The following questions and answers have been posted online to provide further information to parents of children in Year 6, Year 5 and Nursery whilst their classes are self-isolating, and some general information for all parents whilst the school is closed.
If there is a positive case which leads to children isolating, you are welcome to ask questions about this using the form below, and we will post answers on this page. Only general questions will be answered and no private or personal information can be shared.
Please check out the other answers before posting as we may have already covered your question.

 


Why is school currently closed if there are no positive cases in my child’s bubble?

The school is currently managing several cases of COVID. The impact of these cases has meant that a number of bubbles have had to be suspended, and a number of staff are having to self-isolate which impacts the safe running of the school. It is for this reason, that we have taken the precautionary measure of closing the school.


Will school not be offering school-based childcare provision?

Unfortunately, this is not possible given the current situation with both the positive cases being managed and the ability to safely staff any kind of provision. We understand this impacts negatively on those families balancing both work and home learning/care commitments. Although we encourage families to engage wherever possible, we are flexible with our expectations of home learning because we understand that every family situation is unique.


What about other year groups?

Other year groups of children do not need to self-isolate. They can continue to attend school as long as school remains open. In some cases, it may be necessary to close school temporarily, due to the number of cases. However, only those children who receive letters identifying them as a close contact will need to self-isolate.


What about siblings in other year groups?

Only the contact identified needs to self-isolate and as long as they remain free from symptoms, any siblings or other members of the household do not need to isolate. If you have other pupils at the school other than those identified as contacts, the DfE guidance says they can continue to attend school as long as school stays open.

Should I get my child tested?

You should only get a test if your child has symptoms which include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss of taste or smell. If they do have symptoms, this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. Please also let us know by calling school on 0161 865 1284 or emailing COVID@stmatthewsce.co.uk out of hours.

What are the exact dates my child has to self-isolate for?

Year 6: Your child should isolate until the end of Tuesday 17th November. Therefore, the first day they can leave the house and resume normal activities will be Wednesday 18th November.
Year 5: Your child should isolate until the end of Wednesday 18th November. Therefore, the first day they can leave the house and resume normal activities will be Thursday 19th November.
Nursery: Your child should isolate until the end of Thursday 19th November. Therefore, the first day they can leave the house and resume normal activities will be Friday 20th November.
The provisional day for school reopening is Tuesday 17th November; however, this will be reviewed by midday on Monday 16th November.

Why have the dates for Year 6 changed?

Since informing you of the requirement to self-isolate, a further positive case has been identified . As the period of isolation is taken from date of last contact with a confirmed case, this date is later (Wednesday 4th November), and therefore children must isolate for 14 days from and including this date – up until the end of Tuesday 17th November.

If I get my child, who is self-isolating, tested and they test negative, can they return to school?

Unfortunately, even if a contact tests negative during their 14 day self- isolation period, this only means they didn’t have the virus when the test was carried out. They could still develop it later during the isolation period so they must remain at home for the full 14 days.


I have a child in another year group and no childcare – how do I manage drop off and collection?

(Applies when school is open) This will be a challenge for some parents. In the first instance, we ask that you try and make arrangements within your household, support bubble or childcare bubble. If you are unable to make alternative arrangements, please get in touch and we can discuss how we may be able to help with this.

Can I keep my other children at home?

(Applies when school is open) The Government has set out the guidance for attendance, which means that only pupils who are shielding or self-isolating will be marked with code X which does not count against their absence. Pupils who can and should attend school, but choose not to, will not be marked this way (this includes siblings of contacts). As a school, we are sympathetic to the current situation, but like all schools, will be expected to follow the guidelines set out.

Can my child who is self-isolating continue to share a bedroom with their sibling whilst they are self-isolating?

Wherever possible and reasonable, take measures to prevent the spread of any possible infection through the home, remembering that should your child develop coronavirus, they were infectious 2 days prior to symptoms starting. Prioritise measures such as hand washing with soap and water, using hand sanitiser etc. If anyone you live with is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable, you may want to keep your child away from them as much as possible, especially if they start to show symptoms.


Will children self-isolating have work?

Pupils who are self-isolating as a result of a positive case in school will have work set for them. This will be using Tapestry for Nursery – Year 1, and Google Classroom for Years 2-6.

Are the teaching staff in affected bubbles going to self isolate?

The guidance regarding 14 days self-isolation remains the same for all contacts of the positive case, including staff and pupils.

Can my child in a self-isolating bubble come back to school if they haven’t been identified as a contact, or if they have different dates to isolate for?

Unfortunately, when a whole year group needs to isolate, as in this case, the ‘bubble’ is suspended until the end of the isolation period as there are logistical and safety challenges involved in inviting a small number of children back to school earlier (e.g. availability of teaching staff also isolating, the risk involved in placing the children into another bubble etc).

Why aren’t all children being asked to self-isolate?

Contact tracing is done very much on a case-by-case basis and all contacts will be notified to self-isolate. We are keen not to ask children to self-isolate where, after seeking advice from Public Health, they are not identified as a close contact.

My child is booked into Kickstart wraparound care or a sports club on the days they are now self-isolating.  Will I still have to pay for the sessions?

Kickstart terms and conditions require a customer to provide at least 30 days’ notice in order to cancel or change a booking. As per the terms of all bookings, and In order to keep the business financially sustainable, customers will be required to pay for sessions in full if they either:

    1. Cannot attend due to having COVID-19 symptoms.
    2. Cannot attend due to being in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
    3. Cannot attend due to having to self-isolate.
    4. Cannot attend due to any other health reason.