LAXTON JUNIOR SCHOOL

Beyond an enduring commitment to the health and welfare of all in our community, our guiding principles are as follows:

1. Continuing to provide a high-quality and wide-ranging education for our pupils. This includes remote access to live lessons for those given permission to join online by the Deputy Head Academic.

2. Taking reasonable but not excessive steps to reduce the need for absence among staff and pupils and the associated strain this brings.

CURRENT VISITOR PROTOCOL

Introduction

Our approach is broadly the same as at the end of Michaelmas Term 2021, although for the time being mask wearing has been extended to all indoor school settings, in line with updated Government guidance. The Fifth Form and Sixth Form continue to be allowed into town at break, and the Third and Fourth Form at other times if free: masks are to be worn at all times. Our abiding intention remains to enable as many pupil activities to take place as possible.

Until the next 3 week review, due at the exeat weekend, the following additional measures will be observed:

  • Routine House visits are suspended (House swaps may continue).
  • Clubs will remain closed.
  • Sports fixtures to continue, although some other activities may be postponed.
  • Indoor post-match hospitality for visitors is temporarily suspended.
  • All visitors are asked to carry out an LFD test before visiting and to wear a mask indoors at all times.

General Control Measures

Vaccinations
We strongly urge and support all staff and pupils to follow medical advice on the vaccination and booster programme to protect themselves, our community and others from infection.

Hand hygiene and social distancing
Frequent and thorough hand cleaning is now regular practice. Everyone is required to continue to clean their hands thoroughly and regularly using soap and water or hand sanitiser, which is widely available throughout the School. As previously, social distancing is a matter of personal choice.

Face coverings
From 4 January 2022, as a temporary measure, pupils are to wear face coverings in classrooms, in Chapel and assembly. To support education delivery, teachers are not ordinarily expected to wear face coverings when they are at the front of the class. Boarders will continue to wear a face covering when moving around in corridors but not in dorms or dining rooms. Staff and pupils are also asked to wear face coverings at all times when in town as a courtesy to local residents. Face coverings will still be required in all vehicles, including when using public transport.

Circumstances where people are unable to wear face coverings due to exemptions will continue to be respected.

Mixing and bubbles
As previously, there is no longer a requirement to keep pupils in consistent groups or ‘bubbles’ or to keep boarding pupils in separate households within boarding houses. Based on public health advice in the event of a local outbreak, the temporary reintroduction of social distancing and ‘bubbles’ may be required to reduce mixing between groups.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Additional PPE for COVID-19 will only be necessary in the following situations as the risk of COVID-19 transmission is increased:

  • When a pupil showing symptoms of COVID-19 needs close intimate care.
  • When an isolation room (or area) and toilet has been used by a pupil or employee who was unable to return home and needs to be cleaned once vacated.

Cleaning regimes and ventilation
An appropriate cleaning schedule is in place, including regular cleaning of areas and equipment, with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces. Mechanical ventilation systems, where installed in buildings, are inspected and serviced at the appropriate regular frequencies. Wherever possible, they are adjusted to increase the ventilation rate and ensure that only fresh outside air is circulated. Where they cannot be adjusted to full fresh air, they are supplemented by an outdoor air supply. Natural ventilation is achieved by opening windows and internal doors to assist with creating a throughput of fresh air, as long as this is safe to do so.

CO2 monitors and air purifying units
Baseline checks of CO2 levels have indicated that adequate ventilation is achieved through existing ventilation measures without the need for additional air purifying units. Staff can request checks of the CO2 levels in their rooms.

Travelling from abroad

All staff and non-boarding pupils are required to follow the current rules for international travel to England as detailed in:

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19).

The arrangements for boarding pupils returning from both red list and non-red list countries are in accordance with:

Boarding school students: quarantine and testing arrangements.

EDUCATIONAL VISITS AND VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

Educational visits
Current guidance is that schools should consider whether to go ahead with international educational visits at this time, recognising the risk of disruption to education resulting from the need to isolate and test on arrival back in England. Where visits are still planned, detailed risk assessments will be carried out. Prior to arranging any visits or trips, leaders will check the current guidance and ensure the trip is approved by the Deputy Head Co-Curricular.

Arrangements for visitors and contractors
All visitors and contractors are provided with a visitors’ information leaflet and the visitor protocol and are required to confirm their compliance prior to arrival. The protocol includes a request for visitors to carry out a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) home test prior to their visit.

Asymptomatic Testing

All pupils will receive an on-site LFD test at the start of the Lent Term. An asymptomatic test centre will remain in place at the School for use if there is a requirement to increase testing capability.

Staff and pupils are asked to continue taking an LFD test twice a week, 3 to 4 days apart, and report the results.

If the LFD test is positive, staff and pupils will self-isolate in line with stay-at-home guidance and arrange a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) confirmatory test. If the confirmatory PCR test is then taken within 2 days of the positive LFD test, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test and staff and pupils can return to School.

NOTE: From 11 January 2022 and until further notice, under new guidance, anyone with no symptoms who receives a positive LFD test result is required to report their result on gov.uk and start self-isolating immediately. There will be no need to take a follow-up confirmatory PCR test.

Symptoms and protocols for testing positive

Pupils are not permitted to attend School if: 

  • They have one or more COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell [anosmia]). They must self-isolate and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
  • They are required to quarantine after arriving in England from another country.

Staff and other adults are not permitted physically to come to work or attend School if: 

  • They have one or more Covid-19 symptoms. They must self-isolate and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
  • They are required to quarantine after arriving in England from another country.
  • A member of their household has symptoms or has tested positive (unless they are exempt from self-isolating – see below).
  • They have been in close contact with someone who tests positive and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (unless they are exempt from self-isolating).

If anyone attending School develops symptoms they will be:

  • Sent home to begin self-isolating.
  • Advised to follow the stay-at-home guidance.
  • If a boarding pupil shows symptoms and cannot go home to self-isolate, they will initially self-isolate in the designated isolation room in their House and follow the self-isolation guidance until a PCR test can be arranged for them.

If a pupil or member of staff cannot go home immediately and are awaiting collection: 

  • Where possible, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door. Depending on the age and needs of the pupil, appropriate adult supervision will be provided.
  • If it is not possible to use a separate room to isolate them, they will be moved to an area which is at least 2m away from other people.
  • If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they will use a separate bathroom if possible.
  • The room or area and bathroom used will then be cleaned and disinfected by domestic staff using standard cleaning products.

PPE will be worn by staff caring for a pupil while they await collection if close contact is necessary.

Self-isolation

After reporting a positive LFD test result or receiving notification of a positive PCR test result, the individual will be required to follow the self-isolation guidance and, in most cases, will also receive instructions on self-isolation from NHS Test and Trace.

The self-isolation period includes the day that symptoms started (or the day of the LFD or PCR test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.

The self-isolation can stop after 7 days if LFD tests are carried out (24 hours apart) on days 6 and 7 of the self-isolation period and both tests are negative and the person does not have a high temperature.

The self-isolation can stop after the 10 days if either all symptoms have gone or if the person only has a cough or changes to their sense of smell or taste as these can last for weeks after the infection has gone. Those with a high temperature or are still feeling unwell are advised to keep self-isolating and seek medical advice.

Exemptions

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household (including boarding pupils who share a bedroom) as someone with COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

  • They are fully vaccinated (i.e. vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since receiving the recommended doses).
  • They have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial.
  • They are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

There is an expectation that all symptomatic individuals will follow the advice and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. In the case of pupils, this is a requirement and the School will facilitate the test. In the event of a negative PCR test result, the School has, in addition, implemented a requirement for staff and pupils to take a daily Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test for 10 days and to keep their line manager (or relevant member of staff in the case of pupils) informed if affected.

Outbreak Management Plan

The School has a detailed Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention and Control Policy. The ‘Outbreak Management Plan’, based on government guidance, forms part of this and includes details of:

  • The members of staff responsible for contacting the local health protection team and self-isolation service hub (i.e. Deputy Head Pastoral, Deputy Head LJS and Director of HR).
  • The infection ‘thresholds’ that will trigger the need to seek public health advice and support.
  • Examples of groups that are likely to have mixed closely in various settings.
  • A list of possible measures that the School needs to plan for e.g. relating to reinstating face coverings, ‘bubbles’, increased testing, limiting certain activities, etc.

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