Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents and carers.
To all parents and carers.
Good afternoon from LCS.
I would like to thank you all for your support through what has been a very challenging half-term. Overall, our plans for re-opening of school have been very successful, with excellent levels of student attendance and engagement. Students across the school have settled back into a routine very well and are making excellent progress, both academically and socially. The ‘bubbles’ system has been a difficult one to adapt to and there have been some side-effects, as mentioned in my previous updates, but overall the system has worked well and has allowed us to keep the school open for all students for the vast majority of the time. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of school staff or the support of yourselves as parents and carers.
Unfortunately, our experiences of the last 48 hours have somewhat cast a shadow over the progress we have made in the last seven weeks and I want to be honest about our current situation, as well as asking for your support to make sure this does not happen again.
Up until Wednesday morning this week we had been made aware of three students testing positive for Covid-19 since the start of term. All of these students and families had followed the correct procedure and self-isolated immediately after the student became symptomatic, as well as booking an immediate Covid-19 test. As the students in these three cases had been absent from school since the onset of their symptoms, when they did ultimately test positive it was a relatively straight forward process to identify their ‘close contacts’, which were somewhere between twenty and forty students in each case. Although, regrettably, students were asked to self-isolate for a period of time in each of these cases, the potential impact on students was kept to a minimum, because the families concerned followed the rules.
Unfortunately, since Wednesday morning, we have been made aware of three further cases of Covid-19 amongst students in school, one each in Years 8, 9 and 10; these students are linked. As the published guidance on testing and self-isolation was not followed in at least one of these cases, there is the potential that one or more of these students has been in school whilst symptomatic. We were made aware of one of the students concerned returning a positive Covid-19 test result on Wednesday and the remaining two have subsequently also tested positive within the last 24 hours. This is the reason for my decision to send Year 8, 9 and 10 home yesterday as a precaution, as at the time this decision was made we only had confirmation of one confirmed positive test result, but we highly suspected the other two would follow. If that was to happen, which ultimately it has, I was not prepared to risk the potential further spread of Covid-19 infections amongst students. With these Year Groups being away from school yesterday and the INSET day today, the affected Year Groups will now have been away from school for 11 days before the start of next half-term on November 2nd.
The information we have sent out as a school since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak back in March has consistently reminded parents and carers of the guidelines related to Covid-19 and self-isolation. As well as our school website, which is regularly updated, information has been sent via our social media sites on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My regular email updates have also reminded parents and carers of these guidelines numerous times.
It is absolutely vital for the safe running of the school that students displaying any of the symptoms of Covid-19 stay at home and do not attend. It is also vital that students are tested in this circumstance and that they remain absent from school until they receive a negative test result, or their period of self-isolation is completed.
I would like to thank the parents and carers who have followed these guidelines to the letter, as they have helped keep the numbers of Covid-19 related issues in school to a minimum.
I would like to remind some parents and carers of the guidelines, however, and point out the potential damage that can be caused when these guidelines are not followed.
As school will be closed now until Monday 2nd November, it is vital any positive cases of Covid-19 amongst students are reported to us, so any potential decision on students or Year Groups needing to self-isolate can be made ahead of the new half-term starting. If your child receives a positive Covid-19 test result during the school holidays, please email the school at email@example.com . You will receive an out of office reply to your message, which will contain a number to text the name of your child and their Form Group. Please text your child’s details to this number, together with the date they were tested. Please do not call this number or use it for any other purpose. Please only inform us of positive test results, not symptoms.
If parents and carers of student ‘close contacts’ need to be contacted over the holiday we will endeavour to do this by email to the individuals concerned and we will also post general updates to all parents and carers via the usual channels.
Please check your emails next week, together with the school social media accounts, in case there is any information we need to inform you of.
Finally, a couple of unrelated issues. Hopefully, all parents, carers and students will have recently received email links to a survey we are asking you to complete. Results will help us assess our performance as a school over the last half-term and will also enable us to prioritise areas for improvement. Please complete this survey by Monday 2nd November. Your support is very much appreciated.
Our Virtual Sixth Form Open Evening will be available on our website from the end of school today, for all parents, carers and students looking to apply to LCS Sixth Form for September 2021.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday next week, especially our students who have worked so hard over the last half-term. You deserve a break.
Thank you. Keep safe.