On Sunday 2nd January, the government issued new guidance for schools including the introduction of face coverings in classrooms, encouraging all students to take a (Lateral Flow Device) LFD test including those recently infected, a reduction in the number of days of isolation and daily testing for close contacts. The new guidance is explained below and comes into effect when students return to College.
Students will return to College depending on their year group. This will allow as many students as possible to return a negative LFD test within 24 hours of returning to College. The image above indicates when each year group is scheduled to have LFD onsite testing and when they return to school. Years 9 and 10, will have remote learning on Wednesday 5th January. Year 8 will have remote learning on both Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th of January. By Friday 7th January, all year groups will be back in school. Remote Learning can be accessed through Google Classroom.
Buses will be running as usual from Wednesday 5 January. However, we ask that students attending school for testing do not travel by school bus.
To help boost testing participation and reduce transmission after a period of social mixing during the holidays, all students are offered an LFD test on-site. All students have been allocated a time slot to attend College to carry out the test. After this, students are strongly encouraged to test twice weekly at home (Sunday and Wednesday night) and to report all results to College (using ALIS) and to NHS Test and Trace.
The test will take place in the Henry Morris Room. Once the students have tested they can return home straight away; we will notify all positive cases on the day. Parents should wait off-site if dropping off and collecting.
New guidance states that ‘even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.’ If you now need to make an appointment as a result of this change in guidance, please contact the College. email@example.com
Symptoms caused by the Omicron variant often present more cold-like in nature. Please keep your child at home and book a PCR test if they present with these symptoms.
The ten-day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result has been reduced to seven days if recording a negative test result on day 6 and day 7. Those who cannot test or are still unwell must self-isolate for ten days.
Students may take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete ten full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and the student does not have a high temperature, they may end their self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to College from day 8.
Students identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend College as normal unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time. The College is not responsible for notifying close contacts.
Vaccinations for all 16-year olds and eligible 12-15-year olds
In response to the Omicron variant, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that a Pfizer booster vaccine should be offered to all young people aged 16 or 17 and to children aged 12 to 15 years old who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of immunosuppressed individuals, and those who are severely immunosuppressed and have had a third primary dose. The NHS will communicate home how eligible children and young people can get their boosters shortly.
Unless exempt, students will be recommended to wear face coverings in classrooms and all indoor spaces when they return to College this week. This national advice will remain in place until Wednesday 26 January at which point it will be reviewed.
Face coverings continue to be mandatory on school transport and public transport.
All students are advised to bring a spare face covering. We have a limited supply of face covering but will give out spares to those in need.
Other existing measures
We will continue with all other existing measures as follows:
- CO2 monitors will be used in all classrooms to aid ventilation control;
- rooms will be ventilated with a regular throughput of air;
- hand sanitisers will be available in classrooms and communal areas;
- routine and regular hand washing is encouraged;
- ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ encouraged for respiratory hygiene;
- on-site visitors will be restricted;
- planned events and meetings will be online or postponed as required;
- enhanced cleaning will be in place.
- assemblies will be conducted remotely for the time being.
Thank you for supporting these measures and for your understanding. Uncertainty around staff absence may require some flexibility in the coming weeks but we shall do our best to keep everything running as near as normal as possible and will as always update you if there are any significant challenges or changes to the guidance.
Together, we aim to keep each other safe and to keep the College fully open and we expect all parents and carers to ensure their child attends school if they are well enough and are not required to isolate. Ensuring good attendance for all students is a key part of our recovery strategy. If your child is required to isolate, please ensure they are engaging with the remote learning tasks set via Google Classroom. If you have any further questions regarding the guidance then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org