COVID Procedures Update – Letter to Parents: 14.05.2021

RE: Update DfE Guidance for Schools in response to COVID-19

We are really proud of the way in which our staff and students have responded to the infection control measures throughout the past 14 months of the pandemic and we can be relieved that as a school community we have, on the whole, not been affected as badly as other secondary schools across the country.

COVID-19 remains an ongoing risk but with much lower number of infections in the community; currently Portsmouth data shows around 13 cases per 100,000 people which equates to an average incidence rate of one case within our school community every 6 weeks. Coupled with the nationally high uptake of vaccine and a wider range of scientific data about how the virus behaves, the scientific advice has led the government to make the decision that we are able to return to a more normal way of life with an easing of infection prevention restrictions. As you may already be aware, the Government has yesterday updated its advice to schools as part of its roadmap for easing measures after lockdown; the government advice can be found here.

As a result, we are in the process of amending our risk assessment in response to the new guidance but we wanted to update you at this stage on the following:

Face Coverings
Face covering are no longer required to be worn by students from Monday 17th May in classrooms or in communal areas. However, students will be allowed to continue to wear face coverings, if they wish. Staff will continue to wear face coverings when they are unable to maintain a 2m social distance from others.

Lateral Flow Testing
We would request that your child continues to test at home twice weekly using the kits supplied by NHS Test and Trace. We will continue to distribute these to students during tutor time and would ask you continue to report your results online to us at school using ‘TestRegister’ and to ‘NHS Test and Trace’. Regular testing is essential for fast identification of any Covid infection within our community which helps prevent an outbreak occurring locally.

Hand hygiene
We will still require students to sanitise or wash hands on arriving to school in the morning and at key points during the day e.g. before and after breaktimes.

Whilst some restrictions have been eased at this time, all other restrictions such as remaining in year group bubbles and staggered start and end to the day remain as they have been all year. We will continue to have enhanced cleaning throughout the day.

As always we would like to thank you in advance for your tremendous support.

Yours sincerely,

Nys Hardingham
Executive Headteacher

Matthew Hutton
Deputy Headteacher