I hope you had an enjoyable half term break. I am sure you have all been shocked and alarmed by the events in Ukraine and Russia. I would ask that you join us in praying for peace at this time. For anyone who has family in Ukraine, our support and thoughts go out to you. As students return, we will be sharing some factual information with them during their Personal Development sessions about the events in Ukraine to help them understand what is happening.
This Wednesday 2 March is Ash Wednesday and marks the start of Lent. We will be celebrating Ash Wednesday as a Catholic Community and we will continue to put our faith into action as we journey through Lent to Easter.
I am sure you will be aware that on 21 February the Prime Minister set out the next phase of the Government’s COVID- 19 response. COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains. Please see below an overview of the latest government guidance for schools:
We have a risk assessment in place and we comply with health and safety law and put in place proportionate control measures.
We regularly review and update our risk assessments - treating them as ‘living documents’- as the circumstances in school and the public health advice changes.
Tracing close contacts and isolation
Public health advice for People with COVID-19 and their contacts changed from 24 February. Contacts are no longer required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests, and contact tracing has ended.
Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas.
Staff and pupils should follow wider advice on face coverings outside of school, including on transport to and from school.
Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
Pupils, staff and other adults should follow guidance on People with COVID-19 and their contacts if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
Children and young people with COVID-19 should not attend their education setting while they are infectious. They should take an LFD test from 5 days after their symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) followed by another one the next day. If both these tests results are negative, they should return to their educational setting if they normally attend one, as long as they feel well enough to do so and do not have a temperature. They should follow the guidance for their educational setting.
From 21 February, staff and pupils in mainstream secondary schools will not be expected to continue taking part in regular asymptomatic testing and should follow asymptomatic testing advice for the general population.
Those formerly considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable
Following expert clinical advice and the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, people previously considered to be particularly vulnerable, clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), and high or higher-risk are not being advised to shield again. Children and young people who were previously identified as being in one of these groups are advised to continue to follow Guidance for people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Children and young people over the age of 12 with a weakened immune system should follow Guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk from COVID-19. Children and young people previously considered CEV should attend school and should follow the same COVID-19 guidance as the rest of the population unless informed otherwise by a medical professional.
Please do not hesitate to contact school should you have any queries regarding COVID 19 and self isolation. I will be writing to you over the next few days with further information.
Ms Maria Sharratt