Following the announcement last evening by the Prime Minister we have, as you would expect, reviewed our current school guidance and protocols in relation to the management of Covid. During the past two years, we have reviewed our plans every two weeks and taken into account both national and local guidance in formulating our response. Keeping all of our school community safe has, and remains, a key priority.
We said right at the outset of the school year that we would be working to make the school experience as ‘normal’ as possible for all of our students as we get them all back on track with their studies. Keeping children in school and focussing on learning to give them the very best chance of success. To date, we have been proud of our achievement in having some of the lowest school disruption rates in this region. All of us, students, parents and staff have played a part in making this happen.
Face coverings will remain in use inside of school buildings until the half term break in February. Over the past three weeks we had 45 positive cases in week one, 24 in week two and 17 so far this week. These are the highest weekly rates in our school since the pandemic started but are steadily heading in the right direction.
We therefore feel at this point that it is right to look at the step down transition path rather than to make the move in one step. We expect to move to optional face coverings on return to school after the half term break. We would as always ask families to work with us in making a safe and sustainable transition. In reaching this decision we have considered the advice from the Department for Education, the NHS and our local Public Health team. We will keep this decision under fortnightly review.
Self isolation in positive cases.
We are changing our self isolation rules to match the current national guidance by enabling students and staff to return to school, at the earliest, on day 6 of isolation. In order to do so they must test negative on two consecutive days from day 5. The rules are clear that the two consecutive LFD tests need to be at least 24 hours apart. For many of our students, this will reduce the amount of time out of school if they are able and willing to self test. Self testing is voluntary but early release from isolation and return to school is dependent on two consecutive LFTs.
If someone in your household tests positive for Covid
Students or staff who live in a household where someone tests positive for Covid, or they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive, they can continue to come to school provided they remain symptom free and test negative on LFDs for 5 days. Tests should be carried out before coming to school.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) for students and staff
Regular twice weekly testing continues to be encouraged at this stage. It is too early to comment on how this may change if as implied by the Prime Minister, self isolation ceases in spring of this year. If families are struggling to access tests then please get in touch and we will do our best to help. Please register the test results using the school system TestRegister.co.uk
If a student or member of staff test positive on LFTs they MUST self isolate immediately, register their result on the government website and follow the advice from the NHS Test and Trace service. Please let us know either by registering the result on TestRegister or by email to Nocv10@hccs.info
If your child is unwell
If your child is unwell in any way, please contact us at Nocv19@hccs.info to discuss their symptoms before sending them to school. If a child becomes unwell during the school day, we will initially look after them in the usual way and parents will be contacted to pick them up ASAP. Whilst waiting to be picked up they will be isolated from other children.