Covid-19 September 2021: FAQs for Parents
The Government guidance updated in July 2021 provides schools with guidance to help us manage the return to school in September 2021.
At WPPA we have been working hard to commence our analysis and planning of how we can:
- fulfil the expectations required of us
- ensure that the safety of everyone is paramount in all our decisions and actions
- continue to provide a high quality, well balanced curriculum to best support our pupils in their education.
Will there still be a risk assessment in place at WPPA?
We must comply with health and safety law and put in place proportionate control measures. We will regularly review and update our risk assessments and will treat them as ‘living documents’, as the circumstances in our school and the public health advice changes. This includes having active arrangements in place to monitor whether the controls are effective and working as planned. We have an outbreak management plan in place so that we can respond to any local outbreaks very rapidly and effectively.
Click here to view the WPPA risk assessment
Will children from different classes/year groups be able to mix?
Yes. There will be no distinct bubbles from September.
What is the Public Health advice to schools that will help keep my child and school staff safe?
All schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Essential measures mean that we should:
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone
Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. We will be keeping our handwashing stations and hand sanitisers at the entrance to buildings and classrooms. Pupils will be reminded to use these regularly.
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.
Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Most staff in schools will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, using standard
An appropriate cleaning schedule will be in place and will focus in particular on frequently touches surfaces.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
We recognise that it is important to ensure that school is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained. Where possible, and where temperatures allow, we will keep doors and windows open.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test
Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
If anyone in your school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, we will send them home and they should follow public health advice.
For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.
While your child awaits collection, they will be separated from other children. A window will be opened for fresh air ventilation if possible. Appropriate PPE will also be used if close contact is necessary and any rooms they use will be cleaned after they have left.
The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
What Track and Tracing will take place?
All track and trace activities will be conducted by PHE and not WPPA. If a child tests positive then PHE will make contact and the child/their parent will need to identify close contacts who need to isolate. PHE will then inform the close contacts.
From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Does my child have to attend school?
Yes. School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
All Clinically Extremely Vulnerable children and young people should attend their education setting unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend.
What happens if a child displays symptoms during the school day?
Arrangements will be made for children experiencing symptoms to be collected by their parent/carer.
What happens if my child has symptoms before school?
If your child is unwell for other reasons as opposed to COVID-19 you must report the sickness absence of your child in the usual way and send your child back to school when they are well.
If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or a member of their household is, they should not attend site and you must report this to the school via telephone immediately.
In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a pupil with symptoms should not attend the school, given the potential risk to others. If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending school, we can take the decision to refuse the pupil if, in our reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19. Our decision will be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and current public health advice.
Will my child be provided with remote learning if they need to isolate?
Yes. We will provide remote learning of comparable activities to their normal curriculum.
What extra-curricular clubs and trip can run?
All clubs and activities can resume as normal in September with mixed year groups. Educational visits can continue. We will obviously research these thoroughly in terms of quarantine and insurance restrictions.
Does my child have to wear a face covering?
From September, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
If we have an outbreak in our school or local area, the director of public health might advise us that face coverings should temporarily be worn in communal areas or classrooms (by pupils staff and visitors, unless exempt).
Members of our community may continue to wear face coverings if they wish to do so.
This guidance is subject to change and any updates will be issued accordingly