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LFD and self-isolation update

Please see the information attached regarding LFD testing, self-isolation, masks and vaccinations.

Dear parents and carers,

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a restful and joyful break and managed to spend some quality time with family and friends. We are looking forward to an exciting 2022 at Chaucer School with lots of plans for learning, achievement, activities and events over the coming year.

However, Covid-19 is still presenting challenges to us all, and we hope the whole community are able to keep safe and well. Our biggest help is testing, and I include some of the latest guidance on testing below. We have plenty of test packs available for students to take home at any time, and we are promised the supply will continue into school. Please encourage students to continue to test twice weekly to limit the spread of the virus, or test daily if a close contact of a positive case as described below. As you are aware from national news, it is possible there may be challenges for us as a school in relation to staffing over the coming months, just like any workplace. We will keep you updated on any changes due to staffing shortages that impact on how we operate. Can I assure you that remote learning will only be used as an absolute last resort if we see that absence is resulting in the school being unable to operate safely - our goal is to stay open for all students at all times.

Clarification on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10-day self-isolation period for people who record a positive test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in some circumstances. Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school or work from day 7. Anyone who is unable to take additional LFD tests will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation.

Household contacts who are not required to self-isolate
For close contacts aged 5 years and over and live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, and are not legally required to self-isolate, you are strongly advised to take an LFD test every day for 7 days, or until 10 days after the household member who has COVID-19 started their self-isolation period if this is earlier. You should take this daily LFD test before you leave your home for the first time that day.

Masks and vaccinations
Please can we also remind you that masks should be worn if entering any school building unless you are exempt. Masks will always be provided for students if required. If for any reason your child should not wear a mask, please include a note in the student planner. The government encourages all eligible adults and children over the age of 12 to get vaccinated. Public Health will be contacting families again soon to offer another chance for children over 12 to be vaccinated at school.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support in what continues to be very difficult circumstances. With your help, we will try to keep all members of Chaucer School community as safe as possible.

With very best wishes,
Joanna Crewe
Head of School
Chaucer School (Member of the Tapton School Academy Trust)