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As you know the Government announcement on Monday 21st February demonstrates that there is increasing confidence that the country is moving from a pandemic to living and dealing with COVID-19. As the scientists acknowledge, the virus hasn’t gone away, and I want to reassure you that your child’s safety has been at the forefront of our decision-making throughout this situation and will continue to be our primary considerations going forwards, along with our duty of care to them, the staff and the wider community.

The guidance issued to school’s shows a number of operational changes will take place:

Attendance  Attendance is mandatory for all and it is a priority. Critically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and vulnerable staff and children will attend school.

No need for limited mixing or bubbles  Children will be able to be grouped flexibly and mix freely.

School Start and Finish times The school day will continue to start at 8:50am, the gates will be open at 8.45am, so please do not arrive at school too early. Please supervise your children when waiting to ensure they are safe as vehicular access needs to be kept clear. The gates will be closed promptly at 8.55am, so please make sure you arrive at school before this time. We are seeing an increasing number of families arriving late which results in lost learning and disruption to the school office and classes when leading children to their classrooms. The day will continue to end at 3:10pm.

Safe Hygiene  Children will continue to sanitise their hands regularly throughout the day. Tissues and bins are in each classroom so that children can ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. Please continue to encourage this at home.

If your child is unwell Please do not send your child to school if they have a temperature or are unwell at all. This is for the safety of everybody. If your child becomes ill whilst at school, you will be asked to collect them immediately. Please ensure that contact details are up to date with the office including the details of another person who can collect your child.

If they display symptoms of COVID-19 they will be isolated until you arrive. You should then make arrangements for them to be tested, using a PCR or LFD. School should be informed of the result as soon as possible. If the LFD is negative, we would ask that your child does not return until they are well.

Know the symptoms of Covid-19  The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a recent onset of any of the following: a new continuous cough a high temperature a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

Other symptoms linked with COVID-19 include shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle ache, sore throat, headache, stuffy or runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Any of these symptoms may also have another cause.

Isolation  The ‘People with Covid19 and their contacts’ guidance indicates that whilst the law has changed, the directives for public safety remain: if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

‘Children and young people with COVID-19 should not attend their education setting while they are infectious. They should take an LFD test from 5 days after their symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) followed by another one the next day. If both these test results are negative, they should return to their educational setting, as long as they feel well enough to do so and do not have a temperature’.

Please continue to liaise with the school office about your child’s return date after testing positive. It is very important that these isolation procedures are followed by staff and children so that the risk of transmission is kept to a minimum.

Close contact changes  The new guidance has brought an end routine contact tracing. Close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily LFD tests for 7 days. Staff, children and young people should attend their education settings as usual.

Possible further disruption to schooling  It is almost guaranteed now that schools will remain open, but there is the very real chance that there may be further disruption to ‘schooling’ for individual children who need to isolate or are unwell. Please remember that remote learning will only be provided if your child tests positive for Covid-19 and is well enough to access work. If this is the case, please contact the office who will inform the teacher and they will endeavour to provide this at the earliest opportunity.

If cases rise across the school additional measures may need to be reintroduced to reduce transmission. If these measures are needed I will inform you as soon as possible.

We thank you, as always, for the support you have given us whilst on this journey.

Catch up funding

The government announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure.

School allocations are calculated on a per pupil basis at £80 for each pupil. Schools should use this funding for specific activities to support their pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months. Schools can use their funding in a way that suits their cohort and circumstances.