We are delighted that the government have announced this week that we can begin welcoming all students back to school, to resume face to face teaching, from Monday 8th March.
A central part of the return plan is that students should take 3 Lateral Flow Tests between 3-5 days apart upon returning. This presents a logistical challenge for us and our only solution is to stagger the return of students across three days as outlined below:
Schedule of phased return:
Year 11, 12 and 13: Return to school Monday 8th March
- Test 1: 8th March
- Test 2: 11th March
- Test 3 16th March
Year 10 and 9: Return to school Tuesday 9th March
- Test 1: 9th March
- Test 2: 12th March
- Test 3: 17th March
Year 8 and 7: Return to school Wednesday 10th March
- Test 1: 10th March
- Test 2: 15th March
- Test 3: 18th March
Lateral Flow Tests
Only students who have been given the consent of parents/carers will be able to be tested – it would be extremely helpful if you could indicate either you consent or refusal to consent by filling in the information for your child(ren) via this link: http://bhcet.org.uk/covid19 as verbal consent cannot be taken.
If a student tests positive on a Lateral Flow Test then they will be sent home and asked to organise a PCR test at an approved centre. Only if this PCR test is positive will close contacts be advised to self-isolate for 10 days.
After the initial 3 tests have been performed in school, all students will be issued with test kits to administer at home. Further information about this will be given nearer to the time.
Safeguards to reduce transmission
Over the next week, we will prepare for the wider reopening. We will work carefully through the government guidance to ensure that all controls are in place in order to ensure a safe environment for all.
We will maintain the discrete bubble system that was in operation in the Autumn term. Year groups will be taught within their bubble and break/lunch sessions will be split to avoid year group mixing. This will ensure that we are able to limit how many contacts each student has and in the event of a positive case will enable us to only have to instruct a smaller number of students to self-isolate.
Face coverings must be worn in all communal areas of the school building and the government guidance has now included a recommendation for this to include classrooms. Unless your child is exempt from wearing a face covering, it is important that they are prepared with a sufficient supply to last the full duration of the school day. Face coverings should be safely stored (e.g. in a zip bag) for when students are eating or are outside.
The wider reopening of schools is a positive step forward in the country’s response to COVID-19. Once school reopens, all students (with the exception of those instructed to shield) will be expected to attend. As a result, our live online provision will not be provided in the way that it currently is.
Students who are absent because of shielding or the need to self-isolate will continue to access their learning resources via Teams
It is important that we all work together to prepare all children for a positive return to school including organising your child’s uniform, planner and equipment, and re-establishing morning routines to ensure punctual arrival at school.
Our school tie will be optional up until the Easter holiday. When we return after Easter, all students will be expected to wear their tie. Ties will be available to purchase from school between the return to school and Easter.
Whilst I am sure you will appreciate we now have to work through our planning and the revised guidance, if you do have any further questions about your child’s return to school, please contact us via your child’s Pastoral Manager or via firstname.lastname@example.org .
With every good wish