, students or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period, OR
- 10% of children, pupils, 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 and carers to explain the additional, temporary measures we have put in place today as 6 cases have been identified in Year 7 and this meets the threshold.
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 are:
Whole School Measures to be reviewed on the 26th November
- increase levels of ventilation
- increase levels and frequency of cleaning classrooms, toilets and common areas
- increased levels of hand hygiene and sanitiser stations
- letters to parents/carers
- students wear face coverings moving around the school and in common areas e.g. libraries (not in classrooms when seated)
- one-way systems in corridors and high volume areas
For Year 7 – affected year group
- letter to parents/carers of students in Year 7
- enhanced cleaning in affected classroom(s)
- enhanced ventilation and staff reminded to ventilate classrooms
- enhanced frequency of hand hygiene
- move to remote assemblies for Year 7
- outdoor PE for Year 7
- after school clubs to be paused for Year 7 students until 26th November
- no singing/similar activities indoors involving increased respiratory secretions
- risk assessments undertaken for any school events
- Music Soiree planned for 17th November to be live streamed online rather than to a live audience
- KS3 Movie Night to be moved from Wednesday 24th November to Wednesday 1st December
All of these temporary, additional measures aim to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in school, and a review will be carried out on Friday 26th November with Public Health 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 again on Monday and Thursday morning each week and send any details of positive results to the school via firstname.lastname@example.org and register the result at: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Test kits are being issued this week for all students to allow for twice weekly testing at home and this is one of the key actions we can all take to reduce rates of transmission so I would encourage you to support with this measure. If students are absent on the day on which the test kits are handed out, please contact the main school reception where test kits are available for collection.
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.
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.