Good morning, all,
Thank you for your support, particularly to parents/carers in Year 7 and to everyone who has kept information coming throughout this week to email@example.com
It is invaluable, and your care and attention to the letter earlier in the week has been really appreciated here - keep it coming.
Unfortunately, I need to let you know that, literally in the past two days, we have come to a point of having some 10 teaching colleagues absent for Covid-related reasons, matching the sort of spread you are seeing amongst your children and yourselves. That is now over 10% of our teaching colleague total number, and is therefore at a point where, according to PHE Guidance, we have to look closely at an Outbreak Management Plan.
We are endeavouring to make it to the weekend with no other measures contained within that plan than we are following now, but we do have two additional requests in that respect today, please:
- We strongly encourage all students now to wear face coverings unless exempt/you express you do not wish them to, as Year 7 have been doing over the last couple of days. We know that, according to guidance, schools cannot insist on/mandate this, but we would love it to be a Noadswood family effort from all those who are content to do so, whilst understanding those who will not. We hope that approach will be heard, supported and understood by everyone, irrespective of one's own personal perspective on this.
- We would encourage all students who do this to increase their Lateral Flow Testing to daily, please, to do our all to interrupt spread between each other in year groups, and for you to take the decision to go for a PCR if your child has symptoms but is LFT negative. All of this helps so much.
We will be reviewing the rest of the measures in our Outbreak Management Plan with the Local Authority, Trustees and PHE/DfE today, which includes determining whether we need to put in place a short circuit break at home for some or all students, which would have two intents:
- To interrupt spread between young people and on to yourselves, and on to staff,
- Enable some colleagues to return from their absence to ensure we have safe coverage across the site on Health and Safety grounds and an ability to deliver the curriculum without increasing the chances of Covid spread (such as having to merge classes together in larger spaces, which we are the point of needing to do today.) We are doing all we can to enlist additional supply cover, but, of course, we are not the only school in the position we find ourselves in now, so such cover is thin on the ground, too.
We wanted to give you early notice of the possibility of these measures in our Outbreak Management Plan this morning in case we have to put them in to place - please hear us that it is the very, very last thing we would want to do.
But we have to balance the extent to which not doing so could actually be beginning to accelerate the spread of the virus within our school family, which we must not do knowingly, as well as stretching the coverage of colleagues across our site to a point that isn't safe in other respects.
We will update you later when we know more, and have consulted all the bodies mentioned earlier from whom we must take advice and guidance.
All our best, and the biggest thanks for your continued support,
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team
Close Contact Guidance:
If you think your child is a close contact of someone you know but has not been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace then we want to remind you that they should take a PCR test via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119. When ordering a PCR test it is important to check the box (online) or tell 119 ‘I’ve been told to get a test by my health protection team’ and not ‘I’ve been told to get a test by my school or nursery’. Further guidance can be found at Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119.
Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)
From 16 August, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
you are fully vaccinated
you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.
Household members who are not exempt from isolation as close contacts should not go to work, school/college/childcare/education setting or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
Instructions for household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 16 August.
Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:
limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
wearing a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded places such as school/college/public transport
limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
taking part in regular LFD testing
You should follow this advice while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.
If you are a health or social care worker or a student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):
get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and 16-17 year olds are being offered 1 dose of the vaccination by 23 August
wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at