Dear Parent/Carer

Christmas Closure / Important Information

I would like to inform you that the Autumn Term will end at the normal time of 2:45pm on Friday 17th December. Please note that on this date, ALL students must be off the Academy site by 2:50pm.


In line with government guidance, all students will be invited to take a Lateral Flow Test as they return to the Academy following the Christmas break. Therefore, the Spring Term at Thistley Hough will commence with in-school lateral flow testing being offered to all students.  In order for our testing team to undertake the lateral flow tests for all year groups we will stagger the return to school as follows:

Year 11


Years 7-10


Please note that lateral flow testing in school is offered to support testing at home. Should you prefer for your child to test at home prior to their return following the Christmas break, please ensure that this is done on the morning of either Wednesday 5th January (for students in Year 11) or Thursday 6th January (for students in Years 7 – 10).

In order for your child to be part of the return to school testing programme, we will need your permission. Please could you complete the Microsoft Form via, also accessible via the QR code on the attached letter.

Please find attached updated guidance from the Department for Education relating to daily testing for contacts of Covid-19 and updated information regarding vaccinations.  This is for information only and I apologise if you have received this already.


Staffing Announcement

At the end of the week, we say ‘farewell, good luck and thank-you’ to five members of staff; Mr Fenney, Miss Thomas, Mrs Price, Miss Thorley and Miss Addison.  On behalf of the entire Thistley Hough Community I wish them every success for the future and thank them all for the hard-work and commitment that they have shown on a daily basis.  We will miss them all greatly.

May I also take this opportunity to say once again how extremely proud I am of all of the students at the Academy.  They display Pride, Respect and Commitment in abundance, and great tenacity and adaptability when faced with further changes to the ‘new normal’.  Team Thistley Hough you never cease to amaze me!

Finally, thank you for your unwavering support for your children and our academy over the past term. I wish you all a restful festive break.

With best wishes


Jayne Schofield





For information only:

Department for Education – Updated Guidance (13.12.2021)

Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19

From Tuesday 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 is being introduced (including until the end of this term). All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Daily testing by close contacts will help to slow the spread of COVID-19.


Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 will help protect education settings by reducing transmission and will also help keep pupils in face-to-face education.

Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff, pupils and students should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the Online Reporting System and to their setting. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting. Outside of the education setting, they should continue to follow the advice set out in the Sunday 12 December press release. This approach should also be adopted over the winter break and on return in January.


If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive.


All staff and secondary aged pupils and students should have access to a box of 7 LFD tests from their education setting. If your setting requires additional test kits sooner than they would be available through the standard ordering process, or will run out of test kits imminently, you can contact 119 to request an emergency replenishment. For primary aged children LFD test kits are available through the usual routes (community test sites, local pharmacies or online).


Children under five years old do not need to take part in daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 and do not need to isolate.


Anyone over the age of 18 years and 6 months who is not vaccinated, must isolate in line with government guidelines if they are a close contact of a positive case.


For students with SEND who struggle to or are unable to self-swab daily for 7 days, settings should work with students and their families to agree an appropriate testing route, such as assisted swabbing. Information on further support measures will be provided.


Finally, it is important to continue regular twice weekly, at-home testing for all education and childcare workforce and all students of secondary age and above.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

The new Omicron COVID-19 variant is spreading fast. Anyone who is unvaccinated or who hasn’t had their booster is at even greater risk from COVID-19 and more serious illness. Vaccines are the best way we can protect ourselves and help keep children and young people in face-to-face education.


People aged 18 years and over, and those aged 16 years and over who are at risk (including health and social care workers) will be offered a booster dose of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Please do encourage those in your settings to take up the booster dose.

You can pre-book your booster dose online if it’s been 2 months (61 days) since you had your 2nd dose and you are:

·         aged 30 and over

·         aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19

·         a frontline health or social care worker

You will be offered appointment dates from 3 months after the date of your 2nd dose.

16 and 17 year olds can get two doses of the COVID vaccine. They can book an appointment through the national booking service and walk in centres are available.


The Health and Social Care Secretary announced on Monday 29 November that young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from JCVI. Parents of children aged 12-15 that have not yet had their first vaccine can book their child’s first vaccination slot over the winter break via the national booking system.


We ask schools, where possible, to direct parents to the out-of-school route as they break up for the winter holidays. In some cases, parents will be able to get their booster at the same time as their child getting their first vaccine.


Information on vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds can be found in the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 guidance.


Further information on the coronavirus booster vaccination and booking a vaccination can be found on NHS.UK.


An information leaflet on what to expect after vaccination is available to download or order.