Letter to parents/carers 29 November 2021
29 November 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
As I’m sure most of you will be aware, the government issued updates to their Covid-19 guidance over the weekend. As a follow up to this, the Department for Education sent updated advice to schools on Sunday evening.
Of course, we all hope that vaccines will remain effective against the new Omicron variant and that the public health issues caused by it will be minimal. However, there will be changes to our Covid-safe practices at school to help ensure that this is the case.
Please see below for details of what we will be doing as a school in response to the new guidance. We will begin implementing these changes from tomorrow, Tuesday 30th November. Please help us ensure that all students are aware of these changes by talking to your child/children about them.
- Students must have a plain face covering with them at all times.
- Face coverings must be worn in communal areas by staff, visitors and students unless they are exempt. This will include in corridors and the Main Hall and New Hall lunch queues. Students will not need to wear face coverings outside of a building when moving between lessons.
- Face coverings must also be worn in the PE changing rooms where students are in closer contact than in a classroom and ventilation is more challenging (we have added air purifiers to assist with this).
- Tutors will check that all students have face coverings in tutor time from Tuesday onwards.
- All staff will ensure that all students have a face covering on when leaving a classroom when they are going into a corridor, unless they are exempt.
- Students do not need to wear face coverings in lessons, but may do so if they choose. Staff may teach in face coverings if they wish and staff should stay socially distanced from students where possible.
- Students should continue to wear face coverings on public and school transport, unless they are exempt.
- Please contact your child’s year team via the year team email if they should be added to the exempt list.
- These will not take place until further notice.
- Windows should be opened in all classrooms where possible and students will now be allowed to wear coats in lessons.
- Students must wear face coverings in the exam hall from Tuesday onwards and coats can also be worn in the hall.
- We continue to encourage staff and students to test twice weekly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests. We encourage tests to be submitted on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
- Currently, students are not expected to isolate if they have been in contact with a confirmed Covid case unless it is of the Omicron variant. Any person in contact with an Omnicron case will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. They will be contacted directly and told to isolate by track and trace personnel.
- There are no changes to social distancing rules for now.
- Students and staff will be expected to use hand sanitizer when they arrive in school. This will happen on entrance to the first classroom of the day.
- Students will be expected to use hand sanitizer every time they enter/return to a classroom throughout the school day.
- We will continue to ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting and implementing the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
- We will be testing students on site on their return to school in January – more details about this will be confirmed nearer the time.
Of course, if the situation changes, the guidance outlined above may change at short notice and we will continue to communicate with you as best we can.
As always, we must continue to take a balanced approach to such measures, ensuring student and staff health as far as possible whilst minimising disruption to students’ education and we thank you for your support in helping us keep the school running as safely and effectively as possible for your children.