We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support in working together throughout the Covid pandemic. Since the start of term, we have been working hard to ensure that all of our control measures are secure and students are supported in a safe learning environment.
In school we constantly promote the NHS key message and would ask all families to raise awareness with their child and make sure they arrive to school with an appropriate face covering.
Full Government guidance on the opening of schools can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf
It is vital for all children to return to school to minimise, as much as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less in school. School attendance has therefore been mandatory from the beginning of the Autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance apply, including:
- Parents’ duty to secure their child’s attendance regularly at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age)
- Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
- The availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.
All pupils, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, can continue to attend school at all Local COVID Alert Levels unless they are one of the very small number of pupils or students under paediatric care (such as recent transplant or very immunosuppressed children) and have been advised specifically by their GP or clinician not to attend school.
The use of face coverings in school will be optional in all areas of school. We anticipate that some students will continue to use them (which will be permitted), although this will be an individual choice. We recommend that all students keep a face covering with them to use in school should a particular activity make it difficult to maintain social distancing; in this situation students may make the decision to use their covering; there may be occasions where staff recommend students wear a face covering due to the nature of an activity in school.
Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings and we expect adults and pupils to be sensitive to those needs.
Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary school or college.
All students are still required to wear face coverings while on public/school transport to and from school. These may be removed once exited the bus on arrival and should be in position before boarding. Seating plans remain in place and students should continue to use their allocated seat to support contact tracing.
This does not apply to those who are exempt.
Staff, children and their parents and carers are encouraged to walk or cycle when travelling to and from school where this is possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow social distancing to be practised.
Travelling to and from School
Students are reminded for the need to travel to and from school on the most direct route, they should not arrange to meet groups of friends on their journey to and from school and should not congregate in larger groups during this time. Parents are requested to speak to their children to ensure that students respond effectively. The local policing team have outlined they do have the power to issue fines to families where concerns may arise.
Meeting Others Safely
The guidance now states you may meet indoor or outdoors with a group of up to 6 people, with some exceptions for weddings, funerals etc. Social distancing guidelines are still in place for public places, shopping, indoor venues etc. This means you must stay two metres apart from anybody not in your household or support bubble . Face coverings are required inside social spaces.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight in each other’s households, and visit outdoor public places together.
Full guidance is available on the Gov website.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
People who do not have symptoms should not request a test unless this has been specifically requested by Public Health England or the local authority.
All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period. Please see the link to the PHE ‘Stay at Home’ Guidance:
Symptoms of COVID 19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are 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)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards