Coronavirus – Guidance for Schools

Covid Health and Safety Update

September 2021

Currently, the government guidance is for schools to operate normally apart from continued enhanced hygiene practices and good ventilation. The DfE regulations around isolation have also changed: children and staff will only be required to isolate following a positive Covid test. Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they 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. Following a negative result, children and staff are then able to return to school.

Schools are required to inform parents and staff of all school cases so that everyone is aware of the local risks. This information will be shared via Parent Mail, stating any classes that have confirmed cases. Therefore, parents should inform school immediately of suspected and confirmed Covid cases within their households or close contact groups. Children and staff who present Covid symptoms will be sent home immediately and asked to take a PCR test. Remote learning will be available for all children that are required to isolate and weekly learning plans will be on Google Classroom from next Monday.

As infection rates are currently high and rising, we feel it is prudent to continue to implement the following protective measures until further notice: 

  • For the time being we will avoid large gatherings, including whole-school assemblies.
  • The hall and classrooms will be used for lunches and will be closely monitored and well-ventilated.
  • Year groups will mix outside at playtimes and when necessary, some children will be in mixed-class groups for interventions.
  • Staff will continue to remain in their year group teams wherever possible and will be encouraged to wear face coverings in communal areas.
  • Staff will carry out twice-weekly lateral flow tests until further notice.
  • There will continue to be enhanced cleaning practices and good ventilation.
  • Parents are encouraged to wear face coverings around the site and practise social distancing – thank you for your continued support with this.

 

Additional mitigations following an outbreak of Covid cases in school:

A COVID-19 Contingency Plan has been drawn up in accordance with DfE guidance to ensure that additional measures are put in place promptly if the following thresholds are met (whichever is reached first):

  • 5 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.

Should this happen, we will review and reinforce the testing, hygiene and ventilation measures already in place. There will be a deep clean of the area and the class will access no additional spaces e.g. hall, studio, library. We will also ask that parents avoid their child mixing more widely, and do not send them to any extra-curricular clubs at this time. If in-school cases meet the threshold above, school will not accept visitors/parents on site and will limit any educational visits.

 Updated DfE Guidance: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak