Dear parents and carers,
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and extend my best wishes for 2022.
As with previous communications earlier this academic year, I need to start by updating you on arrangements regarding our management of COVID-19. Together with our partners in the Cabot Learning Federation, we continue to remain in line with guidance issued by our local Directors of Public Health and Government guidelines.
The Covid protocols that have been in place for all Cabot Learning Federation secondary academies since October 2021 will remain in place as we return in January. This means that the following measures remain key features of school life:
What we are doing in our academies
- We will not be holding large gatherings in any Cabot Learning Federation academy with mixed age groups. Any plans to hold small gatherings will be checked on a case-by-case basis with Public Health England to ensure our controls are appropriate.
- We will continue to enhance our cleaning routines.
- We will keep spaces well ventilated; this may occasionally mean that your child will be invited to wear their coat indoors.
- There are no plans to involve schools in any roll-out of a vaccination programme for primary age-children. However, for information, on 22 December the government accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that a primary course of vaccination should be offered to children aged 5 to 11 years old who are in a clinical risk group, or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed. The NHS is working through updated guidance and will set out how this is going to be operationalised shortly.
What we need our families to do
- I would respectfully ask all adults visiting the school to wear a face covering on site. This includes at drop off and pick up times.
- Please ensure that your child stays at home if they are unwell with Covid symptoms. They must continue to stay at home until 48 hours after the fever passes. They should do so even if they have tested negative for Covid 19.
- If someone in your household tests positive (but your child does not have symptoms including a fever), your child may still come to school until their own PCR test result comes through if they take a lateral flow test each day and continue to receive a negative result (and remain symptom free).
- Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10-day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless it is not possible to take a test for any reason. Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 8. The UK Health Security Agency has published this helpful flow diagram, clarifying this process, which I have included at the end of this letter.
Thank you for your considerable support throughout this period, and for your flexibility in continuing to work with these new, revised arrangements.
Cabot Learning Federation will continue to keep all of our parents and carers updated with any changes to our Covid controls as we are asked to make them in the interests of public health.