School Target 2020/21 = 96%
As you know, the Prime Minister announced on 12th July that Step 4 of the roadmap would go ahead on 19th July.
All requirements to wear face coverings are removed from 19th July, however, we would strongly recommend their continued use by staff and adults in communal areas.
There is nothing in the regulations to prevent schools making this request, although it appears that schools would not be able to mandate this. Likewise, there is nothing to stop individuals wearing face coverings if they choose to do so.
Mixing and Bubbles
From 19th July, the requirement to keep pupils in bubbles ceases, meaning that the guidance permits pupils to mix freely in schools. The guidance explicitly states that schools can continue bubbling arrangements until the end of the summer term, and that bubbling may be reintroduced in the case of local outbreaks.
Preventing mixing of pupils remains a very effective way of stopping large-scale transmission of the virus, and we will continue to limit the mixing of pupils as part of our risk assessment until the children finish for the summer break at 1:30 pm Tuesday 20th July. The staggered lunch time arrangements will continue in September, although start and finish times times will be back to normal – 8:50 am – 3:00 pm for all classes.
The guidance remains the same for staff and pupils who are symptomatic. They must not attend school unless they have a negative PCR test.
Please note that this is a different test to the Lateral Flow Tests, which are available at local chemists and give the results in 30 minutes. Anyone with a positive test must also self-isolate. This remains a legal duty after 19th July. We will retain procedures for dealing with suspected cases as we have done prior to this date, including immediate isolation.
Government guidance is explicit that headteachers can take the decision to refuse a symptomatic pupil attending school, stating:
‘If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending your school, you can take the decision to refuse the pupil if, in your reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19.’
What you need to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19.
Self-isolating and taking a test
1. If your child has symptoms, they and other members of the household should self-isolate and you should inform school. You should immediately order a PCR test for them. If the PCR result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the PCR result is positive, they, other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
2. If your child has a positive result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform school. You should immediately order a confirmatory PCR test. If the confirmatory test is taken within two days and the result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the confirmatory PCR test is positive (or is taken more than two days after the LFD), other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the LFD test.
3. PCR tests can be booked online through the NHS Test & Trace website or by calling 119.
4. PCR test results will be recorded with NHS Test and Trace automatically, but you should also communicate the result to the education or childcare setting during term time.
5. If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.
6. You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice (see below).
Self-isolation and/or testing of close contacts
7. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a non-household close contact by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
8. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts.
9. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they will not have to self-isolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take a PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as non-household contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts (see points 5 and 6 above).
We recognise how difficult the past 18 months have been and the sacrifices that all families and schools have had to make. This has been an enormously challenging time for everyone and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you have done.
Mrs. J Travers