Dear Parents and Carers
Learning to live with COVID - the Thrive Trust response
Over the summer break we have changed the name of the multi-academy trust that Stepney is a part of, from Yorkshire and the Humber Cooperative Learning Trust (YHCLT), to Thrive Cooperative Learning Trust. We wanted the multi-academy trust name - Thrive - to speak about what we want for each pupil, each school, each member of staff and each community. We want them to Thrive, to reach their full potential.
A key part of thriving at the moment is learning to live with COVID and responding appropriately when there are infections in school. The government has given us their guidance and school leaders and the Thrive Trust Board have met to decide sensible ways forward.
Key changes to how we are responding to COVID
The changes that are now in force across England are intended to make sure that we respond to COVID in a proportionate way and that there is as little disruption to learning as possible.
Close contacts of someone with COVID no longer need to isolate if they are fully vaccinated or below the age of 18 years and 6 months. This means children now come to school if they are close contacts.
Children will not be in bubbles but will mix more freely, including at break times.
Contact tracing will now be carried out by NHS Track and Trace - but our schools will keep records as well to assist in this. Please continue to inform school if there is an infection in your household and your child is a close contact.
Staff will continue to wear face coverings in shared areas but not in classrooms. We will require secondary aged pupils and all staff to wear face coverings in school if they are a close contact of an infected person. Pupils who travel to and from school by bus will need to wear a face covering.
Remote learning at home can now only be authorised by the relevant Local Public Health official, not the school (see our ‘Outbreak Management Plan’).
Key things that are staying the same
Continue good hygiene standards in school including rigorous hand washing and respiratory hygiene (coughs, sneezes, tissues etc.)
High quality cleaning including more frequent cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
Good ventilation in all rooms.
Staff will be encouraged to continue twice-weekly lateral flow testing (reviewable by the end of September).
Secondary age pupils will have two lateral flow tests at the start of the Autumn term.
If staff or pupils test positive on a lateral flow test they will need to get a PCR test and isolate while waiting for their results.
How we will respond if there is an infection in school
We will let you know if there has been a positive COVID test of someone in a group your child has been a member of. This is so that you can be even more vigilant in noticing any possible COVID symptoms.
If there are 5 or more infections, or more than 10% of the school population, or community infection rates are high, or there is a new variant of concern, or if the local NHS is under unsustainable pressure then we will discuss with Local Public Health officials the need to move to our Outbreak Management Plan. If we do move to this plan we may revert to bubbles, remote learning etc. but this will be at the instruction of Local Public Health and as a last resort. You can find full details of the Outbreak Management Plan in the policies section of the school website.
What you can do
Please continue to inform school straightaway of any infection in your household and whether your child is infected or a close contact of an infected person.
Respond quickly to any request for information from NHS Track and Trace - this will ensure that the school community gets the timely advice it needs.
Book a PCR test as soon as a lateral flow test is positive, and keep school informed of the outcome.
Continue to follow the recommended hygiene guidance.
Please do be in touch with school if you need any further advice or guidance or you have a query about the next phase of your school’s response to the pandemic.
Jonathan Roe Paul Browning
Chief Executive Officer Head Teacher
Thrive Co-operative Learning |Trust Stepney Primary School