The government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. Step 4 marked a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk. As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education – particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for 2 doses by mid-September.
The government’s priority is for schools to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.
Many thanks, as always, for your support, cooperation and patience during these unusual times. If you have any further questions or queries, please contact the school office via: firstname.lastname@example.org. All essential correspondence will be posted here for your reference…
School Letter – Testing (16th April 2021)
Covid-19 Autumn and Winter Plan
The Prime Minister laid out the COVID-19 Autumn and Winter plan in a press conference. The plan sets out a renewed focus on vaccines as the first line of defence, supported by testing, and public health advice.
In particular, it contains the following on testing in education:
“Testing in education settings has played an important role in identifying positive cases since the start of this year, helping reduce the spread by removing infected individuals from the classroom or lecture hall. In secondary schools, further education and higher education, the Government expects that testing for students will continue for the rest of this term. This will be a valuable tool in minimising the overall disruption to education, and is particularly helpful for this cohort, given its current lower level of vaccine-based protection.”
Tracing Close Contacts & Isolation
Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.
As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case and/or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport.
Settings will continue to have a role in working with health protection teams in the case of a local outbreak. If there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in a setting or if central government offers the area an enhanced response package, a director of public health might advise a setting to temporarily reintroduce some control measures.
Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. This includes public transport and dedicated transport to school or college.
The Story So Far…
During these unprecedented times, the support from our community has been overwhelming! Since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold at the beginning of 2020, a period of great change and challenge has taken place for everyone connected with our school. We are exceptionally proud of the way that all who are invested in Shobnall Primary & Nursery School (children, staff, parents/carers, and governors) responded to the challenges and came together to keep our children and families safe and our pupils learning.
As we begin a new chapter, we wanted to capture this unique spirit and have described some of the many ways that we have worked to support our community during these unusual times…
Due to the closure of schools for the majority of children during the global Covid-19 pandemic, it has been necessary to re-evaluate our approach to the provision on offer for our children. This will ensure all children have the level of support that they will need to become ‘effective’ and ‘engaged’ learners who are able to access all that school has to offer. The approach we will take is formed from the theoretical perspective of the ‘recovery curriculum think-piece’, the principles of nurture that our school aims and values are based upon and the trauma recovery model of Louise Bomber. Please click on the link below for further information about our recovery curriculum.
Please click on the links below for the latest government guidance.
Stepping Measure Up & Down
We have contingency plans (sometimes called outbreak management plans) outlining what we will do if children, pupils, students or staff test positive for COVID-19, or how we will operate if we are advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission. Given the detrimental impact that restrictions on education can have on children and young people, any measures in schools should only ever be considered as a last resort, kept to the minimum number of schools or groups possible, and for the shortest amount of time possible.
As part of our outbreak management responsibilities, we have created an outbreak management plan which can be accessed below.
The temporary continuity direction makes it clear that schools have a duty to provide remote education for state-funded, school-age children whose attendance would be contrary to government guidance or law around coronavirus (COVID-19). The remote education provided should be equivalent in length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school and will include both recorded or live direct teaching time, and time for pupils to complete tasks and assignments independently. For information about our remote education provision, please click on the relevant link below:
Mrs Farrington can be contacted via: email@example.com or through SeeSaw.
Miss Alexander can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or through SeeSaw.
Miss Brewin can be contacted via: email@example.com or through SeeSaw.
Miss Martin-Mills can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or through SeeSaw.
Miss Pestridge can be contacted via: email@example.com or through SeeSaw.
Mr Bishop can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or through SeeSaw.
Mrs Knight can be contacted via: email@example.com or through SeeSaw.
Miss Barnard can be contacted via: firstname.lastname@example.org or through SeeSaw.
We have put into place a number of procedures to help ensure the safety of pupils, parents and staff. We appreciate your support in this matter. Details of these procedures can be found in the documentation below. Please note that this information is subject to change, so keep checking back for the latest details.
Here are links to other resources, which you may find useful to access at this time.