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Covid-19 Update Plans

February 2022

There have been significant changes to the measures in place to manage and control the spread of the Coronavirus and variants.  The government has sent out operational guidance to schools and to families on the use of testing and isolation as a control measure.

Parents are our partners in learning and your support is vital to the continuing success of our school and the safety of our community. We have reviewed our risk assessment and have the following guidance for parents, which has been considered very carefully to balance ‘leading a normal life’ with the risks of many people getting the virus and compromising the education we can offer;

To support the good health of our school community our updated risk assessment suggests the following measures in place and would ask everyone to observe:

  • Face coverings are no longer advised so will be a personal preference
  • Regular, asymptomatic testing will now stop but PCR testing will continue
  • If a child or adult displays symptoms of the virus, we will contact parents and advise isolation in line the guidance from the government
  • All pupils and adults should observe good hand hygiene, continuing to sanitise regularly throughout the day and on entry/on leaving the school
  • Cleaning regimes will continue, use of wipes for hightouch areas
  • Keep the school wellventilated throughout the year, using the CO2 monitors to help
  • Should we suspect an outbreak, further advice from PHE will be taken and LFD testing will restart for adults.

We welcome groups of parents back into the academy, for workshops, consultations, supporting pupil events and social occasions, but would like to ask you to not come to the academy if you are unwell or displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus.

The following is a series of extracts from recent mailings from the government, that we feel will be helpful to parents as we move into the next phase of managing life with the virus.

Control measures

You should:

  • Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
  • Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone

Hand hygiene

Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. You should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Respiratory hygiene

The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important. The e-Bug COVID-19 website contains free resources for you, including materials to encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Most staff in schools will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work.

2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard products such as detergents

You should put in place and maintain an appropriate cleaning schedule. This should include regular cleaning of areas and equipment (for example, twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces. UKHSA has published guidance on the cleaning of non-healthcare settings.

3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

When your school is in operation, it is important to ensure it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.  Opening external windows can improve natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors can also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so).

CO2 monitors have been provided to state-funded education settings, so staff can quickly

identify where ventilation needs to be improved.

Changes to self-isolation and daily testing of close contacts

  • From Thursday 24 February, the Government will remove the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days, and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days.

In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a pupil with the key symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the school, given the potential risk to others.  If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending your school where they have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, 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

Although the guidance states 'advise', the School and Trust position on this is that children and adults should stay at home if they display symptoms or test positive and follow the PHE guidance above. They should also get a PCR test, which will remain available for now.