Update 22nd July
Please be aware the the following message has now been sent to families:
“Although the new guidance from 19th July states that schools do not have to carry out contact tracing after the end of summer term, we have been asked by Haringey Public Health to put procedures in place so that families can notify the school should a student or staff test positive in the first 6 days after the term has ended. This is because there could be vulnerable children or staff or their family members at risk should someone test positive. Please report any positive covid result from your child at Highgate Wood School by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 02083427975. We will then contact all families in the child’s teaching group and tutor group so they are aware and can take the appropriate measures that they feel are necessary.“
Important Update 20th July 2021
There have been some concerns voiced by the school and Haringey Public Health regarding the new rules that have been put into place by the government as of Monday 19th July. We have now been told that Haringey have been trying to contact the DFE to get further clarification and, following their (failed) efforts to get such clarification from the DFE, they have e-mailed all Haringey schools the text below:
As you will know, the Department for Education (DfE) announced new guidance from 19th July. This guidance included changes to the contact tracing requirements by schools and early years settings when there is a positive case within the setting. The guidance stated that NHS Track and Trace would be taking over all contact tracing requirements and identify close contacts – and notify those who have to self-isolate.
After communicating with NHS Track and Trace, DfE and Public Health England, it would appear there is a lack of clarity around this guidance – and how this works in practice. Due to our high case rates there is a delay in contacting positive cases and notifying their close contacts. It would also appear that NHS Track and Trace have NOT made changes to their close contact definition, and thus close contacts are being identified as per the previous guidance, which is:
• anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
• anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
• face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
• been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
• been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
In light of the rising cases, particularly in children and young people, and the lack of clarity within the guidance, Haringey Public Health would encourage schools and early years settings (particularly those who have concerns) to continue carrying out contract tracing per the previous risk assessment until the end of term (see attached) and identify close contacts based on the definition above until further guidance is announced and clarity has been provided.
We understand that this is an incredibly frustrating situation and sympathise that there hasn’t been more clear guidance provided to schools and early years settings on this matter.
Haringey Public Health will continue to support schools and early years settings in carrying out the risk assessment and identify close contacts when there is a positive case within the setting – so please do contact us.
Schools and early years settings who have already implemented the new guidance (e.g. did not carry out any contact tracing) after having confirmed positive cases this week is strongly encouraged to review their risk assessment and explore if any close contacts (as per the previous guidance) should be sent home and thus not be in the setting.
Haringey Public Health
For the remainder of this term, therefore, the school will continue with the measures and systems in place before 19th July. We therefore ask families to continue to contact the school directly by email email@example.com or leave a message on 02083427975 if their child tests positive with either a LFD or PCR test.
From 19th July when we are at Step 4 in the Covid-19 roadmap, a number of changes will impact on schools. Schools will no longer have responsibility for Track and Trace (which will pass to the NHS) and the new guidance will redefine “close contacts” to be only those with prolonged contact to a positive case (such as household members or having slept over at someone’s house during the incubation period). The guidance on face coverings will also be changed. Please be aware, however, that Highgate Wood School will continue to ask staff and students to wear face coverings (as will other organisations, including London transport) and Highgate Wood School will continue to follow Haringey PHE guidance and “not make any changes to their control measures such as bubbles and face coverings from 19th July and continue to adhere to what is already in place until the end of summer term due to increasing case rates at present.”
Useful information on contact tracing changes from Step 4 is available at the Headteacher’s letter (authored by PHS) which is available here Step4 in schools and in the NHS FAQs available here: Contact Tracing for Step 4 Onwards FAQ
Through the summer holidays the school will be preparing for the new academic year. We sincerely hope this will be a “return to normal”, but we know that there will need to be some precautionary measures in place. The current information for this is available here. Additional information is available on the Department for Education’s Education Hub blog: Parents, pupils, teachers and students – find out what step 4 of the roadmap means for you.
One of the key messages is that students will be asked to come into school for supervised Covid-19 tests on their return in the autumn term: “As pupils will potentially mix with lots of other people during the summer holidays, all secondary school pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term. Settings may commence testing from 3 working days before the start of term and can stagger return of pupils across the first week to manage this. Pupils should then continue to test twice weekly at home until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.” With this in mind we are now requesting all parents and carers to provide consent for their child to be tested in school in September. Please visit to this survey to provide that consent. Please note that those families who have already given consent do not need to do so again. As before consent can be withdrawn at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This requirement will mean that we need to operate a staggered start to the term. We are still agreeing a schedule (and the resource for the supervised testing) but we anticipate the window opening on 1st September and then running through the first week of term. We hope to arrange things so there is minimal disruption to learning time and even less disruption to transition time for our new Year 7 and post-16 cohorts.
We anticipate running live lessons on Google Classrooms for those groups who have not had their in-school Covid-19 test scheduled. Student timetables will be available online in both e-praise and Show My Homework before the start of term.
Contact Tracing and Local Guidance from 19th July 2021
The Prime Minister announced on 12 July that Step 4 of the roadmap would go ahead on 19 July.
One of the key changes that will take place from 19 July is that education and childcare settings will no longer be asked to conduct routine contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts. NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts.
This change does mean that it is more important than before to record test results online. This is done through the government’s Covid-19 reporting site.
For more details of this please see this letter which has been prepared by Haringey Public Health and sets out in more detail below how that process will work and what you need to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19. Please also see the letter to families from Dr Will Maimaris, Haringey’s Interim Director of Public Health which is available here. You may also find the contact tracing from Step 4 Onwards FAQs and Overview for the NHS helpful.
Despite the school no longer having responsibility for Test and Trace we still need to be informed if your child tests positive on one of the LFD self-tests or the PCR test during term time. Please continue to contact us by email email@example.com or leave a message on 02083427975 if your child tests positive or develops Covid-19 symptoms – a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss\change to their sense of taste or smell.
Summer Support for FSM
Please be aware that Haringey is again supporting Free School Meal supermarket vouchers for families of students who are entitled to Free School Meals. These vouchers will be distributed through the Wonde system, as before.
Changes to school systems
Please be aware that we plan to move away from Wisepay as our online payment provider during the summer break. This will not impact on any balance on your child’s account – which will remain in place. More details will be circulated during the holidays. We will also be resetting all Parentmail accounts to ensure that data is up-to-date and accurate. This is part of a wider upgrade to all ICT systems in the school. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.