COVID Plan B January 2021
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced in December 2021 the country would move to COVID plan B – which includes instructions to work from home (where possible) and face masks in more settings.
The Department for Education has released updated guidance for schools, so here’s what parents need to know in relation to our school …
1. Attendance remains mandatory for all
Children should be attending school, face to face, unless they have been requested to isolate.
2. No change on face masks - in primary schools face masks are not required in class or for children, but staff are expected to wear masks in communal areas. We have also asked for key stage 1 parents to wear their masks when they enter the school gates to drop off and pick up.
3. Schools are not to close and move teaching online (December 2021)- we have been asked at present to stay face to face. Their is no plan at present to change this. However we have been asked to prepare contingency plans - A plan B for our school so as to speak.
4. Their has been a huge push on vaccinations, especially pushing for adults to have their 3rd booster before the end of December.
Contacts, Testing and the Omicron Variant
Currently, anybody identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant will be required to self-isolate and book a PCR test.
However, the government plans to introduce daily contact testing “as soon as possible” as an alternative for Omicron close contacts who are fully vaccinated, or under the age of 18 years and six months.
Our Plan B states:
- Masks to be worn by staff in communal areas
- Children who have a sibling or other household member with Covid should not attend school until they have had a negative PCR test or they will need to complete 10-day isolation period, for close contacts of confirmed or suspected Omicron cases.
- Measures such as staggered break times should be urgently reintroduced - we already stagger classes and year group etc. Nursery, Reception and Key stage 1 are all kept seperate from each other. If we see Pupil cases rise, we will re-introduce class bubbles in key stage 1.
- CO2 in classrooms should be kept below 800ppm", and we should allow staff to book vaccines and boosters during working hours without loss of pay and to encourage twice-weekly testing for all staff and pupils, as is already in place.
We are not planning on closing bubbles/school unless the following criteria is met:
1. There are not enough staff in school to be safe or to maintain a high standard of teaching and learning.
2. The number of cases rise to a level public health are unhappy about
3.The goverment give clear guidance to do so.
Our priority is to ensure all children are offered a high standard of education. This can only happen if staff are healthy and in school. All staff in school are fully vaccinated and are now being given their 3rd Booster. They all wear masks in comunal areas and when mixing with parents. We are doing all we can to protect staff to ensure the school remains open.