Please check this area for current and updates information regarding COVID-19 and our response to it.
If you are unsure about what action to take regarding COVID-19 or illness, please contact the school.
The school operates a COVID-19 risk assessment that is reviewed and updated regularly by the COVID-19 working group (SLT) and governors. This includes updates in response to local and national guidance as well as those made in response to operating experience.
This plan directs our response in relation to various aspects of school operations including curtailing onward transmission, remote learning, staffing, prioritising pupil attendance, face coverings, shielding, wider school activity, communication and safeguarding. Our aim is to ensure that the school remains fully open and operational for all pupils.
Current Guidance UPDATED 31 MARCH 2022
Living With Covid
From 1 April, the next steps for the government's 'Living With Covid' plan are implemented.
Schools and settings and their associated families will be advised to follow national guidelines for anyone with symptoms. All current guidance can be found here.
Cheshire East Public Health will monitor the ongoing local situation and the level of school absence and will continue to have a role in advising and implementing actions necessary.
In accordance with the guidance, school staff stopped asymptomatic testing a few weeks ago. From 1 April, lateral flow tests are no longer free for most people and PCR test centres will close. Most have closed already.
With the decreased access to testing, it is likely that many cases of COVID-19 will be undiagnosed, but schools and settings will be able to monitor levels and patterns of absence in staff and pupils as a proxy for symptomatic cases.
We will take the following actions when case/absence rates are low and steady:
- Providing information on, and supporting, the NHS vaccination programme. Healthy 5-11 year olds will be offered vaccines from the start of April. They are not being administered in schools and parents will need to book their child into vaccination centres, walk-ins, GPs or pharmacies.
- Avoid infection entering school. People with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature. Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.
- Reduce airborne transmission. We will continue to have tissues available and promote good respiratory hygiene – ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. We will continue to ventilate spaces, use our HEPA filters and use CO2 monitors to check levels.
- Cleaning and sanitation. Children and staff will wash hands thoroughly and regularly, including on entry and exit from school, before eating and after going to the toilet. We will continue to have hand sanitiser available across the school.
We will also retain the option to limit unnecessary mixing. We will ensure maximum space and ventilation for any face-to-face parent events, such as performances.
Episodes of concern
We will take advice from Cheshire East Public Health if we have an episode of concern, which is defined as:
- When there is a sudden increase in the level of absence and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a class or group or when the absence in a class or group reaches 20%.
- When an adult or child is admitted to hospital and this is actually or potentially linked to an infection
- When a cluster of cases is affecting vulnerable individuals linked to the setting
- When staff absence is high and there is a possibility that face-to-face learning cannot be maintained for all pupils.
In these instances the advice may include mass testing, facilitated by Public Health and limiting contact between groups. It will also include our other outbreak measures such as potentially combining classes and prioritising year groups/other pupil groups (vulnerable/SEN etc) for face-to-face learning.
The DFE have withdrawn the majority of the remote education guidance they published in March 2021. This is to account for the fact that if children are absent in future it will be because they are too ill to engage with their learning. There remains some situations where remote education may be necessary. This includes when whole classes/schools are required to close due to staff shortages. Even with our heavy outbreaks before and after Christmas we were able to maintain face to face teaching for all pupils without Covid and the prospect of delivering remote learning to whole year classes in the future, while possible, is unlikely.
1. Should adults and children with symptoms get a test?
Access to free testing has now ended. Anyone showing symptoms may take a test if they can, either from kits they have at home or by buying them but it is not mandatory and schools should not ask for evidence of a positive test. Schools will not be provided with routine test kits as these will only be provided for staff who work very closely with clinically vulnerable individuals who are at risk of serious illness
2. How long should someone stay away from school who has symptoms but does not have a positive test?
Staff and children should not attend if they have a high temperature and/or feel too unwell to carry out their normal activities. They should return when their temperature is normal and they are well enough to carry out their normal activities.
3. Can children attend school/setting if they have symptoms but no temperature?
Children with slight cough, sore throat or runny nose can attend as long as they are well enough to carry out normal activities and do not have a raised temperature.
In such cases, they should be supported to follow the advice re. respiratory hygiene such as coughing/sneezing into tissues and regular handwashing.
4. How long is the stay at home period counted for those who have a positive test?
For a person with a positive test, the stay at home period is counted in full days from the first symptom or positive test, which is counted as day 0. For example, if a child has no symptoms but has a positive test on Monday then Tuesday is day 1, Weds day 2, Thurs day 3 and they can return on Friday if they are still well and their temperature is normal.
5. Is a negative LFT needed before an individual can return to school/setting?
No – an individual can return after the advised number of days as long as they are well.
6. Can a pupil or staff attend if they feel well and/or have no symptoms but have a positive test?
No, the guidance is clear that they should stay away for a set number of days, even if they are well and symptom free. They may be infectious during this time so coming into school/setting poses a high risk of passing the infection on to others.
7. What advice can be given to staff and parents/carers on what to do if they have a respiratory infection, (including COVID-19)