SCHOOL CLOSURE 4 JANUARY 2021 AND COVID TESTING UPDATE
Dear Parents and Carers,
RE : SCHOOL CLOSURE 4 JANUARY 2021 AND COVID TESTING UPDATE
You are likely to be aware of the very high rate of covid-19 in Barking and Dagenham. This is having a devastating effect on many schools. Thousands of children and hundreds of staff have been sent home due to increased positive cases. The prediction is that will get worse after Christmas.
In order to counteract this, the Government and Public Health England are introducing an intense testing regime for all primary school staff. This will ensure that the fewest possible positive cases attend school. At the moment, this is impossible to guarantee as 1/3 of cases in adults are asymptomatic and they do not know they have covid.
Therefore, after Christmas, ALL school staff are being tested on Saturday 2nd January. Only those who are negative will be permitted to attend school.
As results will take up to 48 hours to be processed, we have no choice but to be closed to pupils (and staff who have not received their negative test results) on Monday 4th January. This day will give us the opportunity to make appropriate plans going forward.
We recognise that this is another huge inconvenience for parents, but schools all over London and Essex are having to do this to help make schools as safe as possible as we start the new year.
It is also our understanding that future weekly tests of staff will take place during a school day in an attempt to keep schools fully open.
We are aware that Secondary School students will receive a letter requesting that they take a test before returning to school in January and that their younger brothers and sisters are encouraged to do the same;
“To keep schools safe and protect the wider community, all students in years 11, 12 and 13 must get a test between Monday 28 and Thursday 31 December before they return to school. Data has shown that rates amongst this age group are particularly high. Staff in schools are also required to get tested before the new term.
We also strongly encourage students in other year groups and anyone they live with to get a Covid-19 test before students go back to school in January, to make sure that anyone who may be infectious does not return to school with the virus and potentially start an outbreak.
How do I book a test if I don’t have symptoms?
Go to the government website www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test where you’ll be asked some questions. Select the following options:
• NO to essential worker
• NO to having symptoms
• NO to being part of a trial or pilot
• YES - My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms
You can book your whole family by choosing ‘add family members’.”
You have all played a part in ensuring that we can continue to deliver face to face teaching at school by wearing masks and attempting to social distance. We have to date, had no teacher/TA/pupil test positive and as such have not had to send bubbles home. As we enter the new year and return on Tuesday 5 January, you are required TO WEAR MASKS (unless medically exempt) AND SOCIAL DISTANCE WHEN ON THE SCHOOL PREMISES.
Thank you, once again, for your understanding and support at this very challenging time for all.