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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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AnotHer Confirmed Case 2021

Confirmed case of COVID-19 in (new) Year 9; 19 pupils self-isolating

Following a welcome period of respite, during which we were able to welcome back all previously self-isolating pupils, we were sorry to learn on Monday 12 July 2021 that one of our pupils in our (new) Year 9 had tested positive on a Lateral Flow Device after school.

We are very grateful to parents for advising us immediately. This meant members of the school’s leadership team were able to initiate track and trace quickly. In readiness for such an event, our teachers maintain accurate seating plans and these are held centrally. After a few checks with class teachers and feedback from the pupil himself, 18 pupils were identified as close contacts and Miss Brace and Miss Charlesworth, Assistant Heads, contacted their families by telephone and if they couldn’t make contact, by email. Parents received written confirmation of their children’s needs to self-isolate on Tuesday 13 July.

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher, advised the Public Health team at Gloucestershire County Council. The operational guidance for schools is very clear. A close contact is defined as someone who:

  • lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with either a PCR test or LFD test:
    • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within 1 metre
    • been within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact
    • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact or added up together over 1 day)
    • travelled in the same vehicle or a plane.

On Monday 12 July, all pupils in our (new) Year 9 had lessons in the morning and sports events outside in the afternoon. This is why the contact group is relatively small on this occasion.

Pupils now required to self-isolate will finish the end of this term at home and will, regrettably, miss out on our reward trips or activities on either Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 July.

‘I am immensely grateful to my colleagues for their pragmatic and efficient approach to track and trace. Their swift action in contacting parents in the evening meant we were able to prevent the further spread of the virus in school. The decision to ask any child to stay at home is not easy and, this week, it is even more difficult knowing that those who are apparently well cannot return to school before the end of term. I apologise to them and their families, but we are obliged to follow the guidance as it currently stands.

Chiquita Henson

We expect all pupils self-isolating, as a result of being identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive either in school or outside of school, to continue to follow their normal school day as closely as possible remotely. In line with our remote learning plan, teachers will be setting and assigning lesson material in MS Teams and in some circumstances, pupils may be invited to join some ‘live’ lessons.

We continue to monitor the health and wellbeing of our pupils and ask parents not to send pupils to school if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

If a pupil has a positive result on a Lateral Flow Device, he/she is asked to have a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible. If this confirmatory PCR test is negative, provided it was taken within 2 days of the positive LFD, it overrides the lateral flow test and close contacts can stop self-isolating.