Department of Education - advice regarding attendance and term time holidays
School attendance became mandatory again for all pupils from 8th March 2021.
The usual rules on school, attendance apply, including:
- parents' duty to secure their child's regular attendance at school
- the ability for the school to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with the Local Authority's code of conduct
Term time holidays
As restrictions begin to lift, some families may be looking to take holidays. As usual, parents should plan their holidays around school breaks and not take their children out of school during term time.
Parents wishing to take their child out of school must apply for leave of absence and demonstrate why they believe the circumstances are exceptional. Leave of absence for holidays will not normally be authorised.
Information from Worcestershire County Council - Rapid Testing
Information from Worcestershire County Council - COVID Vaccine
COVID testing - Easter holidays
The Department of Education have announced that asymptomatic testing of primary school staff and families should continue during the Easter holidays. We would therefore request that any families who are taking part in the testing programme continue to do so throughout the holiday period. Primary age pupils are not expected to take part in asymptomatic testing.
For the purpose of contact tracing, parents and carers need to inform us of a positive case if the symptoms develop within 7 days of being in school, up to and including Wednesday 7th April. If symptoms develop from Thursday 8th April onwards you do not need to inform school, we will only need to know if pupils will still be self isolating when we return for the summer term. Staff, parents and careers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
Public Health Advice for Parents
Asymptomatic Testing Information for parents and adults in households with children at school.
NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in household with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles. Undertaking regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps to reduce the transmission of the virus.
Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home twice weekly:
- through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
- by collecting a home testing kit from a local test site - anyone over 18 can collect 2 packs of 7 tests
- by ordering a home test kit online - please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most
If you have any queries about the tests please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open everyday from 7am to 11pm.
Children of primary school age and below without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.
School will re-open to all pupils from Monday 8th March 2021 and school attendance will be mandatory from this date. We are really looking forward to welcoming our pupils back to school and have worked hard to complete a thorough risk assessment and ensure all necessary safety measures are in place. These measures will be outlined in a letter to parents which will also contain important information about the return to school. Copies of our risk assessment are available on request should parents require further reassurance or information.
On return to school, it is very important that the staggered drop off and pick up times are strictly adhered to and that only one parent or carer drops off and collects from school. Please ensure that you wear a mask or face covering and leave the vicinity of school as quickly as possible in order to minimise the risk of transmission.
School uniform is to be worn by all pupils except on days designated as Woodland School or PE. Extra fleeces or sweatshirt can be worn as the school is being kept well ventilated. These should be black, navy or dark blue.
Wrap around care (Early Birds and Glow Worms) will be available only where necessary to enable parents to access work, education or medical care. It must be booked and paid for in advance using the School Money system. Please contact Mrs Barter via the office email address if you have any problems.
Further information will be a letter sent out to parents - please read this really carefully and retain it as you may need to check the information at a later date. The letters will also be available on the website.
Many thanks for all your help and support during the lockdown period and for helping your child to access and complete the remote learning tasks, we really appreciate everything you have done.
Latest information from the Department for Education (DfE)
Schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week.
Schools do not need to provide lunch parcels or vouchers during the February half-term. There is wider government support in place to support families and children outside of term-time through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.
Contact tracing over the February half-term
Schools continue to play an important role in contact tracing for those pupils and staff who continue to attend their school. We recognise the challenges of this responsibility during holidays. Given limited numbers on-site, we expect contact tracing activity to be reduced but this remains vitally important in the continued national effort to limit the spread of the virus.
Where pupils or staff still attending their school test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during the holidays, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, schools are not required to take any action. Staff, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
However, where pupils or staff still attending their school test positive having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
If your child has developed symptoms within 48hrs of being in school please email or text via Teachers2Parents. Messages will be checked regularly by Mrs Wilkinson who will contact you with further information.
Dear Parents and Carers,
You will have heard during the Prime Minister’s address yesterday that the decision has been made to close school from today until the February Half Term for all but children of critical workers and vulnerable children. The key message is that children should stay at home wherever possible.
We have little information available to provide you with further details apart from that published on the gov.uk website. We anticipate further details will follow which we can then communicate to you.
Below is a letter with further information about which Critical worker children are able to come into school and Pre school. Please can we ask that children meeting this criteria are only sent to school if absolutely necessary. Once you have read the letter and have confirmed that you are in one of the critical worker categories, please email [email protected] with your requirements. This needs to include the days and times that you need essential cover for, we will endeavour to meet your needs and will confirm arrangements as soon as possible.
Teachers are currently putting together a remote learning plan for children, to begin Wednesday 6th January. In the meantime, to continue your child’s education today please see the class pages on the website or Tapestry for class 1 and early years.
Critical Worker letter
Regrettably, due to the short notice of the Government announcement, Callow End school will be closed to all pupils tomorrow ( Tuesday 5th January) while we put plans and provision in place for the rest of term.
We will be contacting parents tomorrow with clear guidance regarding arrangements for provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils from Wednesday 6th January.
There will be some home learning in place tomorrow- please see the class pages on the website after 10:00am. You will then be informed of the remote learning arrangements for the next few weeks.
I am sure you will appreciate that we are dealing with navigating last minute changes and all staff are working hard to ensure that arrangements are made in the best interests of all our pupils. We also appreciate that our families are dealing with very tricky and challenging situations.
Thank you for your continued support,
Important Information re COVID19:
The Department for Education have asked that we make sure that staff, parents and carers are aware of the following information and relevant arrangements regarding positive cases in the holidays:
Letter to Parents from Dr Catherine Driscoll, Director of Children’s Services and Cllr Marcus, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Worcestershire County Council
What to do if your child is unwell
Letter from Public Health England
Updated Information from Worcestershire County Council
Worcestershire County Council is now recommending that parents/families wear face coverings when dropping off/ picking up pupils, both on pavements around school and on school sites . This advice has been given to try and further reduce the number of COVID cases and to keep our staff and families safe. Please try to comply with this advice when binging your child to school and when collecting them.
Worcestershire County Council have also asked us to ensure that we report any positive cases to them. If your child has COVID symptoms and/or a positive test it is vital that you let us know immediately by texting or emailing the school. This is to enable us to close bubbles or ask certain pupils or staff to self-isolate if necessary.
Thank you for your help.
Changes to School Uniform
As part of our new routines to ensure the heath and safety of our pupils and staff we are required to keep the school well ventilated at all times. This may mean that our classrooms and corridors may become cold as the winter weather arrives. We have therefore agreed that children may wear extra layers under their uniform and/or bring a warm fleece or gilet(sleeveless top) in black or navy to wear over their school sweatshirt during colder weather.
On PE days pupils may wear black or navy leggings or joggers (please ensure shorts are still worn underneath) and a navy or black fleece/gilet over their school sweatshirt.
Reminder - what to wear to school (normal uniform unless otherwise stated).
Class 1: Thursday - Woodland school kit Friday - PE kit
Class 2: Monday - Woodland school kit Thursday PE kit
Class 3: Wednesday - PE kit
Class 4: Thursday - PE kit Friday - bring a t-shirt and shorts or leggings for Yoga