Update on Covid and Attendance, Term 1

October 5th 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

We want to clarify our expectations around your child’s attendance and gain your support in ensuring your child is in school when they can and need to be. We understand that this is an anxious time for parents and students and that there might be grey areas in when to send your child to school, so hope this information reassures you over what to do.

Underpinned by the advice in this letter is our strong belief that our students need to be in school and learning to support their mental health and social and academic development. We see good attendance as being 98% plus – you can check on Go4Schools what your child’s % is. There is a clear link between high attendance and students maximising their learning and achievements and we want all of our students to reach their potential. Please keep checking on Go4Schools for the ongoing attendance percentage and keep the 98% figure in mind.

In terms of Covid symptoms and when to isolate, the table below provides a clear guide for when isolation is needed. We are following the Government guidance on Covid, hence not sending groups of students home – NHS Track and Trace has taken this over and will be in touch directly with the individual student if they are deemed a close contact.

As it was before covid, if your child has a cold or similar low level illness, and is testing negative on a LFT (Lateral Flow Test), they should come into school. Please rest assured that we will send your child home should covid symptoms develop or if they worsen. Children (under 18 years) in your household do not need to isolate if another member of the household tests positive, unless they themselves develop symptoms.

Please refer to the table - link below

Holidays should not be taken in term time please. We appreciate that dates have often been changed due to Covid restrictions, but we know our students missed a great deal of school and need to be in every day if they are well. Likewise, any reason that is not exceptional and on compassionate grounds cannot be authorised, in line with national advice on attendance.

We thank you in advance for your help in building your child’s resilience and supporting our drive to attend every day unless they are too poorly or have covid symptoms as described below.

In summary:

  • Continue to use Go4Schools to check on your child’s attendance andremember that 98% is good attendance
  • Continue to support the school in increasing attendance
  • Keep an eye for covid symptoms, but recognise the difference between a covid symptom and a slight sniffle
  • Continue to LFT twice weekly – these can always be increased if you feel the need
  • Communicate with the school to seek support from your child’s Tutor or Head of House if you need support in increasing attendance.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Yours faithfully

Helen Carpenter and Toby Holman

Heads of School