Year 7 Parents and Carers- First day back in September 2021

Year 7 Parents and Carers- First day back in September 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Arrangements for the start of term September 2021 for Year 7

We are looking forward to welcoming our Year 7 students and I would like to outline the arrangements for the start of term in September.  The start back will not be our usual arrangements but we are following the latest DfE guidance to ensure a safe start for all.  The first day of term, Monday 6th September, will be an INSET day however, we will be offering LFT tests for Year 7 on this day on a consent basis. 

The first formal day for students in Year 7 will be on Tuesday 7th September.  On this day they will be the only year group in school.  They will follow an induction day programme with Family Tutors and will do some of the usual activities we would have done on the transition day. Students are expected to arrive at 8:10am for an 8:15am start and will finish at 2:50pm.  They will need to be in full uniform.

Plans for Covid-19 testing:  Monday 6th September on an allocated time slot

The first test for Year 7 will take place on Monday 6th September 2021.  (This, as stated above, is our INSET day).  Students have been allocated a time slot in which to attend and this will be stated within the email sent to you with this letter.  Please complete the form on the link below to register your child and give consent. Testing is not compulsory and we will only do this with consent.  Students do not need to wear their uniform to attend on 6th September for testing.

https://forms.gle/vFS1fPUpt9sqCeBH7

We have been advised that testing is continuing across the country using the Covid-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow’ devices.  The latest guidance requires us to offer every student two LFTs on their return in September.  As mentioned Year 7 will have this opportunity for their first test on Monday 6th September.  We can also do catch up tests on Tuesday 7th September if students are unavailable the previous day.  The second test will be later in the week.  

Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic.  By testing, we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. 

How the test works

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers.  The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the throat and nose.  Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant.  The school will inform the student of a positive test result.  Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardian will also be informed. 

What if my child tests positive?

If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will need to self-isolate immediately and a confirmatory PCR test ordered.  The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of a positive LFD test.  If the confirmatory PCR is also positive, follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace and continue to self-isolate. 

If the confirmatory PCR test is negative the student can stop self-isolating and return to school.  Should a confirmatory PCR test not be obtained the student should self-isolate for 10 days from the result of the positive lateral flow test. 

What happens if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?

NHS Test and Trace will inform you if your child is identified as a close contact is a positive Covid-19 case.  From 16th August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate as a close contact.  Instead they will be advised to take a PCR and we strongly encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if they are advised to do so. 

What if my child develops symptoms?

This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms.  If your child develops symptoms at any time, they must immediately self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Additional DfE guidance 

  • It will no longer be necessary to keep students in consistent groups/bubbles.
  • Contact tracing will be done by NHS Test and Trace and not the academy.
  • Face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, students, staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas.
  • Face coverings are also no longer recommended on dedicated transport to the academy and students are no longer legally required to wear masks on public transport.  Please keep looking for updates with regard to this as the trams are still mandating a face covering. 
  • We may be asked to revert back to bubbles and masks in the academy on a local scale by public health if we have an outbreak locally.

We will still need to:

  • Ensure good hand hygiene for everyone and follow the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ for respiratory hygiene.
  • Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
  • Keep occupied space well ventilated.
  • Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases.

We will support all students throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely 

Mr Phill Quirk

Headteacher