You may have read in the media this week that the Department for Education (DfE), in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE), provided some updated guidance to schools. This guidance consequently means that on Friday 18th December the school will not be open for students.
This means that the last day of term will now be Thursday 17th December, where we plan to have a full day in school with period 5 allocated as a tutor period. During this time we will be sharing our virtual end of term assembly with the students and giving them all a gift from the staff at Isca Academy. We apologise for any convenience that this will cause.
The reason for this slightly earlier end to our term is because Public Health England have asked for a six day window, after the final day of teaching, where schools are asked to remain contactable so that they can assist with any contact tracing where necessary. This will allow enough time for any positive COVID-19 cases to be identified and confirmed by a test, and for relevant close contacts to be traced. The DfE recognise that this communication has arrived late in the term and we have let you know as soon as possible. As always, your support with this is very much appreciated.
The DfE have recommended that all Parents/Carers are made aware of the following information and relevant arrangements regarding positive cases during the holidays:
• Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
• For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus, having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising students and their families of the need for self-isolation. This is because the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
• School staff are not asked to remain on-call or conduct any contact tracing more than 6 days after the final day of teaching. As our last teaching day will now be on Thursday 17th December, there will be no pupil contact tracing beyond Wednesday 23rd December. This means the school will not be in contact with parents on or after 24th December with any news that pupils must self-isolate.
• The staff responsible for contact tracing will designate a period of time each day, up to and including 23rd December, to receive notification of positive cases. If you need to notify the School during this time of a positive test result then please email firstname.lastname@example.org Please do not telephone as the phone lines will not be manned after Thursday 17th December. Where necessary, the School will then make contact with you.
• Where pupils are required to self-isolate due to contact with a positive case after the first 6 days following the end of term, the School does not need to be informed about their absence until the first day of the new term.
It remains vital for all of our students to be in school up to and including the last day of teaching, which will now be on Thursday 17th December and once again, apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.
As we look ahead to the Spring Term, I want to thank you for your overwhelming support over the last term and I do hope you have a safe and enjoyable festive season. We look forward to seeing you again on Monday 4th January 2021.