On behalf of everyone at the Wade Deacon Trust I would like to thank all parents and carers for their support with the return to school for all of our pupils. It has been wonderful to see so many happy children back in our classrooms. Pupils across the Trust have made a strong start to the new academic year displaying a renewed and positive attitude to learning.
Despite the many challenges that we may face over the coming year we would like to reassure you that all the staff at the Trust are committed to ensuring that each child is given every possible opportunity to thrive and succeed in an educational environment in which their individual abilities and talents are fully developed.
You will probably also be aware that the number of COVID-19 cases is rising across all the local communities that our schools serve.We are all learning to live with new rules and guidance which can change regularly and with little notice. All such indicators remind us how important it is that we all stay alert to the risk of transmission. I have written this letter to help you understand our Trust’s response to Covid-19 and the vital part which you all play in minimising the risks to everyone in our community.Please remember this has been written following guidance as it stands today and is subject to change. However, we will always endeavour to update you with changes as soon as we possibly can. We all appreciate that this is a complex issue for us all and I wish to provide the following to assist you in understanding was has taken place so far.
What has happened so far.
Throughout our planning for re-opening this September we took into account the need to keep everyone safe: pupils, staff and parents. Pupils have been away from school for a long period of time and our desire is for them to return to as normal a school experience as possible; this is important for both their well-being and education.
According to their context, each of our schools have re-organised how they operate, including for example staggered starts and finishes to the school day, to lessons, breaks and lunches to ensure a safe, calm and ordered environment.As set out in government guidance, our model organises pupils into groups known as a ‘bubbles’. Pupils are able to work alongside and mingle with others in their bubble, whilst being reminded about important hygiene and social distancing expectations and where appropriate the need to wear personal protective equipment such as face masks. We minimise contact and interaction between members of different bubbles.
If a COVID-19 case is confirmed in any of our school communities, the school immediately contacts the local Public Health England Health Protection Team (PHE HPT) for help and advice.The local PHE HPT work with the school to assess the risks and advise the school on what actions to take.This can include sending groups of children or a whole ‘bubble’ home to self-isolate depending on the specific circumstances. It is important to add, we will do everything in our power to ensure all pupils can come to school safely, every day.
All of our schools remain open, however we have had to take the difficult decision, on the advice of the local PHE HPT to send some small groups and one whole ‘bubble’ home to self-isolate from one of our schools.Parents and carers of the affected children have already been informed.
Sending our pupils home for self-isolation is the last thing we want to do.We recognise the challenges and disruption this brings for all involved.However, when a positive case is identified within a school, we are left with no choice in order to prevent further spread of the virus.The support you and your children can provide in supporting our measures for a safe environment in school will allow us to seek to minimise the number of pupils who need to be asked to self-isolate.
What will happen if your child needs to self-isolate
Where a pupil is identified as being in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case we will contact their parents/carers separately confirming what actions they need to take. If you do not receive any communication this means that your child has not been identified as a contact.Therefore, providing your child remains well, they should continue to attend school as normal.
How you can help us to keep pupils in school
We need your help to minimise the chances of having to send whole ‘bubbles’ or groups of pupils home to self-isolate.We can do this together by supporting the guidance enclosed poster.
Please also encourage your child to;
wash their hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available
wash their hands as soon as they get home
cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve (not their hands) when they cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash their hands afterwards
If a child is asked to self-isolate as an individual, part of a small group or bubble, they must do so and not mix with anyone outside of their household for any reason.
It is vitally important that individuals – staff and pupils – who may have COVID-19 do not come to school.While this may be challenging and disruptive to individual families, we must work together to minimise potential contact with the rest of the school community.
Please refer to your school website for the latest information and guidance.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your support as we strive together to keep as many children as we can in school.