During the last academic year all schools across the country closed to help control the coronavirus pandemic. We are delighted that we can now welcome our students back to school in September. We know that many of our students are excited to be able to return to school but some will feel anxious after such a long period of absence. We have followed all the national guidance to minimise risk in school and we will continue to work together as a school community to help all of our students have a happy and successful start to the school year. As always, we will always work with you as families to overcome any concerns and invite you to contact us at school if you would like to discuss attendance.
School attendance is now mandatory again, meaning that every child is expected to attend school as normal unless they have coronavirus symptoms or live in the same house and someone who does. We know you will want your child to have every opportunity to make progress this year and the best way to do this is to have excellent attendance at school.
As always, we will recognise and celebrate those who have excellent attendance and don’t worry, if your child has to stay at home because your family has to self isolate, we will make sure that does not affect their chance to be rewarded if they have otherwise fantastic attendance.
If your child cannot attend school for any reason, please telephone us on 020 8864 8544 to tell us on the first morning they will be absent, preferably before 9:30am. If you are aware in advance that they will be absent, for example for an orthodontic appointment, please let us know as soon as you can.
Please see the sections below for advice on specific attendance issues and do contact us if you would like to discuss them further.
Coronavirus and self-isolation
If your child or someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, your child must not come to school.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough but it is worse than usual then this should be considered as a symptom)
Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
For more information, please read this guidance on symptoms.
If your child has one or more of these symptoms (s/he does not need to have all of them), s/he must self-isolate straight away for 10 days. If they still have symptoms after 10 days then they must continue to self isolate until they no longer have symptoms.
If your child has symptoms then you and everyone in the household must self-isolate straight away for 14 days.
If someone in your household has symptoms but your child does not, your child must still self-isolate for 14 days.
This means that if anyone in your household has symptoms, everyone in your household must self-isolate. Children cannot attend school and adults cannot leave the house to work. If you are isolating, nobody in your household can leave the house, even for essential supplies. You should have food delivered or ask someone to help by shopping for you. If you do not have anyone who is able to help, you can get support from your local authority. Go to their website or call their main telephone number to find support
If someone in your household has developed symptoms, as well as self-isolating, the person should get a test to check whether they have Covid-19. The test is free for everyone. You can do this by accessing this website or by telephoning 119 if you do not have access to the internet.
If the test result is positive, the person infected must complete the rest of the 10 day isolation period. Everyone else in the household must complete the self-isolation for 14 days from when the infected person started having symptoms. The person will also be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service who will ask you to share details of people with whom they have had close, recent contact and places they have visited..
If the test is negative, members of the household (and the person with symptoms) no longer need to self-isolate and the student can return to school.
We know you will be concerned at your child missing more school time, but it is very important that we all follow this guidance to ensure that the virus is controlled as much as possible. If your child has to self-isolate, we will set work for them to complete if they are well enough and we are always here to provide support if needed.
These measures to control the virus will only work if we all follow these guidelines. Please be assured that the same measures are in place for staff at school. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please get in touch with us, either by telephoning or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your family has to self-isolate, please do not worry about your child’s attendance figures. We will take the reason for absence into account when deciding on rewards and any other actions we take. Work will be set for your child if they have to continue to learn at home and you can also find extra learning tasks on the links below.
Quarantine after travel to another country
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people who have visited other countries may have to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in the UK. Some countries are exempt, meaning that quarantine is not necessary. The list of exempt countries is currently being regularly updated and can be found here: Coronavirus Travel Corridors We know that you will be keen for your child to return to school but it is essential that the guidance on quarantining is followed to protect everyone in our community. If your child has arrived in the UK from another country in the 14 days before starting back at school please let us know. If your child has to quarantine we will provide work to support their learning at home.
If your child is too unwell to attend school, please telephone us before 9:30am. If your child is absent and we do not know about it, you will be called by our automated system. This system calls repeatedly until you answer.
If your child’s attendance level becomes of concern you will be notified. This will usually be if their attendance falls below 96%. Over a whole school year this means if they have 7 or more days off school. You will be contacted before your child has missed 7 days of school to discuss the reasons why. We will work with you to support improvements but we will be unable to authorise further absences unless medical evidence is provided. During the current pandemic we will, of course, take into account any absence which is due to self-isolation although repeated absence for other reasons will not be authorised.
Please make all medical, dental and other appointments outside of school hours. Occasionally an appointment during school time is unavoidable, such as with hospital appointments. Please let us know about any appointments as soon as possible and provide us with a copy of the appointment letter. Your child should still attend school on the day of the appointment and will be given permission to arrive late or leave early if necessary. If the appointment is in the middle of the day we expect your child to attend school first and return to school afterwards.
Holidays in Term Time
Holidays in term time cannot be authorised except in exceptional circumstances. If you believe your circumstances mean you have to take your child out of school, you must apply in writing at your earliest possible opportunity, using the Leave of Absence Application. Your application will be considered and we will write back to you to let you know the outcome.
And finally . . .
If you have any concerns or questions, please do give us a call.