Dear Parents and carers,
On Tuesday 8th December, schools received communication from the Department for Education (DfE) with regards to the end of term arrangements.
The DfE stated that ‘To ensure that staff get the time off they need and deserve, schools may wish to use an INSET day, making Friday 18 December a non-teaching day and using the day for staff training, which could be delivered online, and bringing forward the start of term in January by the same number of days.’
DfE guidance shared this week recommended the flexibility that schools may close early on Friday 18 December, using this day as a professional day, in order to ease the burden of track and trace impacting on school staff over the Christmas holiday.
However, our arrangements will stay as planned.
Public Health England has agreed that schools should not be expected to track and trace contacts after a period of six days since a child’s last day in school, meaning that if a school’s final teaching day is 17 December, there will be no pupil contact tracing beyond 23 December (or alternatively, if the final day is 18 December, there will be no contact tracing beyond 24 December).
Our teaching staff have plans for our children up to and including the arranged last day of term of Friday 18th December. We do not wish for our children to miss out on the pre-arranged plans which you have known about for months in the dates section of my newsletters. Further to this, we believe that asking for working parents to make changes with such short notice is unmanageable. Therefore, the arrangements for Victoria Road Primary School and nursery will remain as previously advertised and we are open on Friday 18th December to all pupils in the morning and lunchtime. Your child will leave early after receiving their mark after lunch as we had planned. The start of spring term for children will continue to be Tuesday 5th January. Staff return for an agreed Non Pupil Day on Monday 4th January 2021. This has been agreed by the Horizon MAT Trust Board. All schools in the Horizon MAT will remain open as previously planned.
Another school in area is closed but they had no choice in this and their Trust CEO said all their schools needed to close. Other schools in our area will remain open as will all our schools in the Horizon Trust.
So, to reinforce arrangements during the holiday:
If your child tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during the school holidays, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace. For the first 6 days after school ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school will assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school. In this event, we would contact parents using the information stored on the school data system. If you need to update this, please contact the school office before the end of term.
However the school will be monitoring any positive cases of staff and pupils up until the 24th December. Should a member of staff inform me of a positive result during that period given by Public Health, the school will contact parents of children in that bubble. Should any parent or carer or their children test positive within this time frame, please email the school on firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to email@example.com so that we can seek advice on whether we need to inform staff or children in that bubble. In all cases we will be guided by the DfE and Public Health advisors.
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