Updated DfE Guidance – January 2022

Three male Leigh Academy students painting together in an Art class.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!
We are looking forward to welcoming students back to onsite education through the week ahead. Please see letters sent at the end of term for each year groups return detail We are ensuring as safe a return as we can by carrying out on site LFT testing of all students as they return to lessons. We know however that Covid cases are high in the local community and nationally so we need your help to implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission in the academy. We already have a number of staff who will have a delayed return due to having to self-isolate until next week. We will do all that we can to ensure learning for all students can continue on site this term. We are also well rehearsed in remote learning and the use of Google Classrooms, with Chromebooks offered to every year group, if there becomes a need for remote learning due to students isolating at home or increased staff absences.

The Department for Education published updated guidance on 2nd January:

DfE Guidance

The key changes are:

1. Face Coverings/Masks

should be worn in classrooms by students covering their mouth and nose as well as when moving around the building and when in indoor communal areas. Staff will also wear face coverings/masks – although teachers are permitted to remove them when they are explaining at the front of the classroom. Teachers will put their masks back on before moving around the classroom.
Please help us by providing your child with a face mask daily. We will have a small number spare but we cannot continue to hand out 100s every day. Fabric masks can also be purchased at the main reception for £1 a pack, payment via ParentPay.

2. Self-Isolation

Since Wednesday 22nd December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

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 your education setting from day 8. If either test is positive then the isolation continues until there are negative tests on two consecutives days. If this does not happen, then the isolation continues for the full 10 days.

3. LFT Testing at Home, at least twice weekly

students will be given LFT home testing kits this week. I ask for you help in ensuring that twice weekly testing is taking place at home and positives reported to the academy, via College Admins or info@leighacademy.org.uk

In addition we continue with our previous measures of – encouraging regular hand washing/sanitation, ventilation in classrooms where possible, enhanced cleaning, and year group breaks and lunches.

4. January Examinations

Years 11,12 & 13 Vocational Public Examinations will take place as scheduled. Please let us know as soon as possible should there be any issues regarding examination attendance due to COVID isolation.

As always we will review our measures regularly and in line with Public Health England, the Local Health Protection team, Leigh Academies Trust and in relation to any further DfE guidance. I thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to work together in 2022 to provide the best possible education for all students, despite the challenges we face.

Your Sincerely,

Julia Collins