Tuesday 2nd March
We are still working through the implications of the government announcement on Monday, and the “reopening” of schools “on” March 8th. I have written to parents separately indicating that we will have to adopt a phased approach from 8th March so that we can meet the requirements of mass testing.
There is a vast range of government guidance: you will find links at the bottom of this update.
Testing: key points
Lateral Flow Testing is not compulsory but is strongly recommended as it contributes to making schools safer.
We will offer students THREE tests on site in weeks beginning 8th and 15th March. After that, students should be tested at home. Kits will be sent directly to parents. There will be detailed instructions with the testing kits, and there are many helpful YouTube videos about administering LFTs. This link is to a brief but effective presentation by Durham University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZhSPnnXyPo
I am afraid that the lack of clarity from central government is causing students, parents, and school staff confusion and even conflict . On the one hand, the guidance states that “the use of face coverings in recommended circumstances is one element of the system of controls and must be implemented in line with other guidance”. On the other hand, it also says that “this is guidance, not mandatory activity”, and that “this guidance does not create any new legal obligations”.
Hopefully, there will be more clarity emerging. In the meantime, we will adopt a compromise approach. Students and staff are recommended to wear masks at all times, including in the classroom, but this is not compulsory and no sanctions will be imposed if a mask is not worn. I am aware that some parents disagree, but at present the weight of medical and scientific public health advice is that wearing a mask reduces the transmission of covid-19.
There have been no further recent cases among students, staff or volunteers. Eight colleagues in total have now tested positive (6 support staff, 2 teachers, plus 1 volunteer LFT tester); fifteen colleagues and four LFT testers were required to isolate. All but two colleagues (covid positive) have now returned to College. Three clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) staff remain shielding until the end of March at the earliest.
Before Christmas 12 students tested positive for covid, as well as 31 family/household members. Over the holiday we were informed of 2 further students testing positive. Since the start of term there have been 9 students with a positive result and 17 family/household members. Attendance in the KWV provision so far this week has been just over 14% of the College roll, which is higher than Devon and England averages.
Please keep informing us of any positive tests, even it seems daft because you are in lockdown ! Contact details are below.
Locally to Clyst Vale, numbers of new infections are low and declining, and remain below national averages which have come down a long way. According to the NEU covid map for schools, in the last week East Devon has fallen from 61 to 44 cases per 100,000, and the BBC gives 42 cases; Broadclyst, Cranbrook, Stoke Canon and area has also fallen from 52 to 31/100,000; Exeter has dropped from 69 to 49/100,000 (NEU) but lower according to the BBC at 40, but Pinhoe and area has declined from 49 to 39. The national average for the BBC figures is 77/100,000 which is another steady drop from last week’s 105. (The NEU and BBC use different dates). The latest R rate for the South West region is 0.6 – 0.8.
Summer Exams 2021
On Thursday 25th February the results of the consultation on grading of public exams were announced, with the government’s roadmap. There is a lot to this, and we do not have the full details yet. What is most positive is that it gives some certainty for students; there are no algorithms; there are no externally-marked tests; the work students do between now and early June counts towards their teachers’ assessments; in other words, at least some of students’ biggest worries have gone. Will students receive a barrage of these externally-set/internally marked tests ? No: not all subjects would need them, and they would be spaced out – there would be no benefit in holding a sort of mock week. We will seek to give fair grades, but we are definitely not going to deliberately set up systems which could disadvantage students !
I always prefer to offer the “CVCC view” rather than a media piece; however, this BBC article is good at pointing out the key issues facing schools in general: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-56196295
You can find the DfE document on…. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964597/6747-1_decisions_-_GQ_consultation_on_awarding_grades_in_2021.pdf
Key Points to Remember
- Please do not send your child to school if they have covid symptoms.
- Please do not send your child to school if they have had symptoms and are waiting for a test result even if they seem better.
- If any member of a household has symptoms, everyone must stay away from school or work until the test result is known. If positive, everyone must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or 10 days from the test date if there were no symptoms.
- Please tell us [student absence; AtHoS; Post-16] if your child or household member has symptoms; test dates and results; dates you have been given for a return to school. This applies even if your child is not attending College.
- Please use the number below for reporting an “out-of-hours” positive test result.
- Students should wear masks at all times unless exempt. Except lessons, when actually eating/drinking, and if outside AND at 1m+ distance from one another.
- Roadmap: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021
- DfE press notice 22/02: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mass-testing-for-secondary-pupils-as-all-schools-and-colleges-fully-reopenfrom8-march
- Catch up press notice 24/02- New education recovery package for children and young people – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Evidence summary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evidence-summary-covid-19-children-young-people-and-education-settings
- Contingency framework: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-contingency-framework-for-education-and-childcare-settings
- Attendance statistics- Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 23 March 2020 to 18 February 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Guidance for settings
- Schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
- Early Years: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures
- Further Education: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision
- Higher Education: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses
- Special schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings
- Wraparound Guidance- Providers: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Selective school admissions- Coronavirus (COVID-19): assessment processes for selective school admissions – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Apprenticeships- Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Guidance for Parents
Wraparound guidance- Parents/carers: Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
|Evenings & weekends AND HALF-TERM – reporting of Covid-19 positive test results|
We have introduced a dedicated phone number, solely for reporting positive Covid-19 test results at evenings and weekends
The number is: 07818 212 931
It is not for suspected cases, non-Covid-19 illness or absence, and is not an advice line.
Please text positive Covid-19 test result information to this number, including:
· Name of student
· Student’s tutor group
· Date symptoms appeared
· Which symptoms, or no symptoms
· Date of test
· Date of test result
If necessary, someone will contact you having received this information. Thank you!