Posted on: April 1, 2021
I would firstly like to say how pleased we are to have been able to safely welcome students and staff back to school for the remainder of this term. It is great to see everyone settling in so well and back learning in the classroom.
As you will know, in line with the Government’s guidance, we have now moved to twice-weekly Covid-19 testing at home. This is essential for limiting transmission of the virus and keeping our students, staff, and wider school community safe.
I want to thank parents/carers and students for their ongoing support and cooperation with the testing programme. For any students who have not yet been tested at school, please do get in touch with us straight away to arrange a time for them to be tested on-site before beginning home testing. More information on home testing is enclosed again at the end of this letter.
As we approach the end of term and the Easter holiday, I also wanted to provide you with some clarity around the provision available and expectations for ongoing Covid-19 testing during this period. The Easter holidays will run as usual, and the academy will not be providing educational provision for students during this period. For students in receipt of Free School Meals, food provision will be provided through the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme, via the local authority, instead of the academy. This will run in the same way as it did during the February half term, with vouchers being sent via email.
With regards to continued testing, the Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that staff and students should continue regular testing (every Sunday and Wednesday) through the Easter holidays to manage the spread of Covid-19. Test kits are being made available by NHS Test and Trace and given to students in advance of the break.
Regarding contact tracing over the Easter holidays, you must inform the academy of a positive Covid-19 test where symptoms have developed within 48 hours of last being in school, so effectively Saturday 3rd April. If positive Covid cases are reported within 48 hours of the final day of term, the academy will identify close proximity contacts and will advise the relevant individuals to self-isolate as a precautionary measure, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
Where students or staff test positive for Covid-19 during the holidays but have developed symptoms more than 48 hours since last being in school, you do not need to inform the academy. Instead, you must follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace and immediately self-isolate for the suggested period. If students have to self-isolate due to being in contact with a positive case during the holidays, you do not need to inform the academy about this until the first day back.
Selected staff will remain available to assist with contact tracing duties for the first six days of the Easter holidays with all positive cases from that point onwards being dealt with through NHS Test and Trace.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and cooperation, and should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
My best wishes to you and your family.
Mr. N Brennan
GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE FOR TWICE WEEKLY TESTING AT HOME
Up to 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing. Getting into a regular habit of testing twice a week will help stop the virus from spreading, keeping your family and friends safer.
Please make sure your child tests themselves twice a week 3-5 days apart, in the morning before school if possible and, if not, the evening before.
Your child should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter school holidays. We will be sending home extra kits for the Easter holiday before the term ends.
If your child has not been tested at school yet, please get in touch with us to arrange a time for them to be tested on-site before beginning home testing.
This does not replace testing for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.
The test results must be reported online straight away, even if your child’s result is negative or void. It’s easy to do at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm.
It is important to keep a note of your child’s results and share them with the academy. This can be done at https://forms.gle/twsY5gzvF8YpYN9M9. During the Easter holidays, the academy only needs to be informed if the individual testing positive displayed symptoms within 48 hours of their last day at the academy.
Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week
A reminder that regular rapid testing is now also available for parents, their households and support or childcare bubbles. The Government is encouraging all families to participate in twice-weekly testing to help stop the spread.
Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by ordering tests online at www.gov.uk/order-school-household-tests.
To find out more on school household testing, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff.