Full return of schools from 8th March 2021
From 8th March, attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. Consequently, the Aspire Academy Trust attendance procedure, pre-COVID-19, should be adhered to. Children can still access learning in school if they are simply under the weather with the usual winter coughs and colds. Click HERE for the current Aspire Attendance Policy.
PLEASE NOTE: 119 can be extremely busy. To avoid lengthy waits, 119 may redirect callers to the link below for help/booking a drive-thru appointment.
REPORT A POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST
The DfE has updated the guidance to clarify the position on the use of face coverings in primary schools:
"In primary schools and early years settings it is recommended that staff and visitors wear face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained between adults. These measures will be in place until Easter. As with all measures, we will keep this under review and update guidance as needed.
"Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering and they should not be asked to wear one. Dr Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, has said that “the consensus among educationalists, public health and clinical specialists is that it is not advisable for primary school children to wear face coverings. That is why Public Health England has not recommended to the Department for Education that they should be worn by primary pupils in the classroom. Children need to see facial expressions to develop their communication and language skills and practically, they can have difficulties keeping them on all day.”
The Aspire Academy Trust politely requests that when dropping off/ collecting children from school that parents wear a face covering whilst on the school site.
Should you wish for your child to wear a mask on the way to/ home from school this is at your discretion however, as per government guidance above we do not allow the wearing of face coverings by pupils within school. If your child is wearing a mask during their journeys, parents must provide a sealable plastic bag so that their mask can be safely removed and stored during school operational hours.
Testing in schools
Primary age pupils will NOT be tested with LFDs. Public Health England has advised there are currently limited public health benefits attached to testing primary pupils with lateral flow devices. Primary age pupils may find the LFD testing process unpleasant and are unable to self-swab. The DfE will review this approach in the light of any emerging evidence. All staff in primary schools will continue to test with LFDs twice a week at home, as per existing guidance.
Testing at home
Whole families and households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home.
Please note, schools will not be expected to provide the test kits to families or administer the family testing process.
Test & Trace
The Aspire Academy Trust is actively engaged with the NHS’s Test and Trace protocols.
Should any parent, child or staff member of an Aspire academy display any symptoms of COVID-19, they are strongly encouraged to book a test. Tests can be booked through the NHS’s testing and tracing website HERE. Parents MUST inform the school of test results immediately. Should test results be negative and the person feels well with no symptoms similar to COVID-19, they can stop self-isolating. Other members of the household can stop isolating too.
If someone tests positive, click HERE to follow the government’s ‘Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’. They must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of smell/ taste. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 10 days.
Should there be a localised outbreak, your child's academy will be in touch immediately.
Social distancing in school
Young children are not expected to socially distance within their bubble. Children are taught the benefits of social distancing, but we as a Trust appreciate that this is not possible with the youngest children. We endeavour to minimise the potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practical. Adults socially distance between themselves and when appropriate, from children.
Only essential visitors are allowed to come into an Aspire academy and this is by appointment only. Visitors are provided with an information sheet about physical distancing and hygiene. All visitors on a school site are logged for test and trace purposes, as well as for evacuation procedures. Current school volunteers will be able to return from 19th April although many academies are not considering inviting volunteers back until May onwards. All school volunteers must complete an Aspire volunteers pack (if they have not already done so in 2020). Please contact the relevant school directlyl if you have questions.
Free School Meals
As it is mandatory for children to attend school since 8th March, vouchers are no longer being issued unless PP/FSM children are forced to isolate due to a positive result in their class and it results in a closure. If pupils are not returning due to anxiety, they will not be eligible.
If a PP/FSM child is shielding due to a serious medical condition they may be entitled. In this instance, please contact your child's school directly.
Cornwall Council is continuing to process new applications for Free School Meals. Please ensure you read the eligibility criteria HERE before applying. Please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM (also available via the link below) if you are eligible. The Local Authority is not currently accepting applications in hard copy by post. If you are unable to apply online, please call the Free School Meals team on 01872 323298 and a member of the team will call you back to complete the application over the phone. Please make sure your phone will accept calls from a private / withheld number.
Many families are sadly reaching crisis point financially due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. If your financial circumstances have changed you may be entitled to Free School Meals. Please follow the link below and complete the online form.
If you receive a notification confirming your entitlement, please email the Aspire Academy Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit your child(ren)'s academy website for details of the online learning programme - if your child is not in school.
For IT support, please click on the link below:
What do I tell my child?
We all realise how difficult it can be trying to talk to children and young people about global crises. The Cornwall Educational Psychology Service has compiled information, a list of resources and helpful websites for parents to use.
The UK Government continues to ask us all to: “Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.” We will continue to provide updates and advice on this page.
Please click the link below for up-to-date COVID-19 information from the government.
What parents need to know
For the BBC Coronavirus (COVID-19) news page, click on the link below:
For an NHS overview on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the website below:
Advice for parents during Coronavirus (COVID-19):
Page updated: 25th March 2021