Question 1. On the website, the Covid-19 information states that a child will not be able to return without a negative test: Is this correct, or should this state, a negative test or two weeks after the onset of symptoms and now symptom free?
School Response. The school opening letter on homepage reads ‘Unfortunately, your child will not be able to return to school until a negative test has been received and provided to the admin team at school’
This should read- Unfortunately, if your child becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must stay at home and follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, which sets out that they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone who has been in close contact with somebody who has Covid-19 symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days. If a case is confirmed this will apply to children within the school class bubble.
Families are not expected to present a negative test to school staff, confirmation of a negative test is sufficient. Please note however, no child should return to school whilst they present with symptoms including a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss or change in sense of smell or taste (anosmia) for 10 days, regardless of whether they have a negative test or not. This is in accordance with government guidelines and the risk assessment operated in school in conjunction with White Woods Primary Academy Trust.
This has now been amended on the school website (11.9.2021).
Question 2. Is there an expectation that only children showing potential signs and symptoms will be sent home and isolated, or is your intention to do this with complete classes?
School Response. In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, school will contact the local health protection team (HPT). The HPT will conduct a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate. The HPT and school will work together in this process and send home those who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. In the guidance to schools on full opening, this is defined as:
- direct close contacts - face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
- proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
At present, it is my understanding that in the event of a positive test result within a class bubble, this will result in the closure of that bubble and self-isolation for 14 days for the whole bubble. However, we will act upon the advice of the Health Protection Team in such an event, which may mean the bubble stays partially or fully open. It is clear in the government guidance on full opening of schools, that schools should take guidance from the HPT on the actions to take in such a scenario.
Question 3. Do you have any contingency plans for remote learning through video conferencing facilities should there be a class or school closure?
School Response. Currently in school we are operating using Class Dojo as a means of communication with families. Through this platform staff and children are able to submit photographs and videos for home learning. In the event of a school closure this will be extended to provide remote learning during the school day. In addition to this we are planning to roll out Google Classroom accounts to all children in school. Through Google Classroom, staff will be able to set tasks for children to complete via Google Docs and Google Sheets, as well as setting up video conference calls between teachers and children in class.
Question 4. Where children are sent home, what are the plans for maintaining their education?
Both as individuals and potentially as a class.
School Response. If any child in school is self-isolating on guidance from school but is feeling well, school will provide learning tasks via Class Dojo or email. In the near future we hope to provide this through Google Classroom. If a child is self-isolating and unwell, there will be no expectation of that child to engage with formal learning whilst they are unwell and recovering. This will be monitored on a case by case basis and in communication with families.