Dear Parents and Carers,

There are still numerous cases of Covid-19 in our community and it is likely to remain a challenge for some time. In order to reduce the impact on the learning and wellbeing of our children, I am keen we all engage with the new arrangements that are in place.

Under the “Living with Covid-19” plans, Covid will now be managed in a similar way to any other community illness. The similarities between the symptoms of Covid and other respiratory viruses means that we will be unable to distinguish one virus from another by symptoms alone. As tests are now in very short supply, most of us won’t know whether we have covid or not.

Children and young people who have a high temperature and are unwell with the symptoms of a cold or flu should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can come back to school when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids. If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can come to school.

If students don’t feel unwell, there is no need for them to test. If a student is too unwell for school and you are able to access a Covid-19 test (either left-over free testing kits or test kits purchased from pharmacies), children and young people with a positive test should stay at home and avoid contact with others for three days. They can return to education after three days provided they have no high temperature and feel well enough to do so. There is no longer any requirement to wait for a negative test.

Since there is no reason for anyone to stay away from school unless they are ill, we will no longer be setting isolation work. If a student is too unwell to come to school, they should rest until they feel better and not worry about completing school work. If students in Y11 or Y13 are off sick and worried they might fall behind in the run up to exams, they are welcome to contact their subject teachers for advice on what to revise independently.

The general measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 remain in place. You know them all, so I won’t repeat them here other than to say that from the beginning of April, all children above the age of five can also access vaccinations. All those who have been previously eligible can also book so you can get the whole family vaccinated at the same time if you missed out earlier.

I hope this new phase of Covid-19 means a return to relative normality in our school. Should we experience a further outbreak, Public Health might advise the introduction of further measures and we may need to consider further action.

Thank you for working so well with us since March 2020 on challenges none of us expected.

Best wishes,

Andy Hunter