Important Covid updates from the Headteacher

Dear Parents and Carers,

I write to you with an update on the covid situation here in school. We are experiencing some disruption to learning because of Covid related staff absences; however, the number of cases amongst students currently remains relatively low but we must remain vigilant because this could suddenly change. I have been made aware of a school not too far away in a neighbouring authority that is now closed to all year groups this week due to a significant rise in transmission rates. You can play your part in minimising the risk of this happening here at Freddies by continuing to ensure that your child takes a home test every Wednesday and Sunday and by reporting positive cases to school on the email address covid@flhs.wigan.sch.uk. It goes without saying that if your child displays any symptoms of Covid, please do not send them into school and arrange for a PCR test. In relation to the wearing of face coverings, the government announced last night that students, staff and visitors in schools in England must now wear face coverings in communal areas. For Wigan schools this marks no change to the existing guidance that has already been put in place by the Director of Public Health for Wigan, Professor Kate Ardern.  Professor Ardern has also issued the following recommendation relating to household close contacts of positive cases:

I am now encouraging household contacts of a positive case, to undertake daily lateral flow tests, in addition to the PCR test that is recommended in national guidance. Contacts should start testing from the day their household member either became unwell with COVID-19, or tested positive if they did not have symptoms, and continue this for 10 days. Please remember if the close contact tests negative, they can continue attending school. If the close-contact has a positive LFD result, they must start isolating, have a PCR test and inform school. If the close contact develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should book a PCR test. It is important that people with COVID-19 symptoms do not rely on a negative LFD test and they should have a PCR test. If the contact develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home. Any child, aged between 5 – 16 yrs, who has tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test within the past 90 days should not undertake LFD tests

Professor Kate Arden, Director of Public Health for Wigan

We have also received a directive from the DFE that all secondary schools will need to test on site all students upon their return to school after the Christmas holiday. This will have a direct impact on the start of the new term in January. I am giving you advance notice now to expect a slightly staggered and disrupted start to the new term as a result of this. I will write to you closer to the end of this term with the full details once we have finalised the logistics.Thank you for your continued support.

Mr P Davies

Headteacher