Face Coverings for 2 weeks
Reinstating face coverings inside
We are very grateful to pupils, parents and staff who have helped us reinstate the wearing of face coverings in all indoor areas, including classrooms, from Monday 21 June 2021 for an initial period of two weeks.
We have taken this further preventative step to minimise the risk of the transmission of the virus in school following 3 confirmed cases on COVID-19 in school in the first fortnight back after half term.
This decision has not been taken lightly. While it was taken in consultation with Gloucestershire County Council Public Health team, it was also in response to a further review of our risk assessment and pleas from pupils and parents:
‘We are a bit concerned that COVID is spreading too fast and we think that face masks should be reintroduced. We understand that we could wear them ourselves. We think that it would benefit other people too if we were all to wear them. It would also stop the spread in corridors where you can't track and trace as easily.’
The DfE’s operational guidance for schools explains: ‘The reintroduction of face coverings for pupils or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. In all cases, any educational drawbacks should be balanced with the benefits of managing transitions.’
All three cases were initially picked up through routine lateral flow device tests. In response, following our own internal track and trace, we have had to ask over 80 pupils across two year groups to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. On Monday 21 June we were pleased to welcome back those pupils in our new Year 10 who were asked to self-isolate for 10 days from Thursday 10 June.
In our discussions on Friday 18 June, the Public Health team at Gloucestershire County Council strongly recommended that those pupils in our new Year 9 who are currently self-isolating should book PCR tests. As a consequence of this, over the weekend we were advised that two more asymptomatic pupils in the year group have tested positive for COVID-19, and they, and all members of their families, will have to extend their period of self-isolation from the date of their PCR tests. Because of their period out of school already, we have not had to do any tracking or tracing, but we do ask that all pupils continue to test themselves twice weekly using the Lateral Flow Device tests they have been given.
On Friday 18 June, the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williams, wrote an open letter to parents encouraging continued regular testing, to support all the hard work schools and colleges have been doing to increase participation. You can read his letter here: A letter to secondary school and college parents in England on continuing regular Covid-19 testing.
The wearing of face coverings does not and will not stop learning at Cirencester Deer Park School!
What are the main symptoms of Covid-19?
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Most people with symptoms have at least 1 of the symptoms above. However, about 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms (they are asymptomatic) but can still infect others. This is why everyone is advised to get tested regularly.
Where can we get LFD tests?
At school we regularly distribute LFD test kits for home testing to pupils, for whom we have parental permission, and to staff. If your child does not currently test but would like to start, they should see Miss Brace. Any individual can access regular LFD tests and you can collect tests to do at home from a local pharmacy or test centre. Find out more...
What if one of our pupils has a positive LFD test result?
Contact Assistant Head Miss Brace (C.Brace@deerparkschool.net) at the very earliest opportunity so that we can instigate our internal track and trace. You should book a confirmatory PCR test.