RE: Covid Security/Academy Procedures
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, especially our students, for responding to our covid-security measures with positivity, dilligence and resolve. I am thankful that the vast majority of students are adhering to our expectations around hand washing/sanitising, wearing face coverings in communal areas, new formal seating arrangements in classrooms, and the need for them to be mindful at all times of the potential risks we all face during this time.
I wish to clarify the arrangements for students who present with covid symptoms if I may. First, if your child develops a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or suffers a change in taste and/or smell, we request that you do not send your child into the Academy. We advise that you follow the Government guidance for households with a suspected case (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection), which states that you should arrange for a covid-test, and that your household should isolate accordingly. Following clarification from Stoke City Local Authority, we are not able to accept siblings into the Academy during this period – although obviously a negative test will remove the need for isolation.
If your child develops symptoms during the Academy day, they will be isolated from their peers until we have contacted you and arranged for them to return home safely. Again, this would apply to all members of your household in the Academy. If your contact details have changed recently, please contact the Academy Reception on 01782 883500 to provide an update. We fully appreciate that there have been difficulties in gaining access to the NHS Testing programmes, but unfortunately this cannot be taken into account when discussing appropriate actions in these circumstances. At time of writing, we have sent home less than 3% of our student population with perceived covid symptoms, and have had no confirmed cases.
Whilst a small number of students are medically exempt, a few non-exempt students have been attending the Academy without an appropriate face covering, and we have been offering students a washable covering without charge. The coverings provided by Thistley Hough Academy are not clinical or medical quality, and as such do not offer that are strongly advised to provide your child with their own face covering to use in the Academy as students will only be offered one as a last resort. Accordingly, Thistley Hough Academy and the Creative Education Trust accept no responsibility or liability in relation to the use of face coverings provided. Please remember that, should the area and the Academy be placed into “Tier 2”, the Government mandates that all non-exempt students wear a face covering in communal areas of the Academy building.
In both cases, the advice from National and Local Government is updated regularly, and we respond to any changes accordingly.
Finally, I would like to reassure you that Thistley Hough Academy is continuing to do everything we can to deliver covid-security, and hence minimise the risk to everyone in our community. This includes:
• 20 additional hand sanitising stations being installed at entrance/exit points, increasing our capacity to around 50 points throughout the building.
• Every classroom, office and workroom has further santisiing capacity, and we have a working stock of 100s of litres of santiser on site.
• The Reception area has been fitted with hand wash stations to ensure good hand hygiene of those coming into the building, and we have implemented a “restaurant-style” track-and-trace system for the limited number of visitors to the Academy, through a QR code and website link.
• Our newly refurbished student toilets are all restocked with supplies every morning, checked and replenished repeatedly during the day. They are cleaned and sanitised before and after students access them in their break and lunchtime to maintain hygiene standards.
• Our team of “housekeeper” cleaners are moving around the building constantly, ensuring that contact points such as door handles, rails and banisters are sanitised as students move through areas.
If you have any queries regarding our approaches to covid-security, please begin by referring to the Full Opening Risk Assessment that is available via the Policies section on our website.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.
Assistant Principal – Quality of Education
Health and Safety Lead