Important Covid19 reminders and updates

Happy New Year everyone! We hope that all of our families have had a safe and restful break. We’re really looking to 2022 but before we start back please find below updates from an email that we received from the DfE this morning.

Firstly, just to remind everyone the DfE has strongly recommended that students are tested for Covid on the first day back after the Xmas holiday (Tuesday 4th January). As a result, XP and XP East will be closed on Tuesday except for the specific time frames for students to take part in our in-school testing provision. Online learning has been provided for all students via Google Classroom and please refer to this update from before the holiday for more details. School will open as normal on Wednesday 5th January.

Does my child need to have a lateral flow test if they have tested positive for Covid in the last 90 days?’ 

We have had enquiries around the question above. As confirmed in this morning’s DfE update the answer is ‘they are strongly encouraged to take part’. Whilst this is a change to the previous guidance, the email stated:

  • ‘Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in Lateral Flow testing on-site or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.’ 

If a child or member of staff tests positive via lateral flow, they would need to have a PCR test and await the result before returning to school.

Changes to the self-isolation period:

The update contained details on changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. It stated:

  • ‘Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.’
  • ‘Individuals may now take Lateral Flow tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.’ (more details here)

The use of face-coverings in lessons and in school:

  • ‘From today, Sunday 2 January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only, to support pupils and teachers as they return to school this term and builds on the existing proportionate guidance that recommends face coverings for all adults in communal areas of all settings. We are updating our guidance to reflect this. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.’ (more details here)

To reiterate, all of the changes and guidance are provided centrally from the Government. We appreciate that the complexity of the ongoing changes can be confusing – therefore please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Crew Leader as your first port of call should you have any questions or concerns. 

Best wishes for 2022.

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