Inspiring Education, Inspiring Lives!

Information for Parents and Students September 2021

Please note that information is regularly updated as a result of any new guidance from the Government and therefore subject to change. 

(Last updated 20th January 2022)

If you report a positive case to school, please check your emails for updates and information.

Reporting Your Result

Confirm a POSITIVE case DURING school hours: 

Contact our attendance team (01746 765454  or covid.support@oldburywells.com)

Confirm a POSITIVE case OUT OF school hours: 

Email covid.support@oldburywells.com

Upon completing your test, please remember to upload your result to the government website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

Please also inform the school should you receive a positive result by emailing covid.support@oldburywells.com

January 2022 – Spring Term Updates

Following their return to school students are asked to continue to test twice a week at home on a Thursday and Sunday evening and report any positive results directly to the school as well as through the NHS app.

Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site through ATS or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.

Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

Confirmatory PCR Test. Should an individual return a positive LFD test there is no longer a requirement to book a PCR test. The LFD result triggers the requirement for the individual to isolate with immediate effect.

Changes to the self-isolation period: For those who test positive for COVID-19 (this change came into effect in England on Monday, 17 January and applies to all positive cases, regardless of vaccination status). People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 can reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with an LFD test on both Day 5 & Day 6, and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of Day 5 and the morning of Day 6, they can return to school immediately on Day 6; 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. If the result of either test is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

  • If your child has any of the main COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste), they should not attend school or college and should stay at home.
  • You should arrange for them to get a PCR test and inform school of the test results.
  • Your child should not attend school or college while you are waiting for test results, even if they are feeling better.
  • If the test is negative, they should go to school or college as normal.
  • If they test positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.

Covid19 Home Testing Kits

Students are asked to carry out a lateral flow test twice a week. One in three people have Covid without displaying any symptoms, so testing is vital in keeping our school community safe. 

We are asking that students to do their home tests every Thursday and Sunday evening.

 Below you can find some information about completing your own home test. Please note, current tests being handed out are double nasal kits and therefore swabbing the throat is not needed.  

The Importance of Home Testing

Rapid testing is the fast and easy way to find our if you have coronavirus and stop the spread to your loved ones and your community. Up to 1 in 3 people have Covid-19 show no symptoms and will unknowingly spread it around. By testing twice a week, we can minimise the number of positive cases around school and avoid disruptions.

 

Attendance expectations

It is vital for all children to return to school to minimise, as much as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less in school. School attendance has therefore been mandatory from the beginning of the Autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance apply, including:

  • Parents’ duty to secure their child’s attendance regularly at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age)
  • Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • The availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.

All pupils, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, can continue to attend school at all Local COVID Alert Levels unless they are one of the very small number of pupils or students under paediatric care (such as recent transplant or very immunosuppressed children) and have been advised specifically by their GP or clinician not to attend school.

 

Face Coverings

From Thursday 20th January, pupils will not be required to wear face coverings within classrooms. Students are still expected to wear face coverings in indoor social spaces, in corridors between lessons and when on school transport. 

From Thursday 27th January, face coverings will no longer be needed within indoor communal areas. Should your child still wish to wear a face covering at any time, then they may choose to do so. 

 

Transport

Students should wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.

Staff, children and their parents and carers are encouraged to walk or cycle when travelling to and from school where this is possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

 

Travelling to and from School

Students are reminded for the need to travel to and from school on the most direct route, they are encouraged not arrange to meet groups of friends on their journey to and from school and not congregate in larger groups during this time. Parents are requested to speak to their children to ensure that students respond individual to promote any government advice and recommendations. 

 

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

  • If your child has any of the main COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste), they should not attend school or college and should stay at home.
  • You should arrange for them to get a PCR test and inform school of the test results.
  • Your child should not attend school or college while you are waiting for test results, even if they are feeling better.
  • If the test is negative, they should go to school or college as normal.
  • If they test positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.

 

What happens if my child has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms?

Close contacts in schools are now identified by NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.

As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts.

Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact.

This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.

From 14 December 2021, adults who are fully vaccinated and all children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.

Daily testing of close contacts applies to all contacts who are:

  • Fully vaccinated adults – people who have had 2 doses of an approved vaccine
  • All children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status
  • People who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • People taking part, or have taken part, in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine

Symptoms of COVID 19

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • New continuous cough and/or
  • High temperature and/or
  • A loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

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 COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • 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

 

NHS Q&A for Parents : Supporting students at secondary school or college: what you need to know

    1. What COVID-19 measures will change at my child’s school or college?

School or college will feel different as COVID-19 measures are relaxed.

  • Bubbles and staggered start and finish times are no longer advised
  • Young people can again have breaktimes and lunch together and take part in practical lessons and sports with other classes and year groups
  • Schools and colleges are advised to continue with regular handwashing, cleaning regimes, and to keep space well ventilated
  • Rapid COVID-19 testing of secondary and college students should continue even for those who have been vaccinated.
  • If your child is under 18 and 6 months and is identified as a close contact they will not need to self-isolate. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test
  • Schools and colleges will have plans in place on what to do if anyone at school tests positive for COVID-19, or if additional measures are needed to be reintroduced for a limited period
  • School or college is the best place for young people to be.
  • With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, young people are now able to enjoy more freedom in their education.
  • Being at school or college keeps young people’s education on track, so they can achieve their full potential, while also benefitting their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
  • We’re doing everything we can to ensure young people can continue to attend school or college.

 

    1. Should my child attend school or college?
  • Yes, attendance is mandatory. Public Health England and the Government’s Chief Medical & Scientific Officers agree that there is a very low risk and rate of severe illness in children and young people from COVID-19.
  • The benefit of attending school or college continues to significantly outweigh the COVID-19 health risk to children and young people.
  • If you have concerns, you should discuss these with your school or college and local authority so that your child is able to continue attending school or college.

 

    1. Does my child need to continue doing COVID-19 tests?
  • Yes. Secondary school and college students should test when they return at the start of term. They are advised to take two on-site rapid COVID-19 tests (3-5 days apart), followed by twice weekly testing at home. The tests are easy to do and results come back within 30 minutes.
  • You should report the results straight away, whether positive, negative or void, either online at gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119, free from your mobile or landline. If the test is positive then the person should also take a confirmatory PCR test and follow the latest government guidance.
  • Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Taking regular rapid tests will help give you peace of mind that your child is not spreading the virus without knowing.

 

    1. What should I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
  • If your child has any of the main COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste), they should not attend school or college and should stay at home.
  • You should arrange for them to get a PCR test and tell your child’s school or college the test results.
  • Your child should not attend school or college while you are waiting for test results, even if they are feeling better.
  • If the test is negative, they should go to school or college as normal.
  • If they test positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.

 

    1. What happens if my child has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms?
  • If your child has been identified as a close contact, you will be advised that your child takes a PCR test.
  • They will not have to self-isolate, unless they have a positive PCR test result.
  • Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. They do not need to isolate while awaiting the PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

  • Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.
  • If none of the above applies, people should self-isolate as per the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

 

    1. Will my child be vaccinated?
  • All 16 and 17-year-olds in England are now eligible for their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder.
  • The NHS will also contact 12 to 15 year-olds to receive the vaccine if they are previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable, have an underlying health condition or may live with an individual who is immunosuppressed.

 

    1. If my child was previously considered as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), should they attend school or college?
  • Yes. All young people who were considered as CEV should have returned to school or college following the end of shielding measures on 1 April 2021.
  • Further guidance will be given to parents of children who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable where necessary.

 

    1. Will my child be required to continue any remote learning?
  • If your child is isolating due to a positive PCR test, schools and colleges will continue to implement high-quality remote education for students so that they can learn from home if they are well enough.

 

    1. How will my child catch up on any lost learning?
  • There is lots of support available to help your child catch up on any lost learning over the course of the pandemic or to boost their wellbeing. To find out more about what’s on offer and who’s eligible, visit: https://educationcatchup.campaign.gov.uk/ or speak to your child’s school or college.

 

    1. For further information and guidance:

Covid Documentation 2021/22

Face Mask Update 19th Jan 2022 - Access PDF

January 2022 Parent Update - Access PDF

December 2021 Updates for the Spring Term Letter - Access PDF

Face Mask Update Dec 2021 - Access PDF

November 2021 Covid Update - Access PDF

Click here to access our archive of Covid Documentation from the last academic year.