Letter informing parents of Outbreak Management controls 20 September 2021
24 September 2021
Under the new Department for Education (DfE) guidelines, we are no longer required to inform you of each case although we will continue to use Arbor to make you aware of cases in your child’s year group. We feel that this transparency will help encourage conversations at home about the need for students to follow safety advice and to maintain a high level of awareness of behaviours that lower risk such as wearing a face covering in crowded indoor spaces, regular hand washing avoiding close contact (face to face) interactions and taking part in regular LFD testing on a Monday and Thursday evening (home testing kits are available from school and results should be reported by following the links on the Student Portal or school website).
The requirement to inform parent/carers is activated when we reach five or more reports of positive PCR tests for COVID-19. That threshold has been reached and we are now escalating our in-school control measures as part of our Outbreak Management Plan. This temporary increase in controls has been agreed with the Health Protection Team at Birmingham City Council and will mean the following changes to school operations until further notice;
- We will increase our communications around testing (with on-site ATS as contingency)
- We need to increase our communications around face coverings with our in-school guidance moving to ‘strongly recommended’ in classrooms.
- Human Resources will provide an update to ECV staff. Our Medical Officer is to provide an update to ECV students and their families.
- We are accepting essential visitors only. Safeguarding meetings will continue unimpeded. Student Support Meetings should prioritise Google Meets where possible. Approved / regular contractors are fine. Other visitors must have a significant benefit for educational standards/outcomes and/or be inextricably linked to the curriculum.
- Our Educational Visits Coordinator is approving essential trips and visits only – these must have significant benefit for educational standards/outcomes and/or be inextricably linked to the curriculum. No trips or visits should include mixing with members of the public or other schools
- All assemblies will be remote until further notice.
- Extra-curricular clubs can continue but only if ventilation and social distancing controls are in place.
- We will increase our communication and daily inspections linked to ventilation.
We will be discussing these changes with students during Tutor Time but please help support us by promoting the importance of the extra measures at home.
All schools are seeing an increase in infections (see latest Public Health England data) and this trend has been forecast widely in the media. It does not need to spark any panic or anxiety but that also doesn’t mean that we need to be relaxed, apathetic or dismissive. The virus is still circulating in the local community and whilst hospitalisations are rare in school age children, the symptoms of illness remain a very real concern.
We will continue to keep you updated and will likely ‘step-up’ measures or de-escalate them as the circumstances change. As with earlier phases of the pandemic, communication is crucially important.
Thanks in advance for helping to support this school at this challenging time.
Encl. Public Health England Information
Direct Information from Public Health England
The school/nursery/college/ setting remains open and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well. We encourage household members that are aged 11 and over to continue with twice weekly LFD testing to help identify cases promptly.
If you think your child is a close contact but has not have not been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace please follow the guidance here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person#i-think-i-have-had-contact-with-someone-who-has-tested-positive-for-covid-19-but-i-have-not-been-notified-and-advised-to-self-isolate-what-should-i-do
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119.
Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)
From 16 August, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
- you are fully vaccinated
- you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
- you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
Any member of the household who is aged 18 years and 6 months or over and has only received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or has not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination will still be required to self-isolate as household contact of a someone with COVID-19 symptoms awaiting testing and someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.
Household members who are not exempt from isolation as close contacts should not go to work, school/college/childcare/education setting or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
Instructions for household contacts who are not required to self-isolate from 16 August
Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:
- limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
- wearing a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded places such as school/college/public transport
- limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
- taking part in regular LFD testing
You should follow this advice while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.
If you are a health or social care worker or a student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):
- get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now and 16-17 year olds are being offered 1 dose of the vaccination by 23 August
- wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
- open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
- participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at