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Return to School January 2022

Dear Churchtown Families

As we prepare to welcome all the children back to school on Thursday 6th January we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year. We are aware that although this Christmas has been better than last for most of us, there are a lot of people whose rest and family time has been disrupted by illness and the need to self-isolate. We are sure that you will have seen the news about the return to school over the last few days but thought it appropriate to send you an update as well.

We would like to reassure parents that we are doing everything in school that we can to keep the children safe whilst in school. We will keep with the normal school routines as they are, there are no changes to these at present. Our COVID protocols are still firmly in place with children handwashing and sanitising at regular intervals throughout the day, school still has additional cleaning in place during the day and lunchtimes children eat in their own year groups. School staff are all testing twice weekly and wearing masks in corridors and all communal areas. The Government have sent us some CO2 monitors that have been placed in classes and are being used to monitor the air quality.

Staffing

As staff have returned to school today it is already clear that, as expected our staffing levels are affected by absence due to illness and self-isolation. As you will have seen in the news that there is a shortage of supply staff and this is something that is affecting our school. Most absences will be short term and we are committed to do everything we can to keep the school open for all children. Please bear with us over the next few weeks as we manage the challenges of the current stage of the pandemic at Churchtown.

Self Isolation

On Wednesday 22 December the government changed the self-isolation guidance for those who test positive with Covid-19. The ten days self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result has been reduced to seven days in most circumstances.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on days six and seven of their self-isolation period and 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 six and the two tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both test results are negative and the positive case does not have a high temperature they may end their self-isolation and return to school on day eight. If the positive case does not take the LFD tests, they must self-isolate for the full 10 days. We would urge you to ensure your child takes LFD tests on days six and seven to enable a speedy return to school (provided they are symptom-free).


If identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, those who are fully vaccinated or aged below 18 years and six months should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal. If they develop symptoms or have a positive LFD test result they should self-isolate and book a PCR test. If the result of the PCR test is positive, the self-isolation guidance set out above will need to be followed.

Attendance

In what is likely to be a term that is affected by Covid-19, we would ask you to ensure that, if at all possible, your child attends school to minimise any disruption to their education. We understand that children are required to self-isolate if they test positive with Covid-19 and they may not be able to attend school if they are unwell with non-Coronavirus illness.
Please minimise any other absence from school and understand that requests for leave of absence will not be authorised unless in exceptional circumstances.

Thank you in anticipation for your continued support and understanding over the next few weeks