Priest Bank Road
As the country moves to Step 4 of the roadmap, the government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk. As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education - particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered the vaccine.
The government’s priority is for us to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils and we share in this priority. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.
We must comply with health and safety law, putting in place and monitoring proportionate control measures. These measures will be fluid and may change from time to time, as the circumstances in our school and the public health advice changes.
This guidance explains the actions that school will take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE), local authority advice, the Department for Education guidance and the school’s own context and circumstances.
We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back into school on Tuesday September 7th and to a sense of normality that seems to have been such a long time coming!
The full guidance can be found attached and in this letter we have put together the answers to some questions that you might have.
Are staggered starts still in place?
No. The school start times will return to normal in September and the soft start to the school day will resume. Children can arrive at school between 8.45am and 9am. Please not 9am is the latest and the school doors will be closed and late arrivals need to enter school via the office. Teachers will notify you if your child is working on the IDL intervention, if so we would ask that they are in school at 8.45am prompt.
What time will school finish?
We have decided to introduce a soft finish to the school day and this will remain in place for at least the first half of the autumn term. The day will end between 3.15 and 3.25pm for Class 1 Robins and between 3.20-3.30pm for the rest of school. This is to reduce traffic congestion and a build-up of parents on the playground. Adults collecting from Robins Class, please vacate this area as soon as your child is returned to you as this blocks one of the main entrances / exits into the school playground.
Can we enter school in the morning with our children?
The children will enter and exit through their usual doors so there is no need for parents to enter the building unless it is for a specific purpose such as an arranged meeting.
- Class 1 Robins – Through their main classroom door
- Class 2 Swallows – Through their classroom door
- Class 3 Kingfishers, Class 4 Owls and Class 5 Eagles – Through the hall door
Can my child bring pencil cases and other equipment in addition to what is required?
No additional equipment is required as this creates cluttered learning environments. This is something that has worked well during the pandemic and will remain in place. The children will be provided with all the stationery and equipment that they need in school.
Will lunchtimes return to normal?
Yes, lunchtimes will return to normal in the autumn term. You can view the menu for the autumn term on our school website here. In addition to the choices seen here, KS2 are offered a sandwich or a jacket potato.
Will before and after school club continue?
Before and After school club can be booked in the usual way and there are no restrictions. This service has been severely impacted financially during the pandemic and we are hopeful this will return to pre-covid levels as soon as possible. Before school club operates from the school hall and after school club operates from the Parish Rooms next to church. All information regarding booking places can be found on our school website here. If you require further information then please do contact the school office on [email protected] or the club supervisor Mrs Pink on [email protected]
What about after school activity clubs?
A programme of after school activity clubs will be provided and a letter explaining this will be issued during the first week back.
Are parents allowed in school now?
Yes, parents can now attend meetings and events in school but we would like to keep this to a minimum during the first half term whilst we monitor local developments and Covid levels.
Parents are encouraged to continue to communicate with the office and staff via email as conversations at drop off and pick up times can make it hard to return children safely back to parents and carers.
Can my child attend school if they have been identified as a close contact?
Yes, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Will children continue to come to school in PE kits on PE days?
Yes, this has worked well and will continue. Your class teacher will let you know PE dates via the curriculum letter and / or via Google Classroom
Other Key information
Mixing and ‘bubbles’
- It is no longer recommended that children should be kept in consistent groups and we will not be doing this in school from the autumn term. We also no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch and at break times.
- As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that important things in school such as whole school worship and family dining can resume.
- The outbreak management plan/school guidance covers the possibility that in our local area it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups.
- Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education.
Tracing close contacts and isolation
- School is no longer involved in contact tracing. Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace.
- NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. School may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.
- Children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
- Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
- School will continue to have a role in working with health protection teams in the case of a local outbreak. If there is an outbreak in school or if central government offers the area an enhanced response package, a director of public health might advise school to temporarily reintroduce some additional control measures.
- Face coverings are no longer advised in any areas however if anyone feels more comfortable wearing one, this will not be discouraged.
- The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school.
- If there is an outbreak in our school, a director of public health might advise us that face coverings should temporarily be worn in communal areas or classrooms (by staff and visitors, unless exempt).
These measures include:
- Ensuring good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone
- Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. This will continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
- The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.
Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Most staff in school will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work. There may be occasions where additional PPE may be required such as when coming into contact with a suspected Covid-19 case.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents
• School has put in place and maintains an appropriate cleaning schedule. This includes regular cleaning of areas and equipment (for example, twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- When school is in operation, it is important to ensure it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.
- Checks will be regularly undertaken to identify any poorly ventilated spaces and steps will be taken to improve fresh air flow in these areas, giving particular consideration when holding events where visitors such as parents are on site.
- Opening external windows improves natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors can also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors will also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so).
- School will balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
when an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
- Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
- If anyone in school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, they will be sent home and they should follow public health advice.
- For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. If a pupil is awaiting collection, they will be moved
- to a room on their own if possible and safe to do so. A window will be opened for fresh air ventilation. Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact is necessary.
- The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
- Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within schools. That is why, whilst some measures are relaxed, others will remain, and if necessary, in response to the latest epidemiological data, we all need to be prepared to step measures up or down in future depending on local circumstances.
- Staff should undertake twice weekly home tests whenever they are on site until the end of September, when this will also be reviewed. Confirmatory PCR tests
- Staff and pupils with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have COVID-19.
- Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate.
- If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test, and is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test and the individual can return to school, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. Other considerations
- All clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) children and young people should attend their education setting unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their clinician or other specialist not to attend.
- School will ensure that key contractors are aware of the school’s control measures and ways of working
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate imediately. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
- You are not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
- you are fully vaccinated
- you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
- you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
- Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
- NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
- Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:
- limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
- wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
- limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
- taking part in twice weekly LFD testing
- Staff who are identified as close contacts are able to work if the following criteria is met:
- free of any COVID-19 symptoms
- received 2 vaccinations or have a medical exemption - received their final dose at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case
- The following additional mitigations must take place where staff are to attend work:
- the staff member is advised to arrange for a PCR test. However, if a staff member has had Covid-19 infection in the past 90 days, there is no requirement for this.
- the staff member should undertake an LFD test every day for 10 days following their last contact with the case (even on days they are not at work), the test(s) should be taken before starting work, and the result should be negative
- the staff member should comply with all relevant Covid control measures and PPE should be properly worn.
- attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
- Parents are now able to enter school.
- Parents’ and carers’ most up-to-date contact details in case of an emergency must be up to date.
- Not all people with COVID-19 have symptoms. Where appropriate, school will support those who need to elf-isolate because they have tested positive to work or learn from home if they are well enough to do so along with other pupils needing to isolate.
- The remote education provided will be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school. You can find out more about our remote education provision here
- School will work collaboratively with families and put in place reasonable adjustments so that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can successfully access remote education.
Pupil wellbeing and support
- Some pupils may be experiencing a variety of emotions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. School has a dedicated Inclusion Team and will work with families to support this.
- School will continue to provide free school meal support to any pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and who are learning at home during term time.
- School will undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits and ensure that any public health advice, such as hygiene and ventilation requirements, is included as part of that risk assessment.
Before and After School provision and extra-curricular activity
- Before and after school provision and extra-curricular activity will return to normal.
Performances and Events
- Performances and events will return fully.
- When planning an indoor or outdoor face-to-face performance in front of a live audience, school will follow the latest advice in the DCMS working safely during COVID-19 in the performing arts guidance.
- If delivering sporting or other organised events, school will utilise the information which can be found in COVID-19: Organised events guidance for local authorities.