17th September 2020
I thought I would write to you with some recent updates regarding schools across the Trust. We have now been back for nearly two full weeks and all schools are running smoothly. Thank you so much for your support, as this has made opening schools fully far easier.
Attendance across schools in the first week has been high and averaging 96%, which is roughly similar to that prior to lockdown. However, this week attendance in some schools has fallen. I have received guidance from the DfE about managing attendance. It is clear that parents/carers should look carefully at any symptoms their child/children are experiencing to be really sure that they are displaying COVID-19 related symptoms and not simply those associated with common coughs and colds. Keeping your child/children off school if they are not displaying the key symptoms will lead to them falling further behind at school, something we are anxious to avoid. If you would have sent your child to school before lockdown with the symptoms they are exhibiting, then the general advice from the government is you should still send them to school now.
To be clear, the key symptoms (taken from the Government website) to look out for are:
To reassure you, we have not had any positive test results from children in the Trust since the start of term and there are approximately 10,000 children across the Trust Schools.
Please see Appendix A – parental flow chart located at the end of this letter to help you with home diagnosis. Additionally, the COVID-19 testing phone number is 119.
Testing for COVID-19:
The Government has issued guidance to schools on Wednesday asking us to make parents and all those in the school communities aware that testing sites and on-line booking systems are struggling to meet demand. Therefore, as noted in the paragraph above, it is vital that we are absolutely sure that the symptoms being displayed by anyone are the key symptoms associated with COVID-19. Otherwise we will find those that potentially have the virus cannot organise testing, which will impact on the tracing system leading to the virus being spread. So please ensure you check the symptoms carefully before trying to book a test for your child/children.
In some of the Trust secondary schools, the design of buildings means it is necessary to wear face covering at certain times of the day – lesson changeover for example. Individual schools will contact you directly, if they feel this is required. Please also remember that your child must wear a face covering if using school or public transport.
Thank you for your continued support.