Latest School News 2021/22                                                                     Lasswade Primary School | Category | Nursery | Page 12

Tuesday 19th January 2022 - Covid Outbreak Letter

Dear Parents

Please find attached an important letter from Public Health (this is also available on the website under School News for translation into other language)s. This letter is for classes/clubs that have reached the threshold of five current positive cases. We are sending it to all parents as the situation is changing daily and it is likely that thresholds will be met in other groups.

Outbreak status (5 current cases or more) – Year 2, Year 3, Year 5 and Breakfast Club

Positive cases but not yet reached the 5+ threshold – Year 4, Total Coaching (all sessions), Lego Club, Cookery Club (Thursday), RockSteady, Recorders, Brass lessons and Guitar

These groups are correct at the time of sending you this letter. OOSC will contact you separately.

As there are children that are positive in both year groups and clubs, it is asked that pupils in all of the outbreak groups above test for 7 days from today. It will be impossible to give individual 7 day cut offs for individual children, depending on year group, club and if they were in school. We will continue to give you regular updates on where we reach outbreak status.

Please note again that many of our positive cases have shown no symptoms and others have presented with sore throats and muscle aches. Lateral Flow Tests are available at pharmacies, libraries, Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre and other places and can also be ordered online at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. People with symptoms should take a PCR test and isolate until they receive the result.

In order for us to feel ensure that you have received and read the letter, please complete the ParentMail form saying that you have read and understood any actions that need to be taken.

Please contact us if you require any further information.

Many thanks

Kathy Burden

 

Outbreak Letter 

 

Date: 18.1.22

 

FOR PARENTS / CARERS IN AN EDUCATION GROUP WHERE COVID-19 IS CIRCULATING

Dear Parents

We have been made aware of an increasing number of confirmed positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at St Mary’s school. We have followed the national guidance and, following a risk assessment with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advisers, have been informed that this may indicate an outbreak. This means that we are required to take additional actions to prevent further spread of infection.

Due to the number of cases in your child’s class/group, we are advising they undertake daily rapid lateral flow device (LFD) testing each morning before they attend school for 7 days.

Whilst daily LFD testing is not mandated, it has been advised by the public health professionals as an additional supportive measure during this outbreak. We appreciate you supporting our joint effort of minimising the disruption to your child’s education and reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. LFD tests are available via community testing sites, local pharmacies or you can order online for home delivery.

LFD tests should only be used by people without symptoms of COVID-19. If your child’s LFD test is negative, and they remain without symptoms, they should attend school as usual. If the test is positive, please inform us immediately by emailing or phoning the school office. Your child will need to isolate at home and their positive Covid result will need to be reported online or by calling 119. 

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a new, continuous cough, or
  • a high temperature, or
  • a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should get a PCR test (https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 and remain at home at least until the result is known. This is the case even if they have previously tested negative on an LFD or PCR test.

  • If negative, the child can end self-isolation and return to school once well (including at least 24 hours fever free without medication);
  • If positive, the child should isolate as a positive case (see below)

People who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until they are well (48 hours fever free) and either:

  1. 10 full days have passed, or
  2. They have produced two negative LFD tests on consecutive days, with the first taken no earlier than day 5.

Note: Lingering coughs and changes to smell/taste are not a sign of ongoing infectiousness, so children can return to school if they have ended their self-isolation period (see above).

You can seek advice about COVID-19 symptoms from the nhs.uk website. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.

If the child has a positive test result on day 5 and day 6  but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date- the positive test was taken. If your child does not have symptoms, count the day they took the test as day 0. If they subsequently develop symptoms shortly after a positive LFD test, a further PCR test is not required and the isolation period will be based on the original positive LFD test.

Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic awaiting a test result

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing, advised to take extra caution, and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.

You are not required to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • You are fully vaccinated
  • You are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • You have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine (note this is currently under review and may be updated to include a booster dose in due course).

In line with national guidance for households with Covid-19 infection, household and other close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should undertake daily LFD testing for a period of 7 days or for 10 days from their last contact with the positive case (whichever is first). This is recommended for all close contacts aged 5 and over who are not required to isolate.

Children aged under 5 who are close contacts are not required to isolate and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under the age of 5 lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 they will be advised to avoid contact with those at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19 and to take a one-off PCR test as soon as possible.

You are required to self-isolate if you are aged over 18 years and 6 months and if any of the following apply:

  • You have received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • You have not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination
  • You are not otherwise exempt

Household members who need to self-isolate as close contacts should not go to work, school or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. You should ask friends or family if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.

Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.

How to reduce spread of COVID-19 as a household contact who is not required to self-isolate

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community:

  • Test daily using LFDs for 7 days
  • Limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
  • Wear a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilates spaces and when you are in close contact with other people
  • Limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid-19
  • Follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You should follow this advice while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.

If you are a health or social care worker or student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Get vaccinated – everyone aged 12 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
  • Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
  • Wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it is hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • Participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results

Further Information

Further information is available at - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Sunday 17th January 2022 - Covid Update

Dear Parents,

Following on from our email this morning, more children have tested positive on LFD tests. Please note these children were asymptomatic - showing no symptoms.

Please where possible test your child before school rather than the night before, as tests can change within hours if positive. We have reached threshold in one class and close in others.

As we have said before, whilst staff can provide contact details of those they have had close contact with, for children's cases it is the responsibility of the parents. Therefore some of you may receive contact from Test and Trace and others won’t, as parents may not have contact details. We are listing below the classes and clubs that we consider close contacts:-

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Breakfast Club

Total Coaching (Friday)

Kids with Bricks Club (Wednesday)

Guitar lessons (selected children/Thursday)

Recorders (selected children/Wednesday)

Cookery Club (Thursday)

The guidance states that children that are close contacts should take daily lateral flow tests for 7 days but do not need to isolate unless they test positive or has symptoms. Should they test positive on a lateral flow but have no symptoms, they should isolate using the guidance. Should your child develop symptoms they must take a PCR test, even if they are showing negative on a lateral flow.

Further information will follow when we have contact from Public Health. In the meantime we will continue to take advice and follow our risk assessment, with good hygiene, enhanced cleaning, ventilation and social distancing where possible.

Many thanks

 

Kathy Burden and staff

Friday 7th January 2022 - NSPCC Safeguarding Programme.

Dear Parent/Carer

RE: NSPCC’s Speak out. Stay safe. online programme

I am pleased to tell you that this term we will be participating in the NSPCC’s Speak out. Stay safe. online programme. This consists of an online assembly and supporting classroom based activities. Speak out. Stay safe. is a safeguarding programme available to all primary schools in the UK and Channel Islands. It aims to help children understand abuse in all its forms and to recognise the signs of abuse in a child friendly way. Children are taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or Childline.

In the online assembly, the Speak out. Stay safe. messages are delivered in a fun and interactive way with the help of their mascot Buddy as well as special guest appearances from Ant and Dec.

We have studied the content of the materials and are extremely confident that they are appropriate for primary-school-aged children. By the end of the programme, we’re convinced children will feel empowered – knowing how they can speak out and stay safe.

If you would like to know more about the Speak out. Stay safe. programme you can find information on the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk/speakout or I would be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.

Adapted assembly for home use

The NSPCC has also developed an adapted version of their assembly for parents/carers to use at home with their children.  This can be found here: www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/support-for-parents/safety.  With the help of celebrities, the film focuses on how a child can get support if they have any worries or concerns.

To complement the assembly, there are some resources that can be used to enable further discussion whilst doing activities with your children.  These are hosted on the NSPCC website www.nspcc.org.uk/activities.  

 Childline Under 12’s Website

Childline also have a website with age appropriate advice for primary school children on topics such as bullying.  It also has games and other interactive tools. Your child can visit it at www.childline.org.uk/kids.

If you’d like to know more about the NSPCC’s work, or take a look at the wide range of information and advice which is available for parents and carers, please visit their website www.nspcc.org.uk/parents. 

Talking PANTS with your children

Talk PANTS is a simple conversation to help keep your child safe from sexual abuse. From P through to S, each letter of PANTS provides a simple but valuable rule that can help keep your child safe. You can find out more and download the free resources at www.nspcc.org.uk/pants.

Penguin and Ladybird have partnered with the NSPCC to create a brand new Pantosaurus book aimed at children ages 4 - 8. You can find copies of the new book on sale, either in Matalan’s selected stores and online, selected SPAR stores or at https://shop.nspcc.org.uk/. All profits from the sale of this book will support the NSPCC.

Tuesday 4th January 2022 - Term 3 Update

Dear Parents

Happy New Year. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas break and managed to enjoy some quality time with family and friends. On behalf of all the staff, I would like to once again thank you for all your kind Christmas wishes, cards and gifts.

As you are all aware, Covid 19 continues to circulate widely with the more transmissible variant – Omicron. I am sure many of you have had family members and friends affected with this over the holiday period.

We are in full support of the government’s aim to keep schools open and to minimise disruption to children’s education. In order to ensure we maintain as safe a workspace as possible for children and staff we will continue to employ our Covid safety measures as we did before the end of term:

  • Wearing of face masks in all communal areas for staff
  • reduced mixing of children in school e.g. separate assemblies, break times and lunch times for key stages
  • Increased handwashing and hand sanitising
  • Enhanced cleaning throughout the day and at the end of the day
  • Ventilation of classrooms and school

Please send your child into school dressed warmly (still in uniform – with layers e.g. a long sleeve top underneath their polo top if wish) as although the heating will be on we will need to keep some windows open to allow for adequate ventilation.

Face Masks for Pupils

It is now statutory for children in secondary schools to wear face masks in schools: this is not the case for primary schools. Before Christmas, we had a small number of children choosing to wear face masks in school. Whilst this is not a recommendation from the Government that they do so, we will not ask children to remove masks if they wish to wear them in school. However, if this is the case, please ensure that they know how to wear one safely to reduce possible spread of infection. Taking them on and off and touching them or leaving on tables is both unsafe and also can be disruptive to the lesson.

Staff Absence

As we start Term 3 we currently have a number of staff off sick with either Covid or other illnesses. Although we will do our best to cover classes there may be occasions when we are unable to; in this case we will have no choice but to close classes and revert to remote education. If this happens, we will try to give you as much notice as possible. In the event of class closure we will notify you by email and text message.

In order to ensure all children have access to remote education, please take this opportunity to check that your child’s Google Classroom login is working for Years 2 – 6. Reception and Year 1 will access any remote learning through Class Dojo.

Financial support

The Council have a range of support options available to help customers who are struggling financially, for reasons such as:-

  • being made redundant
  • a cut in working hours
  • owning a business that has been closed due to lockdown or restrictions
  • increased living costs
  • a cut in income.

Families can apply for immediate and ongoing advice and financial support around essential outgoings (please see leaflet attached).

Information required

If you have not done so already, please:-

  • Complete the ParentMail form if you have travelled abroad over the holidays and ensure that your child completes the relevant isolation time;
  • Notify us of any positive cases of Covid in your child or your household over the holiday period and from the start of Term 3.
  • Check your child’s Google Classroom login for Years 2 – 6 or that you have access to Class Dojo if your child is in Reception or Year 1.

Thank you once again for your cooperation and support with this. Our priority will be as always to keep the whole school community safe whilst providing your children with an excellent education.

Best Wishes for 2022.

 

Kathy Burden, Staff and Governors

Lasswade Primary School | Category | Nursery | Page 12

Thursday 21st October 2021 - Flu Vaccine Update

Dear Parents,

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Mass Vaccination Programme has asked us to share an update with you on the annual flu immunisation roll-out.

'Thank you for your patience in waiting for details for this year’s flu immunisation programme. As you are aware, we were asked by NHS England to roll out the national COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12-15-year-olds in secondary schools from mid-September which meant a change to our planned timings for the Primary School Flu programme.

We are confident that all 140,000 children in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will have been offered their flu vaccination by the end of January, which is the national target completion date. This means we are scheduling visits to primary schools from our teams from November through to 31 January recognising the need to accommodate school Christmas activities.

If your child is at higher risk from flu because of an underlying medical condition, they can have their flu vaccination at their GP practice. Parents/carers should contact their GP practices to book an appointment.

The schedule of visits will be shared after half-term and we will be sharing with you the online consent form.'

Lasswade Primary School | Category | Nursery | Page 12

Wednesday 1st September 2021 - Welcome back

Dear Parents

I hope you have all enjoyed a lovely summer break and managed to have some time to relax and catch up with family and friends.

Staff are returning to school refreshed and ready for all that 2021 -2022 brings. We welcome two new members of staff to our community: Mr Powell in Yr3 and Ms Dunt in Yr5. We do hope that they will be very happy working here. We also congratulate Mr and Mrs Clift on their marriage and Miss Eatherington on the birth of her baby boy who was born on Friday August 13th, five weeks early – both mother and baby are doing well.

Following on from a Local Authority briefing I attended last week, I am now able to share arrangements for the start of the new academic year.

The Local Authority has confirmed that schools can open ‘as normal’ whilst maintaining some Covid measures in place in order to help keep yourself, your child and everyone safer while Covid-19 continues to circulate.

This means we will, as planned, open for all children on Friday September  3rd in the way that was outlined to you in a previous letter. 

Please be reassured that although school is now able to open without having to operate strict Covid regulations, we will be maintaining a number of the health and hygiene measures e.g.

  • School will be well ventilated
  • Enhanced cleaning will continue
  • Children / staff will continue to wash and sanitise hands regularly
  • Children will be encouraged to cough or sneeze into their arm or tissue
  • Children / staff will be asked to stay at home if unwell

Please see attached a letter from the Local Authority which provides further details around Covid procedures in school.

Please see below the operational arrangements for the new term:

Start and end time to School

School will start at 8:55am and finish at 3:30pm for all year groups; parents will be allowed back on the playground to drop off and collect their children. Both the front gate and back gate will be open.

Please note we will continue to monitor punctuality and attendance in the usual manner. If your child is going to be absent, please do phone school before 9.30am on the first day of their absence to let us know.

School Uniform

Please ensure your child returns to school wearing full school uniform, including appropriate school shoes. Please make sure the uniform is labelled with your child’s name so that if it does become lost it is easier to track down and return to the owner.

PE kit

On the days your child is doing PE we ask that you send your child in to school in their PE kit. This has worked very well over the last year as it has meant that valuable teaching time has not been wasted due to changing in and out of clothes. Separate information will follow regarding this for our new Reception parents. Please see below provisional PE times. If there are any changes to these times you will be notified in September:

Monday:  Yr5 St Martin’s Class, Yr4 St Bernadette’s Class, Yr3 St Augustine’s Class and Yr2 St Elizabeth’s Class

Tuesday: Yr6 St Francis and Yr1 St Nicholas

Wednesday: Reception St George and Yr4 St Bernadette’s Class

Thursday: Yr6 St Francis, Yr1 St Nicholas and Reception St George

Friday: Yr5 St Martin’s Class, Yr3 St Augustine’s Class, Yr2 St Elizabeth’s Class (Please note children will not be doing PE on the first Friday back )

Class Bubbles

Although we will no longer be required to keep classes separate we will however continue to have separate break times and lunch times for KS1 and KS2 children. Having less children on the playground during break times has resulted in far less accidents and head bumps.

Assemblies

Whole school assemblies will resume as well as separate Key Stage 1 and 2 assemblies. Throughout the year we hope to be able to invite parents in for class assemblies, celebration assemblies and school Masses.

Homework and reading books

Homework will continue to be set using Google classroom for KS2 and Dojo for Reception and KS1. Each class teacher will provide information about their classroom routines and reading book procedures in September during a class meeting. (Dates to follow in September)

Parent Meetings

Virtual parent meetings have proved to be very successful and to have worked relatively smoothly so we envisage that we will offer a choice of virtual parent meetings and face to face meetings.

Health and safety around Covid Enhanced handwashing and cleaning

Public Health still recommends schools to continue with hand washing, respiratory hygiene, keeping spaces well ventilated and ensuring appropriate cleaning regimes are in place. We will continue with these routines.

 

 Contact with a Covid case and a positive Covid result

Parents are still required to inform school if their child tests positive with Covid and although schools are not being asked to contact trace, the LA still require schools to monitor case numbers at an individual school level. 

All school staff will continue to undertake twice weekly home tests until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.

If you have any further questions or queries please do email into the office (admin@stmarysbs.org.uk) and we will answer as soon as we are able. We do ask that you are patient with us as we gradually start returning to life in school as it used to be. We also ask that you drive and park around the school area in a respectful and safe manner.

We look forward to the start of the new academic year.  

Best wishes

Kathy Burden and Staff

Lasswade Primary School | Category | Nursery | Page 12

Wednesday 1st September 2021 - Letter from Local Authority

Returning to schools and colleges safely in September 2021

Dear parents and carers,

As you prepare for the start of the new term, you may have questions or concerns about how the risks of Covid-19 will be minimised in educational settings and the measures we can all continue to take to help keep yourself, your child and everyone safer while Covid-19 continues to circulate.

This letter sets out the national guidance on what has changed since July 2021 and testing arrangements for all secondary aged pupils as the new term starts. It also describes how South Gloucestershire Council’s Education and Public Health teams are working with all educational settings to support you and your child, as well as the local support available to families.

What has changed since last term?

On 19 July, England moved to Step 4 of the government’s roadmap out of the pandemic. Most remaining restrictions were lifted, such as social distancing and the legal requirement to wear face coverings. Schools and colleges therefore no longer have to organise children into smaller bubbles during the school day, although some may continue to do this.

The government has been very clear that Covid-19 has not gone away. Your child’s school or college will still have a Covid-19 risk assessment in place that covers:

  • supporting regular testing of those without symptoms
  • operating safely on a day-to-day basis through cleaning regimes, hand and respiratory hygiene and keeping spaces and classrooms well ventilated
  • processes for outbreak management

From 16 August 2021, the government guidance states that anyone under the age of 18 and 6 months, or anyone who has had both doses of the vaccine, does not have to isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

What will happen if my child tests positive for Covid-19, develops symptoms or is unwell?

A child or adult of any age who has symptoms of Covid-19 or a positive rapid lateral flow test will still have to isolate. If they haven’t already, they will also need to take a PCR test to confirm they have Covid-19. The rules for positive cases have not changed and you will be asked to come and collect your child if they show signs of Covid-19 symptoms whilst in school and arrange a PCR test for them. If the test is positive, they will have to isolate for 10 days.

It is important to keep your child at home if they start to develop Covid-19 symptoms - a new, continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to sense of taste or smell. Please continue to let your school or college know if your child has Covid-19 symptoms and also tests positive for Covid-19.

As usual, as we enter the winter months, there will be other infectious diseases circulating. Even if your child has a negative Covid-19 test result, please ensure they are fever free for at least 24 hours and have recovered from acute symptoms before they return to school or college.

If you are concerned about other childhood illnesses, you may find this HANDi app useful:

(https://bnssgccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/campaigns/download-handi-app/)

The HANDi app aims to provide advice and support to parents and carers when your child is unwell. It offers simple and straightforward advice for conditions in children and babies such as diarrhoea and vomiting, high temperature, ‘chesty’ symptoms, abdominal pain and common new-born problems.

The app takes you through a series of questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing and then advises on the best course of action, whether that’s to treat at home (with a plan provided for each condition), to make a GP appointment, or to take them to A&E.

Download the HANDi App for Android phones at Google Play, and for iPhone or iPad using the app store or iTunes. Use the search term 'HANDi App'.

What will happen if there is a positive case of Covid-19 in my child’s school or college?

Anyone who has symptoms will be asked to stay at home. If they also test positive for Covid-19 they will have to isolate for 10 days. This rule has not changed. Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms will need to be collected from school or college and isolate until they have taken a PCR test and know the result.

Will my child be asked to isolate if they have been near a positive case?

No but they will be encouraged to book a PCR test and they will not need to isolate while they wait for the result of this PCR test. This is the main change for schools and colleges and in most circumstances they no longer have to contact trace or ask close contacts to isolate when there is a positive case in their setting. This will mean fewer class and setting closures if there is a single positive case in the school or college which will help minimise disruption to face-to-face education. Children under 4 years of age who are a contact will not be asked to take a PCR test unless the positive case is a member of their household.

What if there are several cases of Covid-19 at my child’s school or college?

All settings will have an outbreak management plan, this may be referred to as a contingency plan, for when cases rise in their setting or in the local area. The plan is based on the latest government guidance. Your child’s school or college will work with health protection and public health teams and use the plan to guide decisions or actions they need to take to reduce the spread. If it is decided it is best to do so, certain measures may be reintroduced by local Directors of Public Health such as staggered start and end times of the school day, contact tracing, the wearing of face coverings and partial school closures where children will access their learning online. Please be assured these measures will only be introduced if the risk to individuals' health outweighs the risk to disrupting our children and young people’s education.

Will my child be tested at the start of the new term?

At the start of the new term in September, all students at secondary schools and colleges should receive two rapid lateral flow tests, 3 to 5 days apart, at their school setting. Your child’s school or college will let you know the details of when your child needs to go to their school or college to get tested.

For parents of children starting secondary school, you can watch our video with your child to understand what taking a rapid lateral Covid-19 test at your secondary school or college is like. Visit: Covid-19: Brimsham Green School tour - YouTube

Secondary school and college students, as well as early years, primary, secondary and college staff, will continue to take regular rapid lateral flow tests at home twice a week. Individuals should not take a rapid lateral flow test if they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days, unless they have developed new symptoms.

The rapid home test kit now comes in two forms: the throat and nasal swab test and the new nasal-only swab test. It is unclear which test kit the Department for Education will send to schools to use, but both will have instructions for use if you are concerned.

Please be assured that your child’s school or college has been updated with all the latest government guidance. Our education and public health teams will continue to provide support and guidance to all educational settings, and we will keep you informed of any national changes.

Who can have the Covid-19 vaccination?

Vaccination is now available to everyone over 16 and to those aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable or who live with someone who is immunosuppressed. As the vaccination programme progresses and is also opened up to the wider 12 to 15-year-old age group, we will keep you informed.

All the information about vaccinations for all eligible age groups is available on our health partner website www.bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk Walk-in clinics are also being held across South Gloucestershire, visit www.grabajab.net for the latest details. This Public Health England leaflet explains the Covid-19 vaccination programme for eligible children and young people https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-resources-for-children-and-young-people/covid-19-vaccination-a-guide-for-eligible-children-and-young-people

Flu vaccine

For the 2021 to 2022 flu season, the flu vaccination programme that already includes all children in primary school will be expanded to additional children in secondary school so that those in years 7 to 11 will now be offered the flu vaccination. This is part of the government’s wider winter planning to reduce flu levels in the population, and therefore the potential impact on the NHS, when we are likely to see both flu and coronavirus (COVID-19) in circulation. Your school will be providing more details of when this is likely to happen.

Support available to you and your family

Buying new shoes, uniform, lunch boxes, and a long list of kit for your child’s return to school is costly. If your income or outgoings have been impacted by Covid-19 and you need some extra financial support to help, you can apply for our resilience fund. You may also be eligible for a £500 payment if you are not exempt and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Find out more here www.southglos.gov.uk/community-resilience-fund  

Finally, we would like to say thank you for your continued support and all your efforts to keep your child and family, your child’s school and your wider community safer.

We are continuing to encourage everyone in South Gloucestershire to be considerate and respectful of those around us. Thinking about risks to ourselves and others, particularly people with clinical vulnerabilities, will help keep us all safer.

How we can all continue to take precautions to keep ourselves and each other safer:

  • Meet outdoors or in well ventilated areas
  • Wear a face covering when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell
  • Have both doses of the vaccine if you can. If you are concerned about the vaccine or cannot have it, you can seek advice here: COVID-19 vaccination questions and answers - Healthier Together (bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk)

Yours sincerely,

                                   

                           

Sara Blackmore,                                                         Chris Sivers,

Director of Public Health                                         Director for Children, Adults and Health

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