Autumn is that time of year where we see coughs, colds, snotty noses and lost voices as the autumn starts to seep in with the season's germs - especially now that the children are back together again.
However, the message is very clear. If your child, or anyone in the household displays any one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms
- high temperature
- new continuous cough
- loss or change to taste and smell
even if they are mild, they must get a PCR test.
To protect you, your families, my staff team and our community and to mitigate any further spread of the virus, here are the steps we have in our most recent Covid Risk Assessment (based on PHE and DFE guidance) and the process we need to have in place to keep school as Covid free as we can.
- If your child shows any symptoms (a temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste/smell) - even if they are mild - keep them off school and you must arrange a PCR test as soon as possible (not a Lateral Flow Test).
- Should anyone in your household have any symptoms of Covid (see above) - even if they are mild - please get a PCR test and keep all children off school until the result is known.
- If anyone in your family, including your children, have been informed that you've been a close contact, please keep your children off school and arrange for a PCR test.
- If there is a positive case in the family we ask, to prevent any spread, that children are kept at home for the time advised by the isolation notice and work will be provided via google classrooms - log in details will be in your child's reading records. Thank you to parents who have been supporting us in mitigating any spread by doing this already.
- If a child develops a new and continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), in school we will send them home, with any siblings, to get a test and to isolate until the results are known.
PCR Test Results
- Negative - If your child's test is negative then please send a screen shot to the school office email and send your children in the next day as normal.
- Positive - If your child's results come back positive, please let the school know as soon as possible with a screen shot of this results so that we can inform both the Local Authority (anonymised information) and you as a parent body. Test and trace will advise you on how long your child needs to remain off school and will issue an isolation notice. We ask that siblings are kept off too during this time - work will be provided for those not ill.
You may be required to contact the Station PTC.
Why do siblings go home if one child has symptoms and why does the decision on this change?
We send siblings home so that we can stop any potential outbreak across school and inconvenience parents further, in the worst-case scenario, by having to close a class. Some schools have had to do this due to the number of both children and staff with Covid and I am trying to avoid this, where we can, with the measures we have in place on our Risk Assessment.
The decision around sending siblings home changed a few weeks ago after I was informed in my weekly Local Authority call that cases in primary schools were increasing. This element may change again when if cases significantly drop and may become a flexible part of our Covid Risk Assessment
If your child is awaiting a test or is off isolating due to a positive case in the house, they will be marked with an 'X' in the register. This does not affect their attendance score and also triggers our legal requirement to provide work via google classrooms.
If your child 's test result returns as a positive, the register will be marked with an 'I' to show that they are ill. Work is not provided in this situation as we do not expect children who are off with illness to be doing work just focusing on recovering.
Can I give my child a Lateral Flow Test?
We are advised by Public Health England that children in primary school must not be given a lateral flow test.
From a school perspective, our enhanced protective measures in school will continue to be put in place and this has been updated based on the Government advice to schools on 29.11.21
Measures that we have in place across the school to mitigate the speed of the COVID-19 Virus are:
- Children are in class bubbles and they share resources in that bubble amongst themselves only.
- Children play in their class bubbles in an area designated for their bubble and have equipment that only they use. The children are VERY good at not crossing into another designated area.
- Children have their hands sanitised at many points during the day and wash their hands after visiting the toilet and before they eat.
- An enhanced cleaning schedule for each class has been put in place which includes tables and chairs being wiped during the school day
- Staggered starts and finishes to the school day as well as staggered lunch and playtimes
- Children eat in the hall with 2 other bubbles but they are not in close contact as each bubble is 2m away from another with tables and benches thoroughly cleaned before the next group comes in
- Parents and non-regular visitors must wear masks when entering the school building