There have been significant changes to way schools operate in regard to Track and Trace and bubbles within schools. This is from the most recent DfE guidance issued on August 16th to school leaders. We understand how the loosening of regulations may cause some concern, especially if children have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Behind this, we have also put in place stepping up measures – if there is a rise in the number of cases within the school community.
Changes to track and trace:
*If a child, less than 18years and 6 months has had close contact with someone with COVID 19, they no longer are required to self-isolate – this includes members of their own household. However, if a member of the household tests positive, or you believe that you’re child has had close contact, please inform the school.
*Adults who have been double vaccinated (school staff) no longer need to isolate if a member of their household or a close contact has tested positive for COVID 19.
*If a child or adult tests positive for COVID 19, school leaders are no longer supposed to be involved with identifying who they have been in close contact with. It is now supposed to be the parents’ responsibility to speak with Track and Trace. However, please speak to the school, as we would like to offer support in this process if a child tests positive.
*If anyone has been in contact with someone with COVID 19 systems, it is recommended that they take regular LFD tests. It is the parent’s discretion if they believe they would like their child to take these tests.
Changes to the school:
*As in the guidance, we will no longer be operating bubbles, and are now allowed children to mixing with children from other classes at times. Initially, this will only be in large areas like the hall for shorter periods of time, or outside. If we begin getting an increase in cases in the school community, we will go back to the bubble system.
*School times will be 8:45 opening, 3:15 closing. There will be no more staggered entry.
*Parents are no longer required to wear facemasks when collecting children, although this is still advised. (The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law, but recommends they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces.) Facemasks may be something we require again if there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in the school.
* We will continue to have staggered breaktimes – this is nothing to do with COVID, it is because we found there were less accidents requiring First Aid when there were less children on the playground.
*We will continue to ensure children wash or sanitise their hands regularly – if your child has skin which is irritated by the sanitiser, please feel welcome to provide an alternative for your child.
*We will continue to keep classrooms ventilated.
*We will be allowing regular volunteers who have been double vaccinated (such as readers, PTA, governors) to come into classroom.
* We will continue to ask children to come to school in their PE kit on PE days. (Again, not COVID related, it just saves 20 minutes every PE lesson.)
* Staff will continue to test twice weekly using LFD tests, this is optional for children and you can get tests from a local pharmacist.
* School attendance continues to be compulsory, unless you are have a positive result or waiting for a PCR test result. If your child is not able to come into school, please contact the school office.
*If children are isolating due to COVID, we will continue to provide remote education (This is not the case for unauthorised absences or if the child is ill).
This guidance is informed by the following documents:
DFE, Schools operations guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-covid-19-operational-guidance