Letter from the Headteacher - Following The Roadmap
Dear Parents and Carers
It’s been an extremely busy week at The Ilfracombe Academy. The teaching staff have been preparing their students for the next set of Year 11 and 13 assessments while the other year groups have been going about their normal working week with all of us being frustrated with the wet weather which has inhibited us from getting outside during social time. In the background many of our staff and students have been involved in an incredibly intense period of Senior Leadership recruitment. Thus far we have recruited two permanent Deputy Headteachers and two Senior Leaders with two more Assistant Headteachers to be appointed over the next week. The recruitment has been incredibly challenging as we have had to build in lots of extra Covid safety measures with many of the interview panels actually taking place at the Ilfracombe Holiday Park. The need to ensure that extra safety measures are in place has caused some disruption to lessons and we thank the students and staff for their patience. However, it will all be worth it as this will allow us to ensure that the new Senior Leadership Team is in place for September 2021. Parents and cares will also be aware of some slight adaptions to the DfE Covid safety measures. Please refer to the relevant section below that will list all of the updates.
Once again, I will look to pick out a few highlights from the week and offer some reminders to ensure that everything runs really well next week.
Year 11/13 Assessments
These will take place between the 17th and 27th of May. These represent the final assessments and we encourage all of our Year 11 and 13 students to carry on with the incredible work they have displayed this year.
Updated DfE Guidance
There are things that will be continued but also some subtle differences/adaptations have been made by the DfE in line with stage 3 of the Government’s Covid 19 roadmap to recovery. An updated risk assessment will be available on our website from Monday 17th of May but the headlines are as follows:
What’s the same
Students and staff must continue to use good hand hygiene measures throughout the day by using hand sanitiser before and after each lesson, before and after eating and they must also wash their hands after using the toilet.
Students and staff must continue to wear face coverings on the corridors unless they are exempt.
Good respiratory hygiene must continue to be followed by following the ‘Catch it, Bin it and Kill it’ process.
The use of good ventilation in classrooms must be followed.
Students must continue to work and socialise within their own year group bubble.
Students must wear a face covering on all dedicated and service bus transport unless they are exempt.
Staff do not have to wear their face covering whilst they are in their teacher box.
Staff must maintain social distancing and so must still remain in their teacher’s box.
Staff must continue to wear face coverings in communal spaces such as offices if they cannot maintain social distancing.
Enhanced cleaning of classrooms and regular touch points will be carried out during the school day by a dedicated cleaning team.
Students do not have to wear face coverings in classrooms (students still have the option of wearing one if it is their favoured option).
Students do not have to wear their face covering once they are in a communal setting (St Christopher’s Hall)
Covid 19 Section (unaltered since 23rd April 2021)
Home testing will continue through the rest of this term. It is essential that everyone who has consented to testing continues to test themselves on Sunday and Wednesday each week. This is to ensure that our community remains safe and that we can all focus on teaching and learning in school. Social media reminders will be sent out each Sunday and Wednesday to help students keep to the testing schedule.
Completing the Test
Please see the link below for NHS guidance video on how students can complete the LFT CV19 test at home.
Reporting Your Results to the NHS
Report your result so the NHS can monitor the spread of the virus, support communities across the UK, combat the virus and save lives. You can report your results online by visiting www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Alternatively, you can call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines), the lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Reporting Results to School
In addition to reporting all results to the NHS we would also like parents and carers to inform the school of only any positive or void test results that you record at home. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org If your child has a void result we are happy to offer them an in school LFD test the next day they are in school.
Guidance From Devon County council – Please Read Carefully
Follow-up PCR tests required after a positive LFD test
Previously, a follow-up PCR test was only required following a positive LFD test carried out at home. The Government has re-introduced the requirement for a PCR test after positive LFD tests carried out at all assisted testing sites. As of 31st March, staff and pupils who get a positive LFD result (whether at home or at supervised testing site in school) should take a follow-up PCR test. This requirement is now published in the Stay At Home Guidance. Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and has been included in the DfE daily update. As the prevalence rates are now low in England, follow-up PCR tests will help reduce the chances of false positive LFD tests. The follow-up PCR test should be taken as soon as possible and within 2 days of the positive LFD result. The quickest way is to book a test online or call 119 for an appointment at a nearby nearest testing centre. Alternatively, a PCR home test kit can be used but it may take longer for the results to come back.
Staff, students and pupils who have a positive LFD test result, their household members and close contacts should self-isolate immediately whilst waiting for the follow-up PCR result. Public health action must be taken from a positive result, whether from a LFD or PCR test, to quickly identify close contacts in school and request that they self-isolate.
If the follow-up PCR result is negative
If the follow-up PCR test result is negative and the test was done within 2 days of the positive LFD result, the person, their household members and close contacts at school can stop self-isolating and return to school or college if they are well. It is important to continue with all existing protective measures, negative test results should not be read as a means to relax preventative measures which are intended to reduce the risk of transmission.
DfE Guidance (Updated 10th May 2021)
Parents and Carers please see the latest DfE guidance for schools
As ever, the school will continue to monitor and make any adjustments in our way of working in line with any further guidance. This guidance will always be clearly communicated to our students and their parents/carers.
We hope all our students and parents enjoy the weekend.