Covid-19 Response Update

As you will be aware, the Government announced that the domestic legal restrictions implemented in response to COVID-19 are coming to an end.

Dear Parent/Carer

As you know, during the half term break the Prime Minister set out the next phase of the Government’s COVID-19 response.

The guidance for schools include:

Face coverings
Face coverings are no longer advised for students , staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas.

Control measures
We will continue to:

1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone
Frequent and thorough hand cleaning is part of our regular practice. We will continue to ensure that students clean their hands regularly with hand sanitiser on entry to classrooms and our food pod.

2. Promote respiratory hygiene
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach is very important and we will continue to promote it.

3. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes
We will continue with our regular cleaning of areas and equipment, with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces. This will take place, as recommended, twice per day.

4. Ensure classrooms are well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained
Opening external windows will improve natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors will also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so). We will balance the need for increased ventilation whilst maintaining a comfortable temperature.

5. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test has been removed. However, adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days, and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days.

6. Asymptomatic testing
Staff and students in mainstream secondary schools will not be expected to continue taking part in regular asymptomatic testing and should follow asymptomatic testing advice for the general population.

7. Welcoming children back to school
In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a pupil with the key symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the school, given the potential risk to others. If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending school where they have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, we can take the decision to refuse the pupil if, it is necessary to protect other students and staff from possible infection with COVID-19

Pupil wellbeing and support
Some students may be experiencing a variety of emotions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. We will continue to do all we can to support all of our young people.

Stepping measures up and down
Whilst we sincerely hope that we can continue to operate with minimal restrictions and minimal or no disruption to learning, it may be the case that some safety measures need to be temporarily reinstated depending on school or local community circumstances, and we would ask for your cooperation and understanding should that be needed. We have contingency plans in place which outline how we will operate if we need to take extra measures in exceptional circumstances.

You may also find the following DfE guidance useful, which was updated on 25th February 2022: CLICK HERE

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of this further, please do not hesitate to get in touch using our [email protected] address.

We look forward to welcoming students back to school. As usual our expectations will be high with regard to approach to learning, behaviour and uniform. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Lisa Mason
Ormiston Forge Academy