FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens when the school is advised of a positive COVID-19 case?
Once the school is advised of a positive test, a detailed exercise is undertaken. Public Health England is advised and a risk assessment is conducted. Based on the results of the risk assessment, the school will follow guidance on the next steps; this could be asking a whole year group bubble to self-isolate or only close contacts of the student with the positive result. The school then informs the affected students and families before the start of the next day. The school also contacts the local education authority with details and the advice that has been given by PHE.
Who should self-isolate and what does this mean?
Only students whose families receive a letter from the school advising them to self-isolate need to take any action. They must follow the normal government guidelines for self-isolation. This means in short that they should not leave their home for any reason. They should try to avoid contact with anyone they live with as much as possible and friends and family should not visit the home. Please note that others in the household or support bubble are not required to self-isolate at this point unless they develop COVID-19 symptoms.
My child is in the same bubble as a student with the positive test for COVID-19. Do they need to self-isolate?
The advice from Public Health England is that individuals only need to self-isolate if they have had close contact with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within 2 metres for a period of 15 minutes or longer. We will notify any families/individual students who need to self-isolate.
If a student has a positive COVID-19 test and has siblings, do they need to self-isolate?
Yes. All members of the household need to self-isolate.
I believe that my child has had close contact with a sibling of a student who tested positive. Does my child need to self-isolate?
No. If a sibling develops symptoms or has a positive test, school staff will contact all families of students who have had close contact with the sibling to advise them of the next steps. School staff will update the wider school community of any further positive COVID-19 test results.
My child uses the same facilities as the student bubble(s) now on self-isolation. Should I be concerned?
No. Any specialist classroom used by more than one bubble is thoroughly cleaned before and after use. Each year group bubble has its own designated toilet facilities that are cleaned throughout the day. All students are expected to follow preventative hygiene measures and use separate communal spaces.
Why has my child been asked to self-isolate for a period shorter than 10 days?
Isolation periods directed by Public Health England can often be shorter than the standard 10 days. This situation arises when a student tests positive who has not been in school for a period as they have been ill at home. Close contacts are tracked back to the last day the infectious student attended. If, for example, this last day of attendance was 5 days ago, the directed self-isolation time for students who came in close contact with the infected student will only be 5 days.
Are face masks now mandatory at Uxbridge High?
You will be aware that the government has stated that from 8th March it is a requirement for all students to wear face coverings inside school and now additionally in lessons where social distancing is difficult. It is essential that all students always have their own personal face coverings on arrival at school and with them throughout the day. I am sure that you will understand that we will need to ask students to return home to collect masks if they arrive at school without them. It is our understanding that the government may review this advice over the Easter period.
We would encourage all students to use reusable face coverings in conjunction with a re-sealable plastic bag. This will be used to safely store the covering between uses. If students are using disposable coverings, they will need to place them in a special bin after each use and carry a supply of replacements for use throughout the day.
We would ask that students wear plain or simply patterned face coverings. I am sure that you will agree that we need to ask students to remove face coverings that are inappropriate for the school environment. A replacement will be issued.
Public Health England has produced a simple guide on how to make a face covering which you can view here. I would ask that all parents and carers watch this video on how to safely wear a mask and reinforce the key points with their child. Should any children be exempt from wearing a face covering, I would be grateful if their parent/carer contacts their child’s guidance leader.
If a student comes into close contact with a student with a positive COVID-19 test and is asked to self-isolate, should other siblings/family members also self-isolate?
No, unless anyone in the family develops symptoms. Siblings in this situation may attend school as normal.
One or more of my children have been asked to self-isolate. Where can they access work?
Students should log onto Microsoft Teams where they will find work posted. If they are experiencing difficulties with this, they should email their tutor in the first instance for support.
Do staff maintain social distancing from students?
Staff maintain a 2m distance from students and other staff. Where there is a need for them to move closer in exceptional circumstances, this never exceeds 15 minutes. Staff have the option to wear a visor if they wish.
Can I claim financial support if my child is asked to self-isolate?
Following updated regulations from the government, we have been made aware that in cases where students are asked to self-isolate, families may be entitled to claim financial support if parents/carers have to take time off work to care for their child. Details can be found here. Please note that eligibility is subject to your financial circumstances and you should retain the letter you receive from the school informing you of your child's self-isolation in order to make an application.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- a new continuous cough and/or
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ or by phoning 111.
How can we stop COVID-19 spreading?
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- 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
Further information for parents/carers is available here.