Easing of Covid-19 Restrictions in school
Dear parents and carers,
Following the recent announcement of a significant easing of lockdown restrictions which will come into force on 17th May, the government have issued updated guidance to schools on the restrictions we should have in place to control the spread of Covid-19 and to protect our pupils, staff and wider community.
The prevalence of the virus has reduced hugely since the January lockdown, however it remains in circulation throughout the city and wider country, and a third wave of infections continues to be both a possibility and an expectation. Therefore we must continue to balance the need to provide a high quality, broad and balanced curriculum with the protection of our pupils, staff and community from the virus.
Thankfully, the balance of this risk calculation is continuing to move in the direction of further easing of restrictions, and I am therefore pleased to confirm that we have updated our Covid-19 risk assessment, and we are now able to ease some restrictions with effect from Monday 17th May.
The easing of restrictions must continue to prioritise educational provision, with each step taken gradually and with caution. In practise this mean that the easing of restrictions affecting the delivery of a broad, balanced and exciting curriculum must be prioritised, for example restarting educational visits, over restrictions that prevent adults, including staff and our wider community, enjoying a return to a more ‘normal’ life. I must therefore remind you that it remains important that we continue to follow social distancing rules at all times, and we continue to ask all adults to wear masks when dropping pupils at school and to continue to adhere to restrictions on access to the school site. We will also continue to require staff to wear masks in communal areas of the school, for example corridors, and to maintain social distancing from other staff members at all times.
Many restrictions affecting pupils will also remain in place; as per updated government guidance we must continue to operate our school with restrictions such as class and year group bubbles, and asking pupils and staff displaying symptoms of Covid-19 to self-isolate and seek a test.
We very much hope and expect that we will enjoy further easing of restrictions in the coming weeks and months, however we will continue to follow DfE and government advice at all times. In consultation with staff and the wider community we will also continue to err on the side of caution where we feel that the risks associated with easing restrictions may not outweigh the benefits of keeping them in place. This may mean in practise that restrictions such as staggered opening times, adult mask wearing and restrictions on entering the school building stay in place until at least September 2021, and we are thankful for your ongoing adherence to these restrictions.
Easing of Restrictions from 17th May
With effect from Monday 17th May 2021, the school will recommence educational visits, including indoor and outdoor trips and residential trips. All visits will be subject to thorough risk assessment, including assessing the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
We will also recommence indoor physical education, as well as Indoor and outdoor sports competition between different schools. Again these will be subject to thorough risk assessment. Finally, indoor music and dance within bubbles is now permitted.