St John Plessington Catholic College

School Return Update

Dear Families

I would like to start by wishing you a very Happy New Year and hope that you have an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas.

You may be aware that the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, has recently written to all education and childcare leaders to provide an update on the return to education and childcare following the holiday period. When we return to school, new measures will be put in place in an effort to protect students and staff in school in light of the high case rates of COVID 19. In addition, there have been changes around self isolation.

Please see some of the key information below.

Return Dates & Testing

In order to facilitate testing of all students on their return to school, students will return as follows:

Tuesday 4th January

Year 7 arriving at school at 08:30 and remaining in school.

Year 13 arriving at 10:30 and remaining in school.

Year 11 arriving at school at 12:30 and remaining in school. Please make sure that your son/daughter has had lunch before coming to school.

Wednesday 5th January

Year 7, Year 11 and Year 13 in school at the usual time.

Year 12 arriving at school at 08:30 and remaining in school.

Year 10 arriving at 12:30 and remaining in school. Please make sure that your son/daughter has had lunch before coming to school.

Thursday 6th January

Year7, Year 10, Year 11 and Sixth Form in school at the usual time.

Year 8 arriving at school at 08:30 and remaining in school

Year 9 arriving at school at 11:00 and remaining in school

All year groups in school

Work will be set on Google Classroom for students who are not required to be in school during this week.

If you have not previously provided consent for testing and would like to do so please complete this form. New guidance advises that anyone who has completed their isolation no longer needs to wait 90 days before recommencing Lateral flow testing.

Information 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 setting from day 8.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19
People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Face Masks
As per Government Guidance and to protect everyone in our community all students from year 7 to 13 are required to wear face coverings at all times in school. Please can I ask that you provide your child with 2 masks at all times. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed. These should also be worn on transport to and from school.

New build of Classroom Block

A reminder that the main school car park will be closed and out of bounds from 4th January. There will be no access for staff, students or parents.

Can I ask that parents not stop in the bus area and top Oval gates as this creates serious health and safety issues as school buses will continue to be able to use the bus stops and students will be boarding the buses or leaving the school premises.

Visitors onsite

Please be aware that parents should only attend school in an emergency and any meetings should be held remotely. This is to protect all of our families and school community.

Things are very fast moving and changes are being implemented quickly. We will continue to keep you as updated as we can in light of the current circumstances. As always, sincere thanks for your support and cooperation.

Ms Maria Sharratt