I am writing to update you with regards to some cases of Covid-19 in school. Following notification of a positive case on Saturday, we have had a small number of other cases linked to this case. At the time of writing, these cases have been limited to the Year 8 bubble. We had already asked the vast majority of the students who tested positive to isolate by the time they showed symptoms or otherwise tested positive, which hopefully will have gone some way to limit the spread of the virus. A large number of Year 8 students are now isolating for the requisite time period. We have moved quickly to online delivery for those isolating in year 8, and as before students should log on to online tutor sessions at 8.40.
I am aware that there has been a high number of Covid-19 cases in Cumbrian schools this week, and partly as a result of this the local Public Health officials have advised everyone aged between 12 and 30 to undertake a PCR test- often referred to a “surge testing.” We sent a letter to this effect earlier this week, and would strongly advise that families do this. In some Cumbrian schools, PCR testing is underway within school in a similar way to when we completed lateral flow tests in the Spring. It is intended that this arrangement will be rolled out to all Cumbrian schools, and I will be in touch when further details are available.
In light of the worsening situation locally, we have made the difficult decision to postpone or move online some key events, such as leaver’s events and transition events for students currently in year 6 as well as Year 12 induction. We are also moving back to having two dining halls to provide less opportunities for bubbles to mix. It is always regrettable when restrictions have to be tightened, as it does limit what can be done in school. When we made the decision to relax some of the restrictions and planned a number of events, cases locally and nationally were very low. Regrettably that is no longer the case and we must act to protect our school community.
I would encourage students to adhere to the guidance which we have all become accustomed to both in and out of school, such as limiting social contact, maintaining social distancing where possible, wearing face coverings where appropriate and the ever important hand hygiene. I am hopeful that with the vaccine rollout continuing that we will be able to get back to normality in the next academic year.
As ever, I hope you all stay safe.
Mr D Bird