Keeping Everyone Safe During Covid-19
Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and KSA’s response
The key information includes updates for September 2021.
What advice is the government giving schools?
What is the school doing to keep everyone safe?
As England moved to stage 4 of the removal of restrictions, and moving into the 2021-2 academic year, the restrictions and control measures changed, with a return to a more normal way of running the school. The changes were outlined in the letter to parents that was sent ahead of the academic year, which can be read here. However, there are still several key control measures in place:
- Ensuring high levels of ventilation through a rigorously adopted ventilation plan, which ensures rooms are ventilated throughout the day.
- Following a rigorous handwashing schedule for everyone: washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and drying them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered;
- Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by using face coverings and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach;
- Cleaning frequently touched surfaces often throughout the day (NB. Our cleaners normally only work in the evenings after pupils have gone home; we now have cleaners on both sites working the during the day cleaning toilets, door handles etc)
- Following up on all absences very rigorously to ensure symptomatic pupils remain at home and get tested asap.
- Engaging fully in the governments asymptomatic testing regime with all staff and secondary pupils testing twice a week
- Ensuring all symptomatic cases are out of the school, ensuring that parents, staff and pupils are vigilent to symptoms.
Can my child bring in their own hand sanitiser?
Pupils from Year 5 – Year 13 are welcome to bring their own hand sanitiser and keep it in their own pocket or bag. Pupils who do not manage this sensibly will be given feedback and we will talk to parents if we think it is going to be more appropriate for a given pupil to only use school supplies instead.
Pupils on the Younger Years Site all have sinks in their classrooms and the medical guidance is that it is safer and more efficient to wash hands regularly rather than sanitise.
Why aren't we in bubbles any more?
A ‘bubble’ is a group of pupils and staff that limit the number of contacts. These were used earlier in the pandemic to ensure that there were fewer contacts and reduce the number of people who have to isolate. Because of the negative impact on the running of schools and pupils' experiences, the government guidance has changed to remove bubbles from how schools are run.
How will testing work?
Primary and Secondary Staff and Secondary pupils are tested using Lateral Flow tests. From 18th March 2021 pupils and staff have been testing twice a week, always Monday and Thursday mornings (can also be Sunday and Wednesday evenings). The procedure is safe and quick. We will train pupils to take the test themselves, including the swabbing process.
To view a full guide of how to test at home, please see these two documents: A How To Guide presentation with screenshots and links (Secondary Pupils - Home Testing - March 2021 King Solomon Academy.pdf) and a one page summary with the key information (Home Testing Guidance for Secondary Pupils and Families - March 2021 King Solomon Academy.pdf).
More information form the is available about the testing programme here. More information about consent is given here, and the form for consent to be given is here. Parents are encouraged to consent to testing but may remove consent at any time.
Are parents allowed on site?
Parents can come into the school grounds if they are outside, for example at dismissal on the Younger Years Site. Parents should generally limit reasons for entering the building only for instances where this is necessary.
What does playtime/break look like?
Pupils are back to 'normal' play/break times, and are able to mix with other classes as they wish.
What are the expectations around face coverings?
Governament guidance has updated from 29th November 2021. Face coverings must now be worn by all staff, visitors and secondary pupils in indoor communal areas. Staff and pupils are welcome to wear face coverings at any time if they choose to.
What are the arrangements for toilets?
Toilets are being cleaned within the school day. All pupils are expected to wash their hands thoroughly.
What happens if we have been abroad and are quarantining?
Please be mindful that for many countries the quarantine remains in place, meaning your family would need to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school. Full details can be found here of which countries are affected: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus. If you are concerned your family may be in this situation, please contact the school urgently to discuss your circumstances.
Pupils who need to quarantine will have their absence will not be authorised, unless parents can prove with evidence that flights from a country which was added to the quarantine list after they booked flights and they were not able to change the flights. Parents who have their pupils out of shcool in term time will be referred to the local authority.
Do siblings have to isolate?
If your child has symptoms or a positive PCR test, their siblings under 18 years and 6 months should not isolate unless they develop symptoms. If your child tests positive with a PCR, siblings are advised to get a PCR test.
Who should I talk to if I have still got questions or concerns about how safe my child is at school?
You should raise initial concerns with your child’s class teacher/form tutor or Year Lead/Head of Year who will be able to pass it on to the most appropriate person if necessary. You can find all leaders’ contact details here.
What if cases increase rapidly?
We are reviewing government guidance on a regular basis and updating our risk assessment, policies and procedures. We have already prepared an Outbreak Management Plan which outlines how the school would respond if the number of cases in the school community rises dramatically. In this event, additional control measures will be considered, taking advice from Public Health England.
If you would like to read previous guidance or information from the school, please review previous newsletters or parent information letters found here.