• The Ilfracombe Academy

Important Update - Yr 10 Remote Learning

Covid 19/Seasonal Illness – Year 10 to Access Remote Learning Thursday 17th & Friday 18th March

Dear Parent/Carer,

Once again, I’m writing to you to inform you that our staffing levels are under increasing pressure due to a rise in Covid 19 Cases, long-term Illness and seasonal illness. We have been managing these staff absences through the effective use of Cover Supervisors who are specifically employed to cover teachers who are absent. We have also managed to use a number of agency cover/supply teachers for a considerable amount of time to help the school run as normally as possible. However, these options are now exhausted.

At the time of writing this letter we have 30 positive Covid 19 student cases and 9 staff cases with a further 6 teaching staff being absent for other reasons. We appreciate that you may find this concerning, so we are continuing to monitor the situation and are providing the following advice. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

What are we already doing?

Students and staff who have tested positive are staying at home and will return to the setting once they are well and have completed the recommended isolation period.

Outbreak control measures are also being stepped up in school which will come into effect from Thursday 17th March:

  • We strongly recommend that face coverings should be worn by all staff and students on the corridors and social spaces unless they are exempt

  • Assemblies in St Christopher’s Hall will be suspended and move to remote videos in tutor rooms

  • Face coverings to be worn on school transport to and from school

  • Hand sanitising before and after each lesson

  • Enhanced cleaning in school of regular touch points

  • Staff given the option to work from their ‘Teachers Box’

  • Ventilation maximised with Classroom doors and windows being open

  • Mechanical ventilation units continue to operate at maximum capacity

  • Students and staff will all be issued the last remaining LFD tests that the school has in stock. We would like everyone to test twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday) until those tests have run out. We have been informed that we will not be issued any further LFD tests but we will of course challenge this point with Devon County and PHE.

Additional measure due to staffing levels

It is for this reason that we’ve had to take the difficult decision to send Year 10 students home to access remote learning on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th March. Under normal circumstances we would like to have given our parents and carers more notice but unfortunately more staff have reported in sick today and so we have been forced to make this difficult decision. The Year 10 pastoral team will contact the parents and carers, by the close of play today, of those students who are extremely vulnerable or Children in Care that we feel should still come into school for face-to-face teaching. Parents will be aware that we have recently sent Year 7, 8 and 9 home for similar reasons. Year 10 students should access ClassCharts each day where they will be able to engage with set work or pre-recorded lessons similar to the work they accessed during Lockdown 3.0.

We appreciate that this is a huge inconvenience to Year 10 and their parents and that you may find this concerning. We are continuing to monitor the situation but hope and expect to offer face to face learning after the February Half Term Break.

Yours sincerely

Steve Rogers (Headteacher)

Further information from Public Health England

If your child is well

The school remains open. If your child remains well, they can continue to attend school as normal.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19

If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test (https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119) and remain at home at least until the result is known and they are fever free (without medication) for at least 24 hours.

  • If negative, the child can end self-isolation and return to school once well.

  • If positive, the child should isolate as a positive case (see below)

People who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until they are well enough to return, no longer have a temperature and either:

a) 10 full days have passed, or

b) They have produced two negative LFD tests on consecutive days, with the first taken no earlier than day 5.

Note: Lingering coughs and changes to smell/taste are not a sign of ongoing infectiousness, so children can return to school if they have ended their self-isolation period (see above).

If your child does not have symptoms, count the day they took the test as day 0.

You can seek advice on COVID-19 symptoms from the nhs.uk website. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.

Advice for people who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic and awaiting a test result

Children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting and who live with someone who has COVID-19 can continue to attend the setting as normal.

Those who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not. People at higher risk of becoming severely unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 include:

How to reduce spread of COVID-19 if you live with someone who has COVID-19

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. People who live in the same household or have had an overnight stay with someone with COVID-19 or at highest risk as they are more likely to have had prolonged contact., you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community:

  • Minimise your contact with the person who has COVID-19

  • Work from home if you are able to do so (children and young people who are close contacts should continue to attend childcare and education as normal)

  • Avoid contact with anyone you know who is at higher risk of becoming severely unwell if they are infected with COVID-19, especially those with a severely weakened immune system.

  • Limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces (when not in school)

  • Wear a well-fitting face covering with multiple layers or a surgical face mask for those aged 11 and over in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilates spaces and when you are in close contact with other people (if recommended, advice about face coverings in school will be issued separately)

  • Pay close attention to the main symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop these symptoms order a PCR test. You are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people while you are waiting for your test result

  • Follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You should follow this advice for 10 days after the person you live with or stayed with symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms).

If you are a health or social care worker or student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, you are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test, and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Get vaccinated – everyone aged 12 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and all adults have been offered at least 2 doses. Further advice about the recommended vaccination schedule and how to book a vaccine appointment is available here.

  • Get tested and stay at home if you have the main symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • Meet people outside and avoid crowded areas

  • Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside

  • Wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it's hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places with people you do not usually meet

Further Information

Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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