Dear Parents and Carers,
We hope you have had a restful and enjoyable summer.
As you get ready for your children to return to school, we want to let you know about some of the changes being made so that school can get back to being more normal for the children.
During last school year many children were sent home just in case they had been a contact of someone who later tested positive for COVID-19. Schools worked hard to reduce the spread of the virus and the majority of those sent home to self-isolate did not develop COVID-19. We know that this was very difficult for children and parents and carers.
From this term children will not have to self-isolate if they have been a close contact of a positive case. Close contacts will be identified by Test and Trace rather than the school and will be advised to go for a PCR test. If your child is identified, please do take them for the PCR test.
If your child has any symptoms or has had a positive test they should not go to school and should follow instructions about self-isolating. Please tell your child’s school why your child is off school. If your child displays any symptoms at school the school will contact you and ask you to take your child for a PCR test.
All schools will be revising their risk assessments so that they can continue to run safely and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. They will publish their risk assessment on their website. Many schools will go back to the normal start and end of the school day but may ask your child to use a particular entrance and exit to reduce mixing. They may also continue to have breaktimes at different times for different year groups. Adults in the school and visitors may be asked to wear face-coverings when in more crowded spaces or where there is poorer ventilation. Please do follow the school’s rules when on the school site.
Schools, Public Health and Test & Trace will work together to monitor the number of cases in schools. During the autumn term Public Health may ask individual or groups of schools to change their arrangements if they have a lot of positive cases. Please do follow any new arrangements that the school tells you about.
Previously, schools identified the close contacts in the school of someone with COVID-19. This will now be done by NHS Test and Trace (and in Leicester, our local Track and Trace team). Schools must still be told why your child is off school.
If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, you will not need to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 or are a close contact as someone with COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means it has been 14 days from your final dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
These changes mean that it is important for children, young people and families to make sure they take some actions to support schools and their community. These include:
Thank you for all the support you have given to the work to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in Leicester.
Martin Samuels, Strategic Director, Social Care and Education
Ivan Browne, Director of Public Health