COVID – Updated Guidance
Given the prevalence and transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, the government have issued new guidance for schools and colleges. The government are strongly advising that students wear face coverings in all communal indoor areas, including classrooms and in examinations/assessments unless medically exempt. I’d like to thank students for their adherence to this; the overwhelming majority of students are arriving to school with face coverings and are wearing these around school to protect themselves and others.
There has been a change in the rules relating to the need for a follow-up PCR test where there has been a positive Lateral Flow result. From today, if you are participating with regular Lateral Flow testing (and we strongly encourage this), and have no symptoms but have a positive LFD result, you no longer need to get a confirmatory PCR test. The LFD result should be considered as your result, and you should begin your period of self-isolation. Whatever your LFD result, you should report this through the government system (and absolutely do so if positive) so that the government can gauge the spread of the virus. You should still get a PCR if you have symptoms.
The self-isolation period following a positive test result (either LFD or PCR) has reduced to 5 full days, as long as you have no symptoms and as long as you test negative on Lateral Flow tests on day 5 and 6 of your isolation period. If you have no symptoms and are testing negative, you are able to end your self-isolation immediately after the negative Day 6 test and return to your normal activities.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.
Thank you for everything that you are doing to keep are school and wider community safe.
The Government has issued some guidance for parents and carers about the way schools, colleges and early years providers are now operating – it can be found here.
The Importance of COVID-19 Self-testing and Reporting in Schools
Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of classrooms. Please follow the link for more information from the Department for Education.
Children and young people aged 12 to 15
This spring all young people aged 12 to 15 years will be offered a second opportunity to have the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. This will be organised by the NHS in line with all vaccinations of children and young people in the UK. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination. Eligible students whose parents have given consent will be vaccinated on Thursday 10th February.
Students and adults aged 16 and over
You do not need to wait to be contacted by your GP, you can book a vaccination appointment directly. If you live in the UK, vaccinations are free. The vaccination is given as 2 doses – you will have the 2nd dose between 3 and 12 weeks after having the 1st dose. Further information can be found by following this link.
COVID-19 Self-testing of Students and Staff
In line with Public Health England and Department for Education guidelines, we are encouraging all staff and students to participate in twice-weekly self-testing for Covid-19, at home. The home self-test kits contain lateral flow devices (LFDs) and are very straightforward to use.
If you have already given consent for your daughter to take part in weekly self-testing, and she has had a least one Covid-19 test in school, she will have been provided with self-test kits to use at home.
We will be providing your daughter with further supplies of the self-test kits. She will need to continue to self-test, twice weekly, until further notice.
These tests should only be used by your daughter, and only if she has no symptoms of coronavirus. If she has symptoms she must book a PCR test.
Families and support bubbles with children are being encouraged to test themselves twice a week with the lateral flow tests. You can order home test kits for other members of your household directly from the NHS. You can enter either your town or postcode here to find the nearest collection point and you can collect up to four home test kits, each kit containing seven tests. Each site gives its opening times online.
For those who would struggle to get to a collection point, the tests can ordered online here, with delivery expected to take one to two days. They come with instructions on how to take the tests and how to report results back to the NHS.
If you have not yet given your consent for your daughter to use the self-test kits, you still have the opportunity to do so.