Dear Families of Hallfield,
Re: Schools Covid-19 Operational Guidance July 2021
As you are most probably aware by now the government updated the plan in the move towards Step 4 for education settings (schools) yesterday from July 19th. The full guidance is available online (Schools COVID-19 operational guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk) , and some of the key points that relate specifically to us include:
- When we proceed to Step 4, this means that bubbles will not need to be used for any summer provision (for example, summer schools) or in schools from the autumn term. As well as enabling flexibility in curriculum delivery, this means that assemblies can resume, and you no longer need to make alternative arrangements to avoid mixing at lunch.
- As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. Instead, children 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. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
- Staff should undertake twice weekly home tests whenever they are on site until the end of September, when this will also be reviewed. Staff and pupils with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance. They will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have COVID-19. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test, and is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test and the pupil can return to school, as long as the individual doesn’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
- From Step 4, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas
- Continuation of good hygiene practises and ventilation in classes etc.
- School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
- You should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits and ensure that any public health advice, such as hygiene and ventilation requirements, is included as part of that risk assessment.
- For state-funded schools, it is intended that Ofsted will return to a full programme of routine inspections from September 2021 and will aim to inspect every state-funded school within the next 5 academic years.
- We will not publish data based on exam and assessment results from summer 2021 in performance tables and you will not be held to account for this data. We will publish Key Stage 4 and 16 to 18 subject entries and destinations data at school and college level in performance tables in autumn 2021. We will confirm the position on accountability for academic year 2021/22 in due course.
I will be reviewing the risk assessment and guidance around outbreaks and will inform you of this when we return to school in September.
All current arrangements will remain in place however, for the remainder of this term until we finish for the summer holidays on Wednesday 21st July.