Coronavirus information and guidance
(Last updated 31.08.21)
From 19/07/21, England has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. The Prime Minister has emphasised the need to remain cautious as restrictions are lifted.
17.08.21 Updated guidance from the DfE for parents and carers
The DfE have updated their guidance What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and Out-of-school settings: COVID-19 guidance for parents and carers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
From 19 July the government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. This marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic, moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others, alongside targeted interventions to reduce risk.
As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education - particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for 2 doses by mid-September.
The key messages from this guidance are:
nationally, education and childcare settings are open, and attendance is mandatory (for schools) and strongly encouraged (at childminders, nurseries and colleges)
the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made it clear that the overwhelming majority of children and young people still have no symptoms or very mild illness only
- continuing to take regular rapid tests will help you to identify infections early and reduce transmission
- your nursery/school will no longer trace close contacts - close contacts will still be identified via NHS Test and Trace
- your child does not need to remain in a consistent group (‘bubble’)
- the government is removing the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.
Keeping children in consistent groups/bubbles:
There is no longer a requirement to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’) or to keep groups apart as much as possible. This means that assemblies and larger group activities can resume.
If there is an outbreak in our Kindergarten/school, or if our Kindergarten/school is in an enhanced response area, you might be advised that it is necessary to reintroduce bubbles or to keep groups apart for a temporary period to reduce mixing between groups. We encourage you to follow any requests from us if this is the case from the beginning of the Autumn term.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. We would invite those families who wish to continue to use face coverings on our site in order to continue to safeguard all within our school community, to do so.
Tracing and isolation:
From 19 July, as with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case to identify close contacts. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. As parents or carers, you may be contacted to help with identifying close contacts.
From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children 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.
If you suspect your child has coronavirus or has a positive test
Do not send your child to Kindergarten or School if:
- they are showing one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- they have had a positive test result
- there are other reasons requiring them to stay at home, for example, they are required to quarantine
You should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
We ask that all parents and carers continue to familiarise themselves with our risk assessment and our home/school agreement which can be found below. We also ask parents and carers to familiarise themselves with our 'Contingency/Outbreak management plan' which can be found below. This plan is based on the DfE’s Contingency Framework which lays out how to manage local outbreaks of COVID-19. This outlines “how we would operate” if any of the measures described in the guidance were recommended for our setting or area
If your child is at home and cannot attend school, they have access to a full suite or remote education learning opportunities as outlined in our Home learning, Remote education and Acceptable Use policies which can be found below.