04.01.2022 Letter to Parents
January 4th 2022
Dear Parents, Carers and Families,
I would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and a healthy and fulfilling 2022.
Since I last wrote to you, the government has shared further details of the plans to help schools stay open in January and beyond. This includes the expectation that students will now wear face coverings in classrooms as well as in corridors and in communal areas. This will be reviewed by the government on Wednesday 26 January. Students are also asked to ensure that they are cleaning their hands/using hand sanitiser on a regular basis to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We would advise students to wear layers under their uniform as they will be in well ventilated classrooms
You will be aware from the letter that Mr George sent to you at the end of last term, that the start of the Spring Term will be staggered as follows so that all students have the opportunity to perform a Covid-19 self-test before mixing in school:
- Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will return on Wednesday 5 January 2022
- Students in Years 10,11, 12 and 13 will return on Thursday 6 January 2022
- Work will be set online for students who are not in school on Wednesday 5 January.
The test is done by the students themselves in the same way as the regular home testing that you have been encouraged to participate in. Please check the detailed times for your child’s return to school as tests are happening through the day. Students will receive packs when they return to school this week to continue their twice weekly self-testing at home. We are aware that there is a shortage of test kits available nationally and will do all we can to ensure that students have an adequate supply this term.
We strongly encourage all students to help us make our return to school sustainable by supporting us with these new arrangements with face coverings and testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my child has Covid-19 symptoms?
The testing programme at school is only for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) your child must immediately self-isolate, and you should arrange a PCR test by calling 119 or visitinghttps://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
What if my child has already tested positive previously for Covid-19?
Updated guidance received on 2nd January 2022 suggests 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 in school and at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.
What if my child tests positive?
If your child tests positive, we will contact you immediately to let you know. Your child will be taken to a safe waiting area until you are able to collect them, or they have permission to walk home. We will make sure that your child is reassured at this stage. You will need to arrange for your child to take a confirmatory PCR test and they will then need to self-isolate for the next 10 full days. Your child may need to self-isolate for longer if they get symptoms while self-isolating or their symptoms do not go away, or for only 7 days if your child has performed 2 negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart. Read more about how long to self-isolate. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
What happens if the test is negative?
After your child has taken the test, they will remain in school and continue their activities as normal. A small number of individuals may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
What if my child has been in close contact with someone at school who tests positive?
Since September, close contacts have been identified via NHS Test and Trace rather than the school. Contacts will only be traced where the positive case specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. Children will no longer be required to self-isolate, if they are contacted as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test even if they do not have symptoms and have tested negative on a lateral flow test.
Finally, it goes without saying that we are all really looking forward to seeing your children back at Falmouth School this week and working with you to support them once again this year. The government has repeated their expectation that all students should be attending school. As always, we are keeping all of the safety arrangements for the school under constant review and will keep you informed if either the government advice changes, or the circumstances indicate that we need to amend our plans.
With all good wishes,
Brenda de Sousa