The Academy has today received confirmation that a Year 9 student has tested positive for Covid-19. We understand that this will be concerning for parents and students and this is the second confirmed case amongst students and staff. I would, therefore, like to outline the steps that we have taken and do take in all cases once we receive confirmation of a positive test.
Firstly, we have spoken to the parent to ascertain the symptoms and timelines involved in their case and find out when the test was taken. Once this was done, we then spoke with the DfE who are now taking reports from schools of positive Covid-19 cases. The details from that conversation are relayed to Public Health England and, in the meantime, we also notified the Local Authority of the case.
While these reports were being made to the authorities, other members of the SLT Team began tracing the movement of the student, looking at the rooms they used and the members of staff and other students they may have come into contact with. This information is also discussed with the DfE and PHE, along with anything else that is relevant. We then receive advice and agree on the next steps required.
In this and all confirmed cases, PHE advise that only close contacts of the student will need to self-isolate. We have identified a total of 83 people who were close contacts and those people have received the information they need to begin self-isolating. It is worth pointing out that just because a student or member of staff is in the same bubble or year group as someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, it does not necessarily mean that they are considered by PHE to be a ‘close contact’. Considerations around the length and nature of exposure and the type of contact a person has had with the confirmed case are also a factor and we receive further advice from PHE of who is subject to further action and who is not. This means that students from within a bubble or year group, and some staff members too, may continue to attend school when you might expect that they have to self-isolate.
I can assure you that we follow all instructions required of us by PHE and other authorities. We report cases immediately and any actions we are asked to take are taken immediately. This includes asking those staff and students who have to self-isolate to do so and quarantining areas or rooms in the building if necessary. We will not compromise the health and wellbeing of students and staff and, although it may sometimes seem confusing from the outside, I reiterate that we implement all actions required of us by PHE and the DfE and in accordance with our approved risk assessment.
The Academy has sent more detailed information about this case and self-isolation directly to those affected. We have also sent a text to the wider Academy community informing you that there is a letter in the Covid-19 section of our website, which explains in further detail what happens when we are informed of a positive test result. There are also links to useful information and resources in that letter.
We understand that social media often becomes a source of much discussion once things of this nature happen. However, we would ask that you ensure any information you are sharing is accurate. If you have concerns about the Academy’s procedures for addressing Covid-19 cases or you are confused about the decisions that have been taken, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to address these with you directly.