LA’s key COVID-19 messages for schools 14 January
17 Jan 2022
Further reduction in self-isolation periods
- Schools will be aware from the media that the government is further reducing isolation periods (subject to negative lateral flow tests) for those who test Covid-19 positive as of next week. As central government updates its guidance over the next few days, the local authority updates will follow shortly afterwards.
Covid cases and DfE thresholds
- Schools continue to send positive case notifications to the LA. A reminder for schools that meet DfE thresholds to put this in the subject title of the email. Any schools meeting any DfE thresholds must inform the LCRC (Tel:0300 303 0450 email: email@example.com) and also the local authority: Raj Chowdhury, School’s Health & Safety Adviser, Children’s Services ChowdhuryR@ealing.gov.uk
Update on 12 to 15 year old Covid-19 vaccination programme
- Phase 2 of the in-school vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds began on the 10th January. If your school age immunisation service (SAIS) provider has not already been in touch with you, they will make contact shortly to confirm when on-site vaccinations will take place. In support of this, the DfE have updated the “how to” guide for schools with information and resources, including a template letter that can be used to communicate with parents. Whilst awaiting an on-site visit from a SAIS team, schools are encouraged to continue signposting parents to book out-of-school vaccinations for their child, if aged 12 or over, through the NHS booking system.
Pop-up vaccination centres in Ealing
- St Marys Church Acton, Unit 1, The Mount, High St, London W3 9NW
- Tuesday, 18 January. 10am-4pm
- Wednesday, 19 January. 10am-4pm
- Thursday, 20 January. 10am-4pm
- Tuesday, 25 January. 10am-4pm
- Wednesday, 26 January. 10am-4pm
- Thursday, 27 January. 10am-4pm.
- CP House, Ealing 97-107 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London W5 5TL
- Every day 8am – 8pm.
Reintroduction of Innova self-test kits for testing at-home to some education and childcare settings
- Innova self-test kits will be reintroduced for asymptomatic testing at home to some education and childcare settings. These require both nasal and throat swabs and the test returns results in 30 minutes. Schools should retain some nasal-only swab self-test kits to supply to any students or pupils who are unable to throat swab. However, if Innova are the only self-test kits available and you have students who are unable to throat swab, a nose-only swab can be taken for these students and pupils. All settings will continue to receive either Innova, Orient Gene or Acon-Flowflex self-test kits.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) flexibilities for early years settings
- The government considers Covid-19 to be an exceptional circumstance in which the staff-to-child ratios set out in the EYFS can temporarily be changed, if necessary, for example to respond to Covid-related workforce absences.
- In some cases, early years settings may choose to respond to staff and child absences by temporarily mixing age groups of children who would otherwise be educated or cared for separately. Ratios should be guided by all relevant requirements and by the needs of individual children within the group. For the purposes of meeting EYFS ratio and qualification requirements, all staff educating or caring for a mixed age group of children can be considered ‘available to work directly with’ all of the children who have been grouped together. In all circumstances, settings remain responsible for maintaining the quality of care, safety and security of the children in your setting.
- The DfE have published a blog on the importance of ventilation that schools will find useful. There are useful tips on how to increase ventilation and how eligible schools can apply for air cleaning units. The local authority also has a ventilation strategy available on EGfL which schools will find useful.
Urgent call for support to encourage qualified teachers to return to teach on a temporary basis
- If schools are still in contact with colleagues who may have the time and want to help, the DfE have published an urgent call for qualified teachers which explains what is required and how to register with a supply teaching agency.
Last updated: 17 Jan 2022