We have been made aware of a student in Year 9 (Class 9.5) who has tested positive for Covid-19.We have assessed the case with PHE and made the decision to ask all of class 9.5 to self-isolate and a small number of other close contacts. The parents of those students we have identified as close contacts are being spoken to directly to discuss self-isolation, which will last up to and including Saturday 1 May 2021. Students can then return to school on Tuesday 4 May 2021 (after the Bank Holiday).
We are, of course, aware that there have now been two cases in Year 9 in as many days and that this may cause some anxiety and concern for parents and students. However, we would like to reassure you that, having investigated both cases thoroughly, we do not believe that the two are linked to each other or a more general outbreak. Since the first case was reported to us, we have deep cleaned rooms used by students who had been in contact with the first positive case and these rooms were quarantined. This is in addition to the normal, extremely thorough cleaning that goes on around the building every day. Indeed, since re-opening in September, we have employed additional cleaners to ensure that we can stay on top of hygiene and make the Academy as safe an environment as it can be during the pandemic. We will apply the same actions to classrooms used by the students who have now been asked to self-isolate in this latest case. All of this is in addition to the measures we already have in place managing social distancing, mask wearing, time limits and limits on the numbers of students in certain areas at certain times and support from staff to help students apply the ‘Covid safe’ guidance we have in school.
We would though, also ask for the support of parents in reiterating the importance of students wearing their masks at all times and following instructions from staff, particularly about where they can and cannot be when they are on the school grounds. We would also respectfully remind parents to ensure that you are following guidance on distancing and wearing face coverings when dropping off and collecting children at the start and end of the school day.
The Academy, our students, staff and parents have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to ensure the Academy is a safe place to be and we have had extraordinary success in limiting the number of positive cases and periods of isolation for students when compared with many other schools in the District. We appreciate that rules are changing outside school and in some cases being relaxed, but there are still restrictions in place and many rules and regulations the Academy must abide by to manage Covid-19 and our continued safe operation. It would be a shame if all of the hard work of the last year was to be undone as we move, hopefully, towards the end of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
As ever, we thank all of our students and parents for your support, patience and understanding.