Covid update from Public Health & the DfE: 11th April 2022

COVID-19 Guidance Update for Special Schools and other specialist settings

On 1 April 2022, the government changed its policy on COVID-19 testing in England. Most people can no longer access free testing for COVID-19.

There is no requirement for staff, students or pupils to carry out twice weekly testing in SEND settings. All the previous guidance for special schools and other specialist settings has been withdrawn and replaced with the following guidance.

Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Guidance for those at higher risk

There is further guidance for people aged 12 and over, whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness if they become infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), that may be relevant to pupils in your settings.

Please note, in this guidance, advice remains that children and young people can continue to attend education settings unless their clinician has advised otherwise.

Pupils in this group may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments. They will be sent one pack of lateral flow tests to keep at home supplied by the government. These should not be used for regular testing and are advised to be kept so the person can get tested quickly if they get symptoms of COVID-19.

If your child has received specific written guidance from the NHS which identifies that they are considered at higher risk, please email your class teacher and we will follow this up after the Easter holidays to ensure the appropriate risk assessments are in place.

For further information please visit this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk.

Covid update: 1st April 2022

Although Covid guidance has changed in the wider community we have not yet received the official guidance for schools.  Please be assured that once we have this we will share it with you, in the meantime we have received the following statement from the Government:

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.

We thank you for your continued cooperation.

COVID Update 25.02.2022

Dear Parents & Carers
I hope you have all had a great week, and that the strange weather has worked out ok for you at some point at least!
In terms of our Covid arrangements at the school after half term, we wanted to reassure you that for now we will be continuing with the general arrangements we have had in place recently, particularly for our more vulnerable pupils
Of course, these are all open to change, and I am sure that they will change over time
What we want to do is to be cautious at this point, use our common sense, and not do anything which in any way reduces safety for everyone. We will of course be in touch with more detail, and as things change. This message is purely meant to reassure you that our risk assessments and protocols will remain unchanged for now
Please do contact your Class Teacher or others at the school for any questions at all
With very best wishes
John

Covid update, 1st February 2022

We are experiencing a large increase in the number of Covid cases in school this week.  Could we please remind all parents of children who are able to do so, to ensure your child is continuing to take LFD’s twice weekly.  We will continue to facilitate testing in school for those who have requested it.

If your child has any of the classic symptoms of high temperature, cough or loss of taste and smell please ensure your child does not come into school and attends for a PCR.  Over recent weeks we are aware that symptoms are differing from the ‘typical’ and pupils and staff are also reporting headache, sore throat and cold like symptoms.  Again, we would ask that if your child suffers from any of these that you seek a PCR and they isolate until the result is known.  LFD tests are to pick up asymptomatic cases of covid and should not be relied upon for anyone experiencing symptoms.

Thank you for your support.

Hydrotherapy and Nursing update

As you are aware, Covid is having a significant impact on staffing and our priority is always to ensure the safety of our pupils. Hydrotherapy is one of those activities that requires significantly more staffing than a class based session. With that said, at present, there may be times where we are unfortunately unable to safely run a hydrotherapy session. Our therapy and class teams will do everything in their power to enable hydrotherapy to continue, however please understand that there may be times when we are unable to proceed. This is a decision that will be made on the day of your child’s hydrotherapy session and we apologise in advance for any cancellation at short notice. We are aware that some pupils have hydrotherapy in their EHCP, however the children’s safety is our priority. Please be reassured, that if your child does not access their usual session, an alternative physiotherapy session will be provided where they will engage in movement and relaxation based programmes.

Our nursing team is also currently working at a reduced capacity and their main priority is to ensure the children are receiving their medications across the whole school day, this unfortunately means they are not as assessable as they would usually be and there may be occasions where you are asked to seek external medical opinion when they are not available.

January 2022 Covid & LFD data collection

Further to John’s update earlier today, please find a form to complete to advise us of your intention relating to LFD testing on our return to school, along with data collection for any positive cases over the Christmas holidays.

It would be appreciated if parents & guardians could please complete this form at your earliest convenience:

https://forms.gle/Uzksz1BTRiLezSPf6

Many thanks

School Senior Leadership Team

COVID-19 update – Monday 3 January 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

A very Happy New Year to you all, and I do hope that the whole holiday has been a lovely one for you!

You will be aware that a lot has happened in the past few weeks with regard to Covid and that cases are rising a great deal locally. New guidance was issued very recently.

In school we will be continuing with bubbles and with staff wearing masks and face coverings. We will also be ventilating inside areas wherever we can. The government now advises that secondary aged children should wear a mask or face covering in lessons, so please let your Class Teacher know if you want us to support your child in doing this. We’ll continue to have a strong focus on hands, face & space and will update our school risk assessment once we’ve fully digested the DfE guidance

The government have asked us to support LFD testing of secondary aged children as they return to school. We’ll send out a form on Googledocs about this very soon.

We recommend that those who can take an LFD test prior to their return to school. Staff will also be participating in these regularly to detect and minimise the spread. We will continue in-school student testing where we have been.

Our position is that we go with guidance, but with all the necessary flexibility that our children need, and where things are recommendations, we try and work out what on balance is best for our pupils.

Staffing, as you may expect, is already under pressure with various confirmed and suspected positive cases. We are still being informed of positive cases, so please keep a watch out for any additional communications from us. We don’t know exactly how things will develop.

In order to protect our pupils and staff, please don’t send your child to school if they are poorly in any way. If they have any Covid or cold-like symptom then they should remain at home.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of the school – it means a great deal. Please let us know of any positive tests or cases as this supports our efforts to track.

With best wishes for the new year and the new school term, which we will of course still be pressing on with!

Kind regards

John S

 

Half Term Covid-19 Update

Dear parents/carers, 

In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in the number of children and young people testing positive for COVID-19 in the region. We said that we’d continue to monitor the situation closely and adapt our approach in response to any changes to the situation or to government guidance. 

This means we now need to consider what we can do to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our schools and in the community.  On that basis, from 1st November 2021 on return from half term holidays we will be implementing the following: 

We will continue with the additional measures we had in place last half term including: 

  • Bubbles where possible whilst giving our pupils full access to their normal curriculum 
  • Additional cleaning 
  • Asking staff to wear face masks 
  • Arranging for areas of school where the positive case has been to be cleaned with disinfectant mist (fogged) 
  • Twice weekly LFD testing for all pupils and staff – regular testing will help to reduce transmission by identifying those who are infectious but do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 

Where colleagues or pupils have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, we’ll continue to: 

  • Ask staff who’ve been in contact with a positive case but have had a negative PCR test to complete LFD tests every day for 10 days (DfE guidance is twice weekly). 
  • Ask staff to monitor symptoms closely and ‘think Covid-19 first’ – if displaying symptoms and in doubt, get a PCR test and isolate until they receive the result. 
  • Ask staff to make sure they are wearing additional PPE at work for 10 days. 
  • Staff who have been identified as close contacts will not work with learners who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable for 10 days following their contact with a positive case. 
  • Ask pupils to do 10 days LFDs where they can and now have nasal only LFDs swabs for pupils to use. 
  • Notify parents/carers of any pupils who would be due to be in a group with staff or other pupils who are close contacts. 

From 1st November, we’ll also be implementing the following measures: 

  • Risk assessing whether whole-school or year group events, e.g. assemblies, are safe take place. 
  • Replace staff and governors’ meetings with virtual meetings where practicable. 
  • Limiting visitors to the school and considering carefully whether events that bring parents into the school can be managed safely or should return to online. 
  • Risk assessing community-based learning, educational trips, and residential visits. 

Please support us to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by continuing to: 

Making sure pupils and parents who are able to complete twice-weekly LFD testing do so – as regular testing will help to reduce transmission by identifying those who are infectious but do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

If your child has any symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, please keep them at home and arrange for them to take a PCR test. 

Anyone who is unwell should stay at home, as advised in the government’s winter plan. 

We also recommend a PCR test followed by daily LFT testing (for those who get a negative PCR result) for a minimum of 5 days and up to 10 days (for example, for the duration of what the isolation period would have been if you were still required to isolate), for any adult or pupil who is a household contact of a positive case and is exempt from isolation.   

We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely, in conjunction with public health and will update you weekly.  We may need to continue to adapt our approach in response to any changes to the situation or to government guidance. 

 

Thanks for your support 

John

 

Covid 19 Vaccine

Thank you for your continued support with the Covid 19 vaccine roll out for our 12-15 year old pupils. 

The Immunisation Team have sent us some links that will be useful regarding the vaccine:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1017171/PHE_12073_COVID-19_guide_for_all_CYP.pdf   

There is also the following link regarding post vaccine:  

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1008090/PHE_12073_COVID-19_What_to_expect_CYP_leaflet.pdf   

The Immunisation team are working on frequently asked question information, once we have have this from them we will share it with you.

Many thanks,

School Nursing Team

Covid positive case procedure amendment

Further to our update dated 16th September 2021, where we indicated:

“In line with guidance those who are identified as close contacts and are exempt from isolation, will remain in school while awaiting a PCR test / results of a PCR test.  We will notify parents/carers of any pupils who are working in a group with staff or other pupils who are close contacts via a letter at the end of the school day.”

We have now been advised by our local Public Health team that this step does not need to happen and as such will only advise parents if their child is considered a close contact where you will be notified via a telephone and follow up letter.

This is due to evidence that the risk to/from children is low which is why under 18s no longer need to self-isolate as close contacts.