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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
All staff and non-boarding pupils are required to follow the current rules for international travel to England as detailed in:
The arrangements for boarding pupils returning from both red list and non-red list countries are in accordance with:
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.
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.
Pupils are not permitted to attend School if:
Staff and other adults are not permitted physically to come to work or attend School if:
If anyone attending School develops symptoms they will be:
If a pupil or member of staff cannot go home immediately and are awaiting collection:
PPE will be worn by staff caring for a pupil while they await collection if close contact is necessary.
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.
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:
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.
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: