Important information about returning to school in September.

31 August 2021

Dear Parent,

I hope this letter finds you well and that you enjoyed some quality time with your family over the summer break. I wanted to take this opportunity to keep you up to date with the current situation regarding Covid–19 and the imminent return of students to college. College will re-open for staff on Thursday 2nd September for a teacher training day.  Year groups will then return on the following dates.

Friday 3rd September        New Year 7 students only

Monday 6th September     Year 10 and 11 return. Year 7 also in college.

                                                Years 8 and 9 will learn remotely using their google

                                                classrooms from the previous academic year.

Year 8 and 9 students will set up new google classrooms with their new teachers once they have returned.

Tuesday 7th September all year groups in college. 

Students should continue to arrive between 8.30 and 8.45 a.m.

The reason for this staggered start to the year is that we are being asked to set up our Asymptomatic Testing Site again as we did in March.  Students, whose parents consented in March, will take two lateral flow tests.  If you did not consent previously but would like to do so now, please let us know by emailing covid@blessededward.co.uk Please also let us know if your child caught Covid-19 over the summer holiday period as they will not require a lateral flow test on their return in September.

The two tests will take place across the first week up to and including Friday 10th September. Students will then be provided with test kits and will be encouraged to continue home testing throughout September.

From September the DfE have said that there will be no year group bubbles which means that students will be able to use the canteen as they did pre-pandemic. Face masks are not mandatory at this point in time but if your child still wishes to wear a face mask in college, please let us know and we will allow them to do so. Students who travel on school buses will continue to wear face masks for the duration of their journey to and from college. We are also asking all students to continue to bring a face covering to college purely as a precautionary measure. There is potential for the reintroduction of the wearing of face masks in certain contexts and I will of course keep you updated on any changes.

The college will be keeping certain control measures in place. We will continue to maximise ventilation in classrooms, encourage the regular washing and sanitising of hands, routinely clean desks in classrooms and carry out regular cleaning of high contact areas around the college site such as handrails and door handles. Students should continue to bring their own hand sanitiser each day. Our one way system will be in operation and we will continue with a staggered end to the college day. Year 7, 8 and 9 students will finish at 3.15pm. Year 10 and 11 students will finish at 3.20pm.

As you will be aware the guidance around close contacts and self isolation changed over the summer holiday period. In essence the guidance now states that;

1. Students must not come into college if they;

  • have Covid-19 symptoms
  • have had a positive test result via a PCR test or a lateral flow test. If a student has a positive lateral flow test they should book a PCR test immediately. A negative PCR test will override a positive lateral flow test and in this instance the student can return to college
  • have been instructed to quarantine because of travelling from specified countries

2. If anyone in the college develops Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, they will be asked to go home and follow public health advice.

3. Students who have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace, should continue to attend college as normal. NHS Test and Trace will advise that the student takes a PCR test. This is a significant change and the college no longer plays a role in the identification of close contacts as it did up to the end of the summer term. We will however continue to maintain accurate seating plans in all classrooms. 

4. Please note that the college can refuse to allow a student to attend if, in our reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other students and staff from possible infection with Covid-19.

As I said in my letter in July I do not believe we are out of the woods yet but I am hopeful that we will not see the significant levels of disruption to students’ education that we experienced in July. Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep you updated. If you have any questions about any aspect of your child’s return to college in September, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Greg McClarey

Headteacher