Posted on: 9th December 2020
Dear parents and carers,
Following guidance issued to all schools last night from the Department for Education, we have decided to close a day early for the Christmas break. We will now break up on Thursday 17th December with the usual Friday early finish time.
The 18th December will be a training day for staff and the Academy will be closed to students. We will be catching up on the missed teaching time at some point in 2021 and I will write and advise when this is happening.
The most important reason for this is to give our Academy community a full week break before Christmas day. This is to ensure we are doing all we can to ensure families are able to enjoy Christmas safely and without interruption.
Public Health England has agreed a 6 day window after the final day of teaching in which schools and further education providers are asked to remain contactable so they can assist with contact tracing where necessary. This will allow enough time for positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases to be identified and confirmed by a test and for relevant contacts to be traced. It is likely that the need to support the tracing process will reduce dramatically over the course of the six days as the majority of cases should be identified earlier in the week. Obviously, we hope that there are no cases and we won’t have to contact anyone.
* Where a student or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
* For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a student or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, we will assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst at NEWA. In this instance, please email [email protected] or message us via the Facebook page.
* Where the last teaching day is on Thursday 17 December, there should be no student contact tracing beyond Wednesday 23 December.
I recognise that this change has come very late and I apologise for that but I hope that you can understand that, given the final bullet point, the earlier finish does mean that there won’t be any risk of student tracing beyond Wednesday 23 December. This will give families a clear opportunity to enjoy Christmas.
Throughout this pandemic, we have had to make big decisions and I always look at the balance and the impact these decisions make on the Academy and our young people. I will always act in the best interest of you, our students and our staff. This is no different and I hope that you are able to support us once again.
If you would like to talk to us about this or share any concerns, please send a message through Facebook or email [email protected], we will be happy to speak to you.
Thank you for your continuing support and take care.
Ormiston NEW Academy