4th January 2022 return to school information
25th Nov 2021
Happy new year to you and your family from all at Brighouse High School. I hope you and your family have continued to keep safe and well and have been able to enjoy a break over the last two weeks.
I received a number of updates from the Department for Education over the last few days to share with you, which impact on the full reopening of school on Wednesday 5th January.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing before return to school on 4 January 2022
As I said in December, please remember that we have been told to set up the on-site lateral flow testing centre in and offer all students who consent a lateral flow test.
We will focus on testing students today and students in Years 7-11 only have to come in to school at the allocated time if they wish to have an on-site lateral flow test.
If you have previously consented to on-site testing for your son or daughter and we have that recorded in school, please arrange for them to arrive at school for the test during their allotted time slot and to leave immediately afterwards.
The plan is that students will come into school for a lateral flow test and then return home and complete tasks shared in their Google Classrooms. All year groups will return to face-to-face teaching in school on Wednesday 5 January.
The timings of the tests are as follows
Year 7: 9.00am-10.00am
Year 8: 10.15am-11.15am
Year 9: 11.30am-12.30pm
Year 10: 12.45pm-1.45pm
Year 11: 2.00pm-3.00pm
The arrangements for Y12 and Y13 changed slightly since the original letter went out and all students were informed of that change before the end of term. Lessons for Y12 and Y13 now commence today at 1.10pm for the afternoon session. On-site lateral flow testing will be offered at the Sixth Form College from 11.15am-12.15pm. Students are welcome to work on-site this morning if they wish.
The guidance for schools has been updated once again and it is now advised that students wear face coverings in classrooms as well as communal areas. Please ensure that your child travels to school with a face covering to use until further notice. The guidance is next due to be reviewed by the government on January 26th.
From January 5th face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. Students must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school. We would not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class, to support education delivery, although some individual teachers may choose to do so in some classrooms.
LFD testing at home
We will continue to issue home testing kits to staff and students until further notice and strongly encourage all students to continue testing twice weekly at home and to report all results to NHS Test and Trace . Please continue to report positive test results to school through the usual attendance procedures if your child cannot attend school.
Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period following a positive test result has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
You may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of your 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 from day 8.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation. Further information is available in the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
We always aim to keep students in school and in lessons wherever possible but please be aware that if anyone in our school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, we are instructed to send them home immediately and public health advice regarding getting tested and isolating should be followed. We appreciate your support in arranging the collection of your child if this unfortunate situation occurs.
Tracing close contacts and isolation
Close contacts in schools are now identified by NHS Test and Trace and schools are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts.
From 14 December 2021, if you are identified as a close contact and are fully vaccinated or aged 18 years and 6 months or younger, you are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend your setting as normal, unless you have a positive test result.
Contingency plans - Remote education
We fully intend to continue face-to-face education for all students but I recognise that the high rates of COVID-19 may cause difficulties with the availability of staff. If it were to become difficult to maintain the safety of all students in school, due to lack of available staff and adequate supervision, we may have to move to remote learning for some students for short periods of time. This will only ever be implemented as a very last resort and will only be for short periods of time until staffing numbers return to safe operational levels.
As always, the success of our school is built on the co-operation and partnerships between home and school and I am confident that, working together, we can ensure the smooth and successful return to school for all in January.