FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - September 2021
What COVID-19 measures will change at the school?
School will feel different as COVID-19 measures are relaxed.
- Students can again have breaktimes and lunch together, although we will maintain dedicated year group social areas. They can also take part in practical lessons and sports with other classes and year groups.
- Face coverings are no longer advised for students, staff and visitors, although anyone may continue to wear a mask if they wish.
- We will continue with regular handwashing, cleaning regimes, and keeping spaces well-ventilated.
- Rapid COVID-19 testing of secondary students will continue even for those who have been vaccinated. If your child is under 18 and 6 months and is identified as a close contact, they will not need to self-isolate. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test.
- We have plans in place on what to do if anyone at school tests positive for COVID-19, or if additional measures need to be reintroduced for a limited period.
Should my child attend school?
Yes, attendance is mandatory. Public Health England and the Government’s Chief Medical & Scientific Officers agree that there is a very low risk and rate of severe illness in children and young people from COVID-19. The benefit of attending school continues to significantly outweigh the COVID-19 health risk to children and young people.
Does my child need to continue doing COVID-19 tests?
Yes. Students with consent will test when they return at the start of term. They will be advised to take two on-site rapid COVID-19 tests (3-5 days apart), followed by twice weekly testing at home. The tests are easy to do and results come back within 30 minutes. Students will bring the test packs home.
You should report the results straight away, whether positive, negative or void, either online at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119, free from your mobile or landline. If the test is positive then the person should also take a confirmatory PCR test and follow the latest government guidance. In the case of a positive test, it is essential that you contact the school immediately.
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Taking regular rapid tests will help give you peace of mind that your child is not spreading the virus without knowing.
What should I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
If your child has any of the main COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste), they should not attend school and should stay at home.
You should arrange for them to get a PCR test immediately and inform the school of the test result. Your child should not attend school while you are waiting for test results, even if they are feeling better.
If the test is negative, they should go to school as normal. If they test positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.
What happens if my child has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms?
Students, irrespective of their vaccination status, and double vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. They will be strongly advised to take a PCR test and, if positive, will need to isolate. 18-year-olds will be treated in the same way as children until 6 months after their 18th birthday to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. Further guidance can be found here for close contacts of someone who has tested positive and lives in the same household, and here for those who do not live together.
Will my child be vaccinated?
All 16 and 17-year-olds in England are now eligible for their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder.
The NHS will also contact 12 to 15-year-olds to receive the vaccine if they were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable, have an underlying health condition or may live with an individual who is immunosuppressed.
If my child was previously considered as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), should they attend school?
Yes. All young people who were considered as CEV should have returned to school following the end of shielding measures on 1st April 2021.
Further guidance will be given to parents of children who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable where necessary.
One of my children has tested positive. Do siblings need to self-isolate?
The government has advised that from 16th August, anyone who is fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months who lives in the same household as a positive case will not be required to self-isolate
Will my child be required to continue any remote learning?
If your child is isolating due to a positive PCR test, we will continue to offer high-quality remote education so that they can learn from home if they are well enough. To find out more about what’s on offer and who’s eligible, visit: https://educationcatchup.campaign.gov.uk/ or speak to the school.
For further information and guidance:
- To find out more about what to expect when pupils return to school in September, visit: gov.uk/backtoschool
- How to order a rapid COVID-19 test for asymptomatic testing: https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
- How to take a test: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/how-to-do-a-test-at-home-or-at-a-test-site/how-to-do-a-rapid-lateral-flow-test/
- How to report your rapid COVID-19 test results: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or call 119 (free from mobile or landline)
- How to order a PCR test if you or your child has COVID-19 symptoms: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test