I hope that you and your family managed to have as good a Christmas a possible.
I wanted to let you know of what we are doing at The Castle School to continue to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Self-Isolation Rule Changes
As we enter the New Year, there have been several changes to self-isolation rules, which I wanted to highlight. The 10 day isolation period has been reduced to 7 days for most cases. The details below give more information:
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
You may have seen that the education secretary has asked that pupils in year 7 and above should wear face coverings in classrooms where possible. However, may of our pupils would find this very challenging. As such, if your child wishes to wear a face covering in class then they can do so. However, we will not be enforcing this for all pupils.
If possible, undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing for all household/family members age 11 and over. This may not be possible for many of our pupils, but those who can should try and carry out the tests. You can order test kits by going to the following weblink.
What to do if your child has symptoms
Book a PCR test for your child if you are concerned that they might have Covid-19 or have had contact with someone with Covid-19. If you don't meet any of the criteria for seeking a PCR test, please tick the box 'I've been told to get a test by my local council, health protection team or healthcare professional.'
It is very important that if your child has symptoms that they must self-isolate and not come into school.
Covid in the household
Any child who has a household member test positive for Covid-19 should take a daily LFD test for seven days (where possible), in addition to taking a one-off PCR test. Although not government guidance, we would also ask that you keep your child away from school if someone in the household tests positive for Covid-19. This is in order to keep our most vulnerable pupils safe.
Potential Class Closures
As you will be aware, the Covid infection rate has increased significantly over the Christmas period. As you will undoubtedly have seen in the news, there are concerns of high levels of staffing shortages due to Covid across the whole country. Unfortunately, this is likely to lead to class closures on occasion. We will, of course, try our utmost to keep all classes open and all pupils in school, but we may have to temporarily close classes if we cannot safely keep them open.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or any one of the senior leadership team.
You can find the latest protocols by clicking here
The Castle School