Updated Information page for parents and carers
Public Health England is now replaced with United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Clarification on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education or childcare setting from day 7.
Actions for schools
• On the 29th November, the DfE updated guidance: actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak. This now states:
➢all individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self isolate immediately (10days) and asked to book a PCR test;
➢they will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation;
➢further actions for educational settings may be advised by a local Incident Management Team (IMT) investigating a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
• Staff and pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) should continue to attend school unless advised not to by a specialist.
From Tuesday 14th December, all adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not –should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating.
• Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff, pupils and students should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the Online Reporting System and to their setting.
• If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting.
DfE are also providing CO2 monitors to all state-funded schools so staff can quickly identify where ventilation needs to be improved (Penns have received theirs)
Please find attached the Elite Safety in Education November Bulletin (below), highlighting the new government guidelines regarding the Omicron variant.
(November '21) At Penns, we have recently had a mini outbreak and as a result we have sadly had to cancel some of our Christmas events, reduce mixing and return to zoom assemblies.
If your child is poorly such as: coughing, temperature, upset stomach or a headache, we are kindly asking parents to undertake a PCR test for their children before returning to school so we can begin to eradicate the virus from school (as much as is possible). Although siblings of children with a positive result are legally allowed into school, we are advising our families to keep all (Penns) school-aged children at home until the 10 days isolation is complete. We continue to offer remote learning for all pupils who feel fit and well and who are currently at home.
Please contact your child's teacher regarding any remote learning concerns.
Please see link for schools operational guidance
Outbreak Management Plan
Covid Risk Assessment
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 risks to children are extremely low, every adult has been offered the opportunity for 2 doses of the vaccine, and all children aged 12 and over are now eligible for vaccination. However, as set out in the autumn and winter plan, the government will remain vigilant and take action where necessary to support and protect the NHS.
The main 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
- there is no need for primary age pupils (those in year 6 and below) to test
- your nursery, school or college no longer trace close contacts - close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace
- children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact are no longer required to self-isolate
- your child no longer needs to remain in a consistent group (‘bubble’)
- 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
- all children aged 12 and over are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination
- changes to advice for clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people