CHANGE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS
Following the change in Government Guidelines from 24th March - please see below
I hope you have all had a good half term, enjoying the early spring sunshine. Over half term, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on a very challenging term for everyone involved. Each and every day we were challenged with high absence linked to COVID-19. On a number of occasions, sometimes on multiple times, we had to ask classes to move to home learning. Each time, this decision was made with huge reluctance, as we recognise the impact it has on individual pupils and the pressure that it puts on families, especially when at short notice. On top of this, ultimately, we want nothing more than our young people accessing their learning in school each day. Finally, we had to close for Storm Eunice. All decisions made had pupil safety at the centre.
Over the half term, the Government have made a number of significant announcements concerning a reduction in restrictions and testing, with a movement from a ‘legal requirement’ to ‘advice’.
At The Avenue, the following will be in place throughout the term:
- The removal of bubbles
- The wearing of face coverings will not be expected, unless individuals wish to do so
- As with previously, if a pupil or adult shows any symptoms of any COVID-19 we require you to not attend school and get a test asap.
- If an individual over 18 and not fully vaccinated tests positive, they are advised to self isolate until returning a negative two negative tests from Day 6 and Day 7.
- If someone is under 18 or fully vaccinated, they are not expected to self isolate but will not be attending school until returning two negative tests from Day 6 and Day 7.
- Daily testing for close contacts is no longer required.
- Parents and visitors will be allowed to enter the building without restrictions, as long as arranged in advance.
- Pupils will have full access to community visits/trips.
We will continue to have the following control measures in place:
- Despite the changes for mainstream schools, as per guidance, we continue to encourage regular twice weekly testing
- Ensure good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
This is the link to the update DfE guidance for special schools. SEND and specialist settings: additional COVID-19 operational guidance
It is our primary aim this term to be able to mix as a whole school and our wider community, and have lots of fun learning together. Having said that, I am still a little anxious that we will continue to have pupils and staff testing positive, resulting in continued daily challenges around having classes fully open. As always, we will do everything possible to have our pupils safely accessing their learning in school each day. Ultimately, I feel that this term will be a transitional term towards no restrictions from April onwards.
My best wishes to you all,