Friday 18th September 2020
Dear parent / carer,
Following on from the announcement of a local lockdown from today, I felt it appropriate to reiterate the process in school for absence and should there be a positive test result in school.
Symptoms and self-isolation
We have had a number of calls from parents asking for advice if they should send their child to school. If your child shows any of the symptoms as set out below they should not come to school and parents should arrange to have a test by going online or calling 119.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
Some clarification on who needs to self-isolate:
- A person who is symptomatic plus their household (only the people they live with) until they get a test result (if negative they and their household can resume normal activities)
- A confirmed positive case for 10 days from the date they are symptomatic or from two days before the test if they have no symptoms
- An identified contact of a confirmed case
- Household member
- Anyone who has had direct contact within 1m – either face to face for any length of time or where it is no face to face contact for more than 1 minute
- Anyone who has had proximity contact >1m<2m for 15 minutes
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
Any child who shows symptoms in school will be taken to our isolation room and parents will be contacted to collect the child and asked to arrange to get them tested. Please recognise this is in line with Government guidance and is to help protect everyone. Where there is any doubt we will always be cautious and follow the procedures for isolating and requesting tests.
I am aware that some local schools have had positive cases and sent groups of children home to isolate. Should we be notified that a child or staff member has had a positive test returned, then our clear protocol is to inform Public Health England and follow the guidance and advice given by them. The resulting actions will clearly depend on who has tested positive and the interaction they have had with others as set out above. Parents will be notified of these decisions as soon as physically possible in this situation.
Please note that we will only contact parents where there is a positive test result and action needs to be taken.
Giving due consideration to the points above, we ask that parents send us a copy of the test results as soon as they have them. The school email account will be checked over weekends and holidays so should there be a positive result we can start the process straight away.
It is also essential that school has the most recent contact details for parents including e-mail addresses. Any correspondence concerning isolating a bubble would be sent via e-mail to parents with a text asking to check email. This is to ensure that we direct correspondence at the correct year groups and not create confusion or panic.
In light of the new lockdown guidance for the north east, specifically around not socialising with people outside of own households, I respectfully request that families only collect their own children and not children from other families (registered childminders being exempt). When leaving site children should stay with their adult and not mix with children from other bubbles. It is my duty to raise this as part of the new guidance and ask that parents consider the implications this has. Whilst staff will not challenge parents around this please be mindful that the measures are in place to support and safeguard our whole community.
Finally, please make sure that when you are picking up or dropping off you continue to adhere to the school’s protocols;
- ONE ADULT ONLY to collect or drop off
- arrive at the correct times
- follow the one way system (only enter via Elmfield Gardens and MUST exit via Drumoyne Gardens)
- give some consideration to wearing a face mask when entering and waiting on the yard.
Please remember these protocols are in place to keep your children, yourselves and the staff as safe as possible and have been put in place with consideration for the site as a whole.
As always, thank you for your continuing consideration and understanding during this difficult time.
Mr. T Jones