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.

Covid close contact update

Dear Parents/Carers, 

Thank you for bearing with us as we have been settling into the new school year whilst adapting to new Foundation guidance in school, along with the relaxation of Covid rules in the wider community which have taken place over the summer.

You will know from our Covid update last week (https://phs.percyhedley.org.uk/covid-update-4/) that based on the vulnerability of our pupils in comparison to those in mainstream schools, we have as a Foundation taken the decision to put additional measures in place within all of our settings, over and above those recommended by the Department for Education (DfE) and Test and Trace guidance.

One of the additional measures implemented throughout the Foundation was to ask all staff and pupils who were identified as close contacts of a confirmed case of Covid and exempt from isolation, to stay at home until they had a negative PCR test result.  This is not in line with the national self-isolation guidance and is not a requirement from the DfE.

It has become apparent through feedback that this policy has been having a significant impact, due to the numbers of cases up until now, and the requirement for staff and children to isolate whilst awaiting a PCR test result, and for those children who have been required to remain at home due to staffing levels.  

We have listened to this feedback and in order to minimise the impact on our pupils, the decision has been made to bring our self-isolation policy for close contacts that are exempt from self-isolation more in line with the DfE guidance.  

This means that pupils and staff identified as close contacts that are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate will be asked to:

  • Do an LFD test as soon as they are notified that they’ve been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid 

And 

  • Strongly urged to get a PCR test as soon as possible but will not be required to self-isolate while they await the result.

We know that you may be concerned about the risk to your child with these changes, so please be assured that we will continue to put the additional measures in place for staff who are close contacts and not required to self-isolate:  We will:

  • Ask staff to complete LFD tests every day for 10 days (DfE guidance is twice weekly)
  • Ask staff to monitor symptoms closely and ‘think Covid 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
  • We will arrange for the area of school where the positive case has been to be cleaned with disinfectant mist (fogged)
  • We will ask pupils who can do LFD tests to do them every day for 10 days
  • 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.   

In addition to the additional measures for staff, we also ask that our pupils continue to follow ‘think Covid first’ and if displaying symptoms and in doubt, get a PCR test and isolate until they receive the result.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and as always will do so in conjunction with public health; however please be aware that we may need to continue to adapt our approach in response to any changes to the situation or to guidance, but please be assured that we will always communicate these changes to you in a timely manner.

If you have informed us that you would like us to treat your child as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) then as outlined in last week’s communication, alternative measures are already in place and remain unchanged.

If you have any questions, please email covid19.phs@percyhedley.org.uk

Thank you for your support.

With kind regards 

School Senior Leadership Team

 

For more information, please see government guidance:

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings)