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As you will be aware from media reports the Government announced yesterday that secondary schools will be closed to the majority of students during the first week of the Spring Term following the Christmas break. Schools received some basic guidance late last night and we are now awaiting further detailed guidance.
The situation for our school will be as follows:
- All Year 11 students should return to school as normal on Tuesday 5th January 2020 where their lessons will continue as normal, as far as is possible.
- All students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will remain at home from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th January and access their learning through our MS Teams Remote learning platform. We will provide parents with further details to support this by 3pm on Monday 4th. The exception to this is that any child identified as being ‘vulnerable’ and those children whose parents are key workers will be allowed to attend school and will access their learning through MS Teams within school.
- If you believe your child falls into the vulnerable or keyworker categories and would like to take up the ‘in school’ provision then please can you email the school admin email address email@example.com by 1pm on Monday 4th January to notify us. We will then make appropriate arrangements to support your child.
The rationale behind the delayed start to the school term for all children is that the Government are taking action to try and reduce the rates of transmission of the Covid-19 virus. The rates of transmission are already increasing in many parts of the country and these rates are set to further increase following the Christmas break.
We understand that the Government are also intending to roll out mass testing of secondary aged students within our schools from the start of January.
We are awaiting further guidance from the Department for Education about this process and will forward further information to you in the New Year when we have received it.
We apologise for the short notice regarding the change to the start of the school year but this decision is beyond the school’s control. We are working with rapidly changing guidance and information and if the situation changes throughout the Christmas break we will notify you of any important changes or key information as soon as we can in early January.
A Step by Step Guide:
If we have received information that someone in your child’s group tests positive for COVID 19 the school will alert you via SchoolComms/text as soon as possible. We will then follow this with an email with further information. It is probable that this information will inform you that your child will need to isolate for 14 days.
This will be an initial safety response whilst Public Health England investigates the matter further. When we have additional information we will follow up the initial text with an email/phone call to clarify matters further and offer further guidance / information.
● If you do get the initial message, please follow national guidelines and isolate for 14 days in order for further cases to be avoided ensure we can get students back into school as quickly and as safely as possible. Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19). Your child must not go to school.
What happens if your child becomes unwell with symptoms?
If your child becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), please alert the school and do not send your child into school. Follow the government guidance COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance. and outlined below
● Your child must stay at home for at least 7 days. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
● for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for at least 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period
What happens if someone in your household tests positive?
If someone in your household or someone your child has had contact with has a positive test result for Coronavirus (COVID-19) the medical advice is clear: your child must immediately self-isolate at home for 14 days. If it is a member of the household, the 14 days would start from when the symptoms appeared. If it is a person outside of the household, then the 14 days would start from the date of their last contact with them.
● Stay at home for 14 days and follow the Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19). Your child must not go to school.
What happens if a member of staff tests positive?
The member of staff must stay at home for at least 7 days. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
What happens if a member of staff tests negative?
The government guidance for those who test negative is that they can return to their work setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can get a test?
- All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of Coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
- To access testing, parents will be able to use the NHS online test booking service: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ or call 119 if they do not have internet access.
- You will be asked how you want to get the test (e.g. by driving to a Regional Testing Site or asking for a home test kit to be posted to you) and for some contact details.
- Staff who are classified as essential workers can also access testing through https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers
What testing sites are available locally?
There are currently two Regional Testing Centre sites operating in Manchester and Trafford; these are at Manchester Airport and the Etihad Stadium. Both sites provide drive-through testing only. Testing is either self-swabbing (individuals complete their own test) or assisted swabbing (a healthcare worker completes the test).
Mobile Testing Units also operate occasionally in other locations for short periods of time, the details of these will be given when you contact the test booking service.
Can children be tested?
Yes. The Government has said that children of any age can be tested.
How long will individuals wait for test results?
Test results should be returned within 72 hours.
How do I get a test if I am not able to drive to a testing centre?
Residents and essential workers can apply for home testing kits for themselves or members of their household, if they have symptoms of coronavirus. These are available through the NHS website or by calling 119.
What happens if my test is positive?
If your test is positive for COVID-19 you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace within 24 hours and asked to give contact details of people you have come into close, recent contact with and the places you have visited. (These details will be entered onto a secure website.)
Your child must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If they are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 they also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, they must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.
What guidance has the school used to plan the current in school provision?
In order to plan effectively for our in school provision we have used the guidance documents that can be found using the links below:
- Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection: guidance for schools and other educational settings
- Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for educational settings
- COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings
Where can I find the most up to date guidance regarding Covid-19?
The most up to date guidance regarding Covid-19 can be found by clicking on the link below:
Definitions and associated mitigating strategies in relation to people who are classed as clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable.
For definitions and associated mitigating strategies in relation to people who are classed as clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable please use the link below:
Useful videos / information to support conversations about how your child can help keep themselves and others safe.
As a school we wanted to share with you some of the official guidance and videos that you can use to support your conversations with things your child can do to help keep themselves and others safe:
- Hand-Washing Guidance and Hand-Washing Video
- Social Distancing and what you need to do
- Coronavirus resources for children and families
Covid 19 Advice for Parents in GM
GM Covid Guidance Sept 2020 - Translated Documents
Family support guidance - School can help
If you are worried about something or need some support for your child, your family or yourself please do consider ringing school on 0161 882 1150. You can ask for someone from Student Support or the Safeguarding Team. If we are not available, leave your name and we will ring you back
Or you can contact us using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to alert staff that you need some help or support.
This could be any issues – health, family issues, financial – and if we can’t help we can put you in touch with someone who can.
Free School Meals
If your circumstances have changed and you think your child might be entitled to free school meals please visit our website link to support with this:
If you would benefit from breakfast products please let the school know by emailing us at email@example.com or by calling us on the number 0161 882 1150.
If you need additional support with food, please get in touch with school we can refer you to a local food bank who can deliver if you are isolating.
Mental Health and wellbeing
Greater Manchester Support - For a list of COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing resources in Greater Manchester, please CLICK HERE. This includes resources that are translated.
Living Life To The Full - A suite of free online self-help courses and resources that you can access at home or on the go. It teaches life skills and shares tools to improve wellbeing and resilience. There’s ‘Living Life To The Full’ course for low mood and stress in adults
Samaritans - Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans are there 24 hours a day. Call them free at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They also have advice if you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.
If you’ve been bereaved and need support or advice, call the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service on 0161 983 0902 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (except Bank Holidays), Wednesday 9am-8pm or visit their website here.
Winston’s Wish offers online information and guidance HERE on supporting bereaved children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 Recovery Support Group - The Manchester COVID-19 Recovery Peer Support Group is for people who would like to talk to others going through a similar experience. The group meets online every Wednesday evening from 6pm. People can call in or join on a tablet or laptop (expenses provided for data costs, if needed). Please text 07702 668169 with your name or email: firstname.lastname@example.org at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning.
Sleep Help – Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically. You may be finding it harder to get a good night’s sleep at the moment. Resources are available from Public Health England at Every Mind Matters, please CLICK HERE.
Manchester Community Hub - 0800 234 6123 to support Manchester’s families.
Crossroads Together have free online sessions for carers to get together and have a natter at this difficult time. Run by carer advisors, you can find out about them by CLICKING HERE.
Give Us A Shout - Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258
Domestic Abuse - Support and Advice - Manchester City Council has information on help and support around domestic abuse and what to do if you’re in a situation. If you need to get off the page quickly for any reason, there’s an exit button which takes you to an unrelated website.
Ear For You: Helpline For BAME Families - This Greater Manchester Service offers support to any Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) family who are self-isolating, recovering, bereaved, or have family members who need help. Call 07862 279289/07894 126157 or text HELP and someone will get back to you. Open 7 days a week 10am-6pm. www.nestac.org.uk