The staff have returned to school for a training day yesterday and today, and we are all looking forward to the students returning to us.
Ahead of their return to school I thought it would be useful to cover a few questions we have been asked in recent days. I hope you find it useful. It is rather long, but given the complexities of what we are dealing with, length is unfortunately necessary.
Where will students go on their first day?
Students should not arrive in school before 8.40am (8.30am for P band), details have been emailed to parents. There will be staff in the bus drop-off points off Chapeltown Road and at the student entrance off the main carpark, to direct students. All students must bring a mask with them, to wear outside the classroom and their own equipment, in a bag. We will not be able to lend out equipment.
What do I do if my child is unwell?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are the recent onset of any of the following:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Any one of the above symptoms gives reason for high level of suspicion for COVID-19.
If your child becomes unwell at home in any way or if anyone in your household is unwell, they should not attend school. Please let school know the reason for your child’s absence. If your child fits the criteria above, he or she will need a test.
Information on testing can be found here:
If any member of your household is unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19 listed above, then your child should isolate for 14 days, starting from the day the household member became ill. If your child subsequently develops symptoms, then they should isolate for 10 days from the date he or she developed symptoms, regardless how far through the initial 14 day isolation he or she is.
If your child is absent with for other reasons, such as a cold, a test isn’t needed. Your child can return to school once they are well enough to do so, as usual.
If your child becomes unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19 whilst in school, we will contact you and your child will need to be collected. Your child will be supervised separately from other children and other members of the school community whilst he or she is waiting to go home. You will need to arrange a test for your child, by using the link above or phoning 119.
Your child must remain at home while awaiting the test and the result and your child, and all members of your household, should not come into contact with other people outside of your household. You must not go to a doctors, hospital or NHS facility during this time unless symptoms become serious.
What do I do when I get the results of the coronavirus test?
Once you have received your child’s test results, you must phone school and inform us of the results. Even if the results are negative, you must still contact school with the outcome. If there is a positive test for a household member, rather than your child, you must inform school, as we need to monitor the required self isolation period. This is to protect the rest of the school community.
What do I do if my child’s coronavirus test is negative?
You must inform school straight away. Your child can return to the school provided they feel well enough and they have not had a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours. As there are other viruses circulating such as a cold or flu, it is advisable to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Household members can also end their isolation, unless someone else is awaiting results of a coronavirus test.
What do I do if my child’s coronavirus test is positive?
You must inform school straight away. This is so we can inform the Local Health Protection Team for advice around contact tracing and steps can be taken to protect others.
If your child attended school in the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and up to the point of testing, the Health Protection Team will work with school and your family to establish any contacts that may have been made with others in the community, both in and out of school.
Your child will need to self-isolate for at least 10 days until they feel better and symptoms have gone. A cough or lack of taste and smell might last longer than 10 days, but your child can still return to school after 10 days if they are well enough to attend.
Your household and any other contacts must isolate for 14 days and watch for symptoms. If these appear then they will need to be tested.
What do I do if my child is sent home because another child in their bubble has tested positive?
If another child with a positive test outcome attended the school in the 48 hours prior to symptoms appearing, a decision may be made that your child’s class or year group has to go home for isolation. This is to protect members of the school community and others by breaking the chain of transmission. If your child is sent home, we will inform you of this and your child will need to self-isolate for 14 days and watch for symptoms.
Your child will only need to be tested if symptoms do appear. Members of your household will not need to isolate, unless your own child develops symptoms.
If children from a bubble are sent home, they will be provided with online learning through teams.
Can the siblings of a child whose bubble has been sent home attend school?
Yes, other household members of a bubble member do not need to self-isolate unless the child from the bubble subsequently develops symptoms. If the child develops symptoms, he or she will need to be tested, and your household and any other contacts must isolate for 14 days and watch for symptoms. If these appear then they will need to be tested.
If a child has COVID-19 symptoms, gets tested and tests negative, can they return to school even if they still have symptoms?
If the child is NOT a known contact of a confirmed case, the child can return to school if the result is negative, provided he or she feels well and has not had a fever for 48 hours. If the child is a contact of a confirmed case, he or she must stay off school for the 14 day isolation period, even if they test negative. This is because they can develop the infection at any point up to day 14 (the incubation period for COVID-19), so if a child tests negative on day 3 they may still go on to develop the infection.
If a child who was a contact of a confirmed case tests negative, can they return to school?
If the child is a contact of a confirmed case (part of bubble sent home), he or she must stay off school for the 14 day isolation period, even if they test negative. This is because they can develop the infection at any point up to day 14 (the incubation period for COVID-19), so if a child tests negative on day 3 they may still go on to develop the infection.
I hope this information helps to answer some of your ‘what if?’ questions. If you have any questions around COVID-19 and school, the Government have produced useful guidance that can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
Deputy Head Teacher