• The Ilfracombe Academy

Covid-19 Self Isolation Update

Dear Parent/Carer, this letter is to make you aware of the latest guidance from the DfE that the school has received from the DfE with regards to self-isolation that will be actioned from today through to the end of term. Please see below for a simple summary and flowchart to help explain the new Self-isolation requirements.

I would like to reassure all our parents/carers and their children that at this stage our case rate is extremely low in comparison to a number of other local and national schools. A large number of our staff are double or even triple vaccinated and a large number of our student body are also single vaccinated which will certainly have helped our school to control transmission rates. As our case rates are so low, we do not expect to close before Tuesday 21st December unless directed to do so by central government, which at this point is unlikely. We would therefore like to see every child to attend school on 20th and 21st December unless they are ill or self-isolating. Students will have the opportunity to engage in the Christmas extravaganza and other end of term celebrations with their friends, teachers and tutors. To help finish the year well we will continue to promote our Covid safe procedures which are as follows:

  • Promotion of good ventilation - top windows and doors open

  • Face coverings to be worn in all communal spaces including offices and corridors unless people are exempt

  • Mechanical ventilation switched on

  • promotion of good hand hygiene - at the start and end of lesson

  • Wiping down classrooms at the end of period 1 & 3

  • Using antiseptic fogging machines in the changing rooms at the end of each PE lesson

Daily testing for contacts of Covid-19 In the amended Schools Operational Guidance published on 9th December, the government indicated that is planned to introduce daily contact testing as soon as possible as an alternative to self-isolation for contacts who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 years and 6 months. 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 to their school.

  • If they test negative, they can continue to attend school

  • If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive

  • Outside of school, they should continue to follow the advice set out in the Sunday 12 December press release. Anyone over the age of 18 years and 6 months who is not vaccinated, must isolate in line with government guidelines if they are a close contact of a positive case.

  • For students with SEND who struggle to or are unable to self-swab daily for 7 days, settings should work with students and their families to agree an appropriate testing route, such as assisted swabbing. Information on further support measures will be provided.

  • This approach should also be adopted over the winter break and on return in January.

Self-Isolation Requirements - as of Tuesday 14th of December

Hopefully, you will see that we are doing everything we can to keep all our students and staff safe by following all DfE guidance and promoting all of our Covid safe procedures in school. We will be in contact with you if we receive any further guidance. Yours Sincerely Steve Rogers (Headteacher)

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