Happy New Year! I hope you have had time to relax and enjoy the Christmas break and were able to spend time with your families and loved ones.
There have been several communications from the Department for Education during the holidays and I just wanted to give you a quick update on the key messages that have been issued.
The Secretary for State for Education wrote to schools yesterday sharing risk mitigation measures for the Omicron variant and the difficulties this could bring when schools reopen. Students in school and learning is a priority, but we must balance this against wider public health risks brought by Covid-19. The Government expects face-to-face teaching to continue and that we do all we can to protect this.
All students have been invited into school this Tuesday and Wednesday to undertake one on-site test. Details can be found here - https://www.clcc.college/academy-news/return-to-school-in-january-2022-and-on-site-testing/
***Anyone who has symptoms should NOT come on site and should follow NHS guidance regarding obtaining a test. ***
The latest guidance states that 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 once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection. If they receive a positive LFD result then the confirmatory PCR will distinguish between a false positive and a new infection with Omicron. This is a change to previous advice issued.
Self isolation period
The 10-day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, (unless you cannot test for any reason).
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Two negative test results mean you are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. Tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school from day 8.
Face masks are now required in all classrooms and communal areas in all schools.
For people who are fully vaccinated, or children aged between 5 & 18 years and 6 months, if identified by the NHS as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.
On Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th January 2022 our students will take part in remote online lessons via Teams. Information regarding this went out at the end of last term. For information about this please visit https://www.clcc.college/academy-news/online-remote-learning-tuesday-4th-and-wednesday-5th-january-2022/
It is possible that high rates of COVID-19 may cause difficulties with staffing over these coming weeks. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will do all we can to ensure we operate as normally as possible. There may however be times when we have no other option but to reduce the number of students on site for the safe operation of the school. If we do need to make changes then we will inform you as soon as we can.
Thank you in advance for your support in what continues to be a challenging period.
Best wishes for the coming year.
Mrs C. Aitcheson