Aspire Academy Trust

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Infection rates across Cornwall remain high and the Aspire Health & Safety team continues to consult with, and take the most up-to-date advice from, Public Health, the Department for Education and the Cornwall Local Authority teams. 

We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 rates across the Trust which means a positive PCR result within your household should still be reported ASAP to your child(ren)’s school via telephone or email (term time only - during school opening hours).

Please be aware that should there be a local outbreak, bubbles, and other protective measures, may be temporarily reintroduced if advised to do so by the South West Protection Team.

Aspire COVID-19 Risk Assessment (Sept '21)

Aspire COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan (Sept '21)


School Attendance

Since 8th March 2021, attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age.  Consequently, the Aspire Academy Trust attendance procedure, pre-COVID-19, should be adhered to.  Click HERE for the current Aspire Attendance Policy. 


Face coverings

The DfE recommends that face coverings are worn by staff and adults (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and in communal areas such as the playground (particularly at busy drop off and pick up times). Health advice continues to be that children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings. 


Testing in schools

Primary age pupils are NOT being provided with Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs), as they are at secondary. Public Health England has advised there are currently limited public health benefits attached to testing primary pupils with lateral flow devices (LFDs). Primary age pupils may find the LFD testing process unpleasant and are unable to self-swab.  All staff in primary schools will continue to use LFTs twice a week at home, as per existing guidance.

Testing outside schools

UPDATE: Public Health is asking for household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case who attends an educational setting to consider taking a daily rapid LFT for 7 days, as well as a single PCR test. This includes siblings of a confirmed case who attend an educational setting. This additional testing recommendation now applies to primary-age pupils. Until now, LFD testing has not been recommended in children under the age of 11 years.  This updated guidance is not mandatory, and is currently the only circumstance where PHE is suggesting undertaking LFTs on primary school children.

Rapid COVID-19 testing for families at home with children of school age

Test kits can be ordered online at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Should any parent, child or staff member of an Aspire academy display any symptoms of COVID-19, they are strongly encouraged to book a PCR test. Tests can be booked through the NHS’s testing and tracing website HERE.  Should test results be negative and the person feels well with no symptoms similar to COVID-19, they can stop self-isolating. 

If someone tests positive, they must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to normal routine 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. 

Please note: Adults who are double vaccinated/children under the age of 18 are now not required to self-isolate.  


Test & Trace

NHS Test and Trace undertake contact tracing, not the educational setting.  

However, so our Health & Safety team can continue to monitor COVID-19 rates across the Trust, a positive PCR result within your household should still be reported ASAP to your child(ren)’s school via telephone or email (only during term time/school opening hours).

The Aspire Academy Trust remains actively engaged with the NHS’s Test and Trace protocols.


Self-isolation

UPDATE: All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. They will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation.

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 who is not a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 who is not a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, or if any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. Please take a PCR test if advised to do so.


Hygiene

Robust health and safety measures remain in place in every Aspire academy.  This includes frequent hand washing, regular hygiene reminders throughout the school day (particularly the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach) and thorough whole school cleaning procedures at the end of each day.


Free School Meals

We will continue to provide FSM food vouchers for pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals who have received a COVID-19 positive test and are therefore isolating at home.  This voucher is only issued to the affected (i.e. positive test) pupil.

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. 

If your financial circumstances have changed during the pandemic, you may be entitled to Free School Meals. Please follow the link below and complete the online form.

Free School Meals Online Application

If you receive a notification confirming your entitlement, please email the Aspire Academy Trust at fsm@iaspire.net


Remote Learning

Should a child/children need to isolate and stay at home, but remain well enough to access learning, the academy will provide remote education that meets the same quality and quantity of that education that pupils would receive in school.  Please visit your child(ren)'s academy website for details of the online learning programme.

For IT support, please click on the link below:

Aspire Home Login Support


Extra-curricular clubs/wraparound care

For a majority of Aspire academies, afterschool clubs and breakfast/afterschool wraparound care will continue as normal.  Please be aware however that while case rates remain high in Cornwall, it is possible that staff shortages may cause some disruption.  Please contact your child(ren)'s academy directly for more information.


Coronavirus Information

For the BBC Coronavirus (COVID-19) news page, click on the link below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers

For an NHS overview on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the website below:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


The Aspire Academy Trust remains vigilant and alert to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 infection to our school communities.  While we welcome a return to (almost) normality this autumn term, we must all continue to follow public health advice and stay alert.  Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Page updated: 30th November 2021