Return to School – September 2021

25th August 2021 

Dear Parent/Carer

Return to School – September 2021

I wanted to update you with regards to the changes we will see in schools generally and at Newman School from September. 

We know through research that coronavirus transmission rates in schools are roughly equal to or less than those of the surrounding community. This means that what happens in schools or nursery reflects what is happening in the local community. There remains risk everywhere, every day in all that we do. Thankfully for the majority of children COVID is a mild to moderate illness.
We have worked hard in school, to reduce transmission whilst continuing to deliver education and interventions of a high standard. We will continue to do all we can to reduce risk and provide a safe environment for your child.

Given all of this, from September education and childcare settings will all largely be back to normal. There will be no ‘bubbles’ and children will be able to mix more. 

Testing continues to be important. When pupils of secondary age children go back to school in mainstream they will be asked to take two lateral flow device (LFD) tests at school or college three to five days apart. I am asking those parents where possible and practicable to test their secondary aged children at home and where possible continue to test twice a week at home, until the end of September when this will be reviewed by Public Health officials. I fully understand that testing for Covid is not always possible, but for those who can it is a way of trying to reduce risk and enhance safety in school.

I would also encourage you all to continue to regularly wash your children’s hands when they return home from school. This is an important measure to reduce transmission.

If your child has symptoms:
– If your child has COVID symptoms, they must stay at home. They must not go to school and they should go for a PCR test and isolate.

If your child is identified as a contact of a positive COVID case:
– You may be contacted by NHS Test & Trace or the school/setting and informed that your child has been identified as a contact. They will not need to isolate but will need to book and attend for a PCR test. They will be able to continue going to school if they have no symptoms and are well. If the test is positive or they have symptoms they must then isolate. Others in the household will not be required to isolate if they are fully vaccinated or are below the age of 18 years and 6 months.

Having the COVID 19 vaccination
Getting vaccinated is seen as the most important thing you and your family can do to help us stop the virus. As well as all those 18 years and over, vaccination is now being offered to those aged 16 and 17 years. They can get their vaccine at several places across Rotherham with or without an appointment.

If you haven’t booked your own vaccination or haven’t had your second dose, please arrange to do so as soon as you can. You can book online at www.nhs.uk/covid- vaccination or call 119 free of charge to make an appointment.

I would encourage everyone to continue to get tested if you have symptoms and to self- isolate. Keep washing hands regularly and wear a face covering in enclosed  spaces. We know these measures work.

Dinnington & Build Update: We continue to prepare our staff and pupils for the move for those 11-19 on main school site and the impact of the new build for EYFS and Primary also on the main school site. As with any move and new build there will be some disruption but as a staff we are trying to make sure it is as smooth as possible

As I mentioned before the holidays I will also set up another meeting – probably virtual in late September to add more detail to the plans and set dates when things are likely to be happening.

I thank you all for your support and patience

Paul Silvester

Headteacher

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