Dear Parent/ Carer,
Many of you will no doubt have questions and/ or concerns regarding the emergence of the newly identified Omicron variant of COVID-19.
As guidance from the Department for Education arrives in school, please be assured that our response at Stanley Crook will be balanced and proportionate.
The introduction of new measures and safeguards will always aim to protect staff and, in doing so, ensures stable and sustained staffing levels. Measures will also seek to minimally impact on the educational experiences of the children in school.
In the event of a confirmed case of the Omicron variant, close contacts will be identified by the NHS and instructed to self-isolate for 10 days. This instruction will be made regardless of vaccine status, whether the close contact can return a negative PCR test result or is non-symptomatic. The DfE have confirmed that this 10 day self-isolation rule will also apply to children.
This guidance has the potential to cause major and significant disruption to staffing levels and the sustainability of educational delivery and provision for all children.
Therefore, I have introduced additional measures and safeguards for staff at school, which will begin with immediate effect. These measures are proportionate and will minimally impact on the day to day educational experiences of the children at school. However,the measures will provide increased reassurances and support in sustaining staffing levels in the event of a confirmed Omicron case in school by reducing ‘close contacts’ between staff. This will,therefore, reduce the need for several staff at any one time to isolate for 10days.
These new measures will be in place for the next three weeks and will be reviewed, following the government review of guidance, in time for the beginning of the spring term in January.
Guidance regarding actions to take following confirmed COVID cases involving all other variants, remains unchanged.
Any information on additional changes or updates will be provided to parents/ carers in due course.
Thank you for your continued support as our school responds to these changes.