Important Information

Parent/Carer Update 25.2.2022

February 25, 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are enjoying the half term break. As you will have no doubt seen, the Government has updated their guidance for schools which details our move to ‘Living with Covid-19’. The rules and guidance will continue to change periodically, with the remaining restrictions gradually removed up to April 2022, as set out below.

21 February:

  • Staff and students of secondary age and above in SEND settings, alternative provision settings, and SEND units within mainstream settings or equivalent in further education colleges are advised to continue twice-weekly testing. This will take continue to take place in school.
  • If you or a family member has symptoms of Covid 19 then they should arrange a PCR test in the usual way.

24 February: 

  • The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test ends. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow this guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days. 
  • The legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated also ends.
  • Fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 are no longer requested to take lateral flow tests for 7 consecutive days.
  • Self-isolation support payments end.
  • Routine contact tracing ends. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests.
  • Individuals are no longer legally obliged to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.

Public Health Sunderland Guidance

However, the following testing and isolation measures are recommended at this time:

  • Children and young people who test positive are advised not to attend their education setting while they are likely to be infectious. Instead, they are advised to continue to follow the guidance until they have received two negative LFD test results on consecutive days from day 5 onwards, at which point they can return to their education setting, as long as they do not have a temperature.
  • Children and young people who are a household contact of someone who has tested positive can continue to attend the setting as normal as long as they are well and do not have a temperature.
  • Anyone with main symptoms of COVID-19 is advised to stay at home for at least 5 days, take a PCR (while still available to everyone) and avoid contact with other people. They are advised not to attend work and to take actions to prevent household transmission until they have received two negative LFD test results on consecutive days from day 5 onwards.

In response to the ongoing high rates and to help ensure as many children and young people as possible remain in face-to-face education, we continue with our guidance in advising schools to adopt a cautionary approach to minimising the risk of Covid-19 outbreak in school.

The advisory contingency measures previously recommended in the Winter term will remain in place. They will be reviewed regularly as infection levels change and in response to any further changes in national guidance.

1 April: 

  • Guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people will be updated. This will align with the changes to testing.
  • Universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England will no longer be free.

We will be continuing with our stringent infection control cleaning regime throughout the school day, hand sanitiser will remain throughout the school site and classrooms will continue to be well ventilated to minimise the spread of infection.

Thanks to your vigilance and compliance with the guidance throughout the pandemic, we have managed to keep cases at a minimum in school and avoid enhanced restrictions being imposed.  I am confident that by continuing to work together, booking a PCR test when an individual has symptoms and students remaining at home whilst they have Covid, we will continue to ensure that the Link School is as safe as possible for everyone.

Thank you for your ongoing support. I will update you once again in April when the new guidance is released.

Donna Walker

Headteacher


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Contact

Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Springwell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777
Email: caroline.granton@schools.sunderland.gov.uk

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777
Email: anita.blakeman@schools.sunderland.gov.uk