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Latest Covid 19 Guidance

September 2021

As we work hard to reopen ahead of an exciting new academic year at Isebrook School, there are some notices regarding COVID-19 that are important to share. This letter is written with the aim to inform everyone of the changes put forward by Public Health England and the National Health Service. The following information is to enable Isebrook to be as safe as possible as everyone returns to school.
The guidance given has relaxed over the previous 7 months and our students will recognise that some safety precautions are no longer in effect when they return in September. This list below outlines these changes and describes the new measures in place to keep people safe. Please note, the guidance is only advice, and we plan to maintain many previous precautions to keep a safe working environment.

Guidance Updates
Bubbles

Over the last 18 months, students at Isebrook School have been working within ‘bubbles’ to maintain social distance from other age groups across the school. This has been to prevent COVID-19 from spreading between peer groups across the school. This is no longer a necessary precaution; however, we will continue to use this model on a more informal basis to maintain distance where needed.

Track and Trace
Previously, school leadership teams have been responsible for tracing all close contacts of positive cases to monitor and enforce self-isolation. This is no longer necessary, as the NHS Track and trace team are handling all contact with potential close contacts. Isebrook school will work closely with the Track and Trace team to ensure all close contacts are identified and individuals’ data is handled sensitively. Therefore, it is likely that from now on, the notice to self-isolate will likely come directly from the NHS, not from the school.

Self-Isolation Requirements
As before, anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms or who have tested positive must self-isolate for 10 days. It is key that students and staff showing symptoms of COVID-19 do not come to school as this has a high risk of transmitting the virus to others. Anyone showing symptoms will be asked to return home and should request a PCR test from the NHS Testing service. Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

• they are fully vaccinated;

• they are below the age of 18 years 6 months;

• they have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial;

• they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.


Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Face Coverings
After August 16, face coverings are no longer required in school. However, as there is still a present risk in the community for the virus to spread, Isebrook School remains a “mask friendly” environment for those who wish to wear a face covering.


Local Area Advice
As the numbers of active cases in the area continues to change day-by-day, so will the advice given to schools on how to manage the risk of the virus spreading. For this reason, please be aware that we may need to increase the restrictions in school as and when asked to do so. This could mean that age groups return to bubbles or face coverings requirements are put back in place should cases raise above certain thresholds.

Lateral Flow Testing
Testing for coronavirus remains one of the most efficient ways of highlighting active cases in the community and helps tackle the spread of coronavirus. For this reason, we ask that everyone who comes into school, and consents, completes 3 lateral flow tests over the course of one week. This is not compulsory; however, we strongly recommend that tests are used to ensure all returning to school are as safe as possible. The three testing days will be Wednesday 1 September, Sunday 5 September and Wednesday 8 September.
Testing kits are available from the following sources:

  • Online – Please order testing kits via the following link. They are usually delivered within 48 hours and can be posted through a letterbox.

www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests 

  •  Health Centres and Pharmacies – All NHS Pharmacies and Health Centres have tests which are free to collect. Please contact the location before you arrive to make sure they have enough in stock.
  • From Isebrook School – We hold a stock of LFD testing kits for all students and staff. If you wish to collect a testing kit from the school, the school will be open from Tuesday 31 August 8am-12pm and Wednesday 1 September from 1pm-4pm to collect.