Dear parents/carers,

As we complete our first full week of welcoming students back to English Martyrs, I would like to say what a pleasure it is to meet our new Year 7 and 12 students and to see everybody else again. Students have been adapting to our new systems and structures well to minimise risk and to keep everybody as safe as possible.

I felt it would be useful to communicate to you what will happen if we have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within school or Sixth Form College. Obviously, we are hoping this will never happen however it is important that everyone knows the procedures we have to follow.

Unconfirmed Cases

  • If there is a student or member of staff showing symptoms of COVID 19 then they MUST stay at home and should book a test (either use the website or call 119 to book a test).
  • If they develop symptoms within school/college then the student or member of staff will go home immediately to self-isolate and should immediately book a test.
  • If a student or member of staff has been in ‘direct contact’ (see definition below) with a confirmed case, they will be asked to quarantine for a period of 14 days. If they develop symptoms within those 14 days they should book a test.
  • Whilst we are waiting for any test results, we will take extra precautions and anyone who has been in contact with the suspected case in the last 48 hours will be asked to limit their movement around school/college until the test results are received
  • If any household members are showing symptoms then your child must not come into school/college until the test results have come back for that household member. If the test comes back negative then your child should return. If, however, it comes back positive then your child must quarantine for 14 days.

Confirmed Cases

  • If a student or member of staff tests positive for COVID 19 then they will self-isolate for 10 days from the beginning of their symptoms and all those who have had contact with them in the previous 48 hours will also isolate for 14 days. In this case we would contact all parents/carers of those affected to inform them of the situation. Students or staff (who have tested positive) can return after 10 days as long as they have been free of a fever for 2 days. The students and staff who were in contact can return after 14 days.
  • We will work with test and trace who will notify parents – we won’t necessarily contact you directly ourselves unless advised to do so by PHE or our local PHT.
  • If we have any confirmed cases within the Trust, we will liaise with Public Health England and our local Health Protection Team

If a student has to quarantine for 14 days because they have been in contact with a confirmed case, work will be provided for them to complete.

It may be the case that if staff levels become too low due to staff absence (through being symptomatic of COVID 19 or having to isolate due to being in contact with someone who has tested positive) we may have to temporarily close part or all of the school/college. This will be an absolute last resort and we will contact parents if this is necessary.

What are the symptoms?

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • A new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or that things taste different to normal

What is direct contact?

  • Direct close contact includes face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
  • Proximity contact includes extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres) for more than 15 minutes with an infected individual
  • Travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person

Thank you for your continued support.
I will endeavour to update you as often as I can

Yours faithfully

Stephen Hammond