COVID-19 Update - Summer Term 2
I am writing to confirm the arrangements for Welling School following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the delay to step four of the roadmap for easing restrictions.
Although in other settings some restrictions have been eased, the current protective measures in place at Welling School will remain and are just as important now as they ever have been. These measures are aimed at reducing the potential for any spread of Covid-19 and ensuring we can remain open for the benefit of all our children and young people.
We are still required to follow guidance from the Department of Education, the Local Authority and Public Health England. This advice is not only aimed at minimising the risk of transmission in schools and settings, but also out in the community. This includes the continued need to avoid mixing, regular handwashing, consistent groupings (known as bubbles) and enhanced cleaning routines.
The school has a coronavirus risk assessment, which outlines the measures that are being taken to minimise the risks of coronavirus, and this is available HERE.
Regular testing remains a vital part of the approach to managing the virus, whether an individual has symptoms or not (asymptomatic). It is important that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolates immediately, along with other members of their household and organises a PCR test. It is not appropriate to use rapid lateral flow tests when individuals have symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms of COVID-19 remain the same and can be found on the NHS website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in children - NHS (www.nhs.uk).
It is strongly encourage that staff, students and their households take part in regular lateral flow testing if they are not showing symptoms as this will help to reduce the risk of the virus unknowingly entering the school community.
All staff and students have access to twice-weekly asymptomatic Covid-19 home testing kits. Tomorrow afternoon during period 5, students will be given a box of testing kits that should be used for the remainder of this term. Further test kit will be provided to students before the end of this half term, allowing students to continue with twice weekly testing over the summer holidays.
Students (or the parent/carer) are required to report the test result via the NHS Online reporting system or by calling 119 for negative, void and positive test results. https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
They must also report all test results to the school via the ‘Test Result’ Google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeqR4ILe5ou6ZGtSEfST210OcYoVV3TuirFpUlvFrYajjUiQ/viewform?usp=sf_link
Please remember that any anyone can access a free LFT, and this can be done in a number of ways: at the local LFT site in your district, by collecting a home LFT kit from a test site, or by ordering a home test kit online. More information about these options can be found here: Free Lateral Flow Tests
Schools and settings remain responsible for contact tracing following a positive case. Any individual identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has a legal obligation to self-isolate if advised to. There is help available, including financial support, if you are required to self-isolate and are unable to go out to work or work from home: https://www.essex.gov.uk/support-if-you-are-self-isolating
Face coverings are no longer required for students or staff in classrooms in schools. However, they should still be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas).
Schools and settings are permitted to take domestic residential education visits. Where visits do go ahead restrictions around group sizes still apply and a risk assessment will be prepared and shared with you. This risk assessment will outline the protective measures in place for the visit and
School sports days can now go ahead, in line with the rest of the school’s system of controls. The school is currently working on a plan which will allow sports days to take place in year groups, more information will be shared with parents and parents about this in due course.
We appreciate that moving between phases and schools is a big change for many children and it is important to manage this change well. Transition events, which usually bring together children and young people from across multiple schools or settings, cannot go ahead in the way they usually would, whilst Covid-19 restrictions remain in place. This means that these activities are very difficult to organise this year. Whilst a consistency of approach across the county would be ideal, this is very difficult given that schools all have individual risk assessments for their own context and that children will transition from and to multiple different schools.
We recognise that for primary schools and their pupils, it is a priority for Year 6 to transition well out of primary school and to preserve this experience, as much as possible. As a school, we will be running a Summer School programmes over the summer holidays to provide students with the opportunity to spend some time at the school ahead of their start in September.
Please be assured that we are continually monitoring this situation and as the advice from the Government and The Kemnal Academies Trust changes, we will keep parents updated immediately.
If you have, any questions please email your child’s form tutor on the email address on the school website, or email the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With very best wishes.
Mr R Pett