Letter to Parents/Carers (04/01/2022)
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you and your family had a good break over the Christmas holidays. I am writing following the recent announcement by the Department for Education about new measures to contain the Omicron variant of Covid.
Havelock Academy will reopen for Covid testing tomorrow, on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th January and for lessons on Thursday 6th January for Years 11, 12, 13 and Friday 7th January for Years 7, 8, 9, 10. We look forward to welcoming all pupils back into school for face-to-face teaching and learning. There is no substitute for being in school and your child’s continuing education is our top priority.
Clear information on our Covid testing schedule and reopening schedule can be found on our website and the previous MCAS/email communication sent out yesterday.
Lateral Flow testing:
We strongly recommend that all staff and students take a lateral flow test before they return to the school site and report any positive results to the school. We gave out many tests at the end of term and will have lateral flow test kits available to collect from Reception from Wednesday 5th January for families to collect and use at home.
We ask in addition that parents support the in-school testing beginning on Wednesday 5th January by giving consent. Our usual, friendly testing team will be in place in our sports centre on Wednesday and Thursday. Please see our previous MCAS/email and our website for full details.
Positive Tests and Self Isolation:
If you have a positive Lateral Flow test result, you must self-isolate, book a PCR and let the attendance team know.
Self isolation for a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances. You may now take lateral flow tests on day 6 and day 7 of your self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results can return to school from day 8.
We must insist that parents/carers follow DRET procedures for reporting absence for your child. To make this easier, our trust has provided 5 absence codes (below). If you are leaving a message or sending an email then please give the specific reason for absence (see below) and make sure this is done as soon as you are aware of the absence.
Please use the following code to help us understand the absence:
- One: Suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Two: Confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Three: Required to remain at home or isolate in line with government guidance This includes pupils required to isolate after returning from abroad
- Four: Absent due to isolation for other reasons
- Five: Absence not related to COVID (please give reason).
In short: When you contact us, give the child name, their tutor group and the number from 1-5 that explains their absence (see above).
Young people aged between 5 and 18.5 years, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend school as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms. This is the same for vaccinated adults. In short: close contacts test daily but keep attending school.
Masks in school:
We will be following the DFE guidance which is: From Sunday 2 January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only and builds on existing guidance for communal areas of all settings. It is in place until Wednesday 26 January. In summary:
- Students should wear masks in classrooms and communal areas unless they are exempt. This includes house bases and the atrium unless eating.
- Any families needing exemption for their child that is not already in place, please contact Enquiries. We accept all existing exemptions.
- Parents/Carers should provide their child with a mask, however, we will continue to have them available to support families in hardship.
We will be fully ventilating the building with windows opened throughout the day. Please can you make sure your child is wearing the full school uniform, with layers for warmth underneath if they wish and a coat for outside. We have some coats in school available to support families if you need it. We will be expecting children to use outside spaces at break and lunch to get some fresh air.
There is sanitiser in all our communal areas and every classroom which we actively encourage students to use. We also recommend that students carry their own sanitiser in their pocket for easy use.
In the case of High Absence:
Over the next month, it is likely that we may experience staff absence and we will continue our best efforts to ensure high quality, subject specific teaching in school. If staff absence is very high, as an absolute last resort, we may need to look at some year groups moving to remote learning. I will be making decisions about this, using real-time information, considering the safety of all and the quality of education for our children. I hope I can count on your support should we need to make these difficult decisions in the coming weeks.
We will be monitoring Enquiries today and over the two testing days, leading up to our return and Reception will be fully staffed and fully stocked if you need anything from Wednesday morning. Please do get in touch if we can help.
I hope this is all clear, but please do get in touch with the school office in the usual way or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. For our part, we will continue to do everything we can to make sure that pupils and staff are safe and that their learning can continue with as little disruption as possible.
Thank you for your ongoing support to the academy.