CHANGING RULES AROUND FACE COVERINGS 19th January 2022
The government has today announced that face coverings in classrooms will no longer be required and that, from Thursday 27th January they will also not be required in the communal areas of the school.
Please be aware that Highgate Wood School will be implementing the change in classrooms from Monday 24th January. Until then we will be maintaining our current requirements for all students, unless exempt from wearing a mask, will still need to wear their face covering in the classroom and also in communal areas. This is to ensure that we are able to make the transition to this greater freedom, which is welcome, in a measured, controlled, safe and planned way.
The updated guidance from the Department for Education is available here
ISOLATION RULES HAVE CHANGED
Here is the notice from the Government’s Education Hub on how isolation rules have now changed
On Thursday 13 January the Health Secretary announced changes to isolation rules for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. In order that people who have had and recovered from the virus can get back to their normal lives as soon as possible, isolation time has been cut to 5 full days (from the date of their first positive test) for anyone who has recorded two consecutive daily negative lateral flow tests.
This will help to reduce the disruption the virus causes in schools for both pupils and staff.
But what will this mean in practice for children, families, schools and other education settings? Here we answer your questions.
My child has tested positive for COVID-19 – how long do they have to stay away from school/college for?
All people – including pupils parents and teachers – have to isolate for a minimum of five full days after the day of a positive test before then going back to school if they have tested negative twice.
The first full day of isolation is considered to be the day following the positive test. Following the fifth full day of isolation – on the sixth day – it will be possible for people who have received two negative LFD tests on consecutive days to go back to school.
People who have tested positive can now take two LFD tests on day 5 and day 6, and if both are negative and they do not have a temperature, they can end their self-isolation on day 6 and return to their education setting immediately.
If either test is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest
In practice it means that if a child or teacher tests positive on a Saturday, that would be considered day 0. They could then take tests on the morning of Thursday (day 5) and Friday (day 6). If they tested negative on both days and did not have a temperature they would be then able to return to school on the Friday.
What about if someone else in the house has tested positive? Can my child go to school/college?
Yes – and they should. They should continue going to school but test daily. If they test positive they should isolate.
What are the rules for teachers and school staff?
They’re exactly the same. If a teacher or member of school staff tests positive they should isolate for at least 5 full days. If they have 2 consecutive daily negative lateral flow tests at that point and no temperature they can and should return to work on day 6. If someone in a teacher’s household has tested positive the teacher should test daily and as long as they are negative they should continue to go to work. If they test positive they should isolate.
What are the rules for early years settings like nurseries and childminders?
They’re the same. If a child or a member of staff tests positive they should isolate for a minimum of 5 full days. If by that point they have recorded two consecutive daily negative lateral flow tests and no temperature they can return to their setting on day 6.
In-school Covid-19 Vaccinations: 14th January 2022
Despite the new announcement of in-school Covid-19 vaccinations, our families have had success in arranging these at local hubs and Vaccination UK have still not scheduled further in-school vaccinations. We suggest families continue to use local hubs” (which is what they have said). Vaccination UK said very recently that they had no plans to return to our school to carry these out and therefore suggest that families should book 2nd vaccinations at local centres. Please visit https://www.haringey.gov.uk/news-and-events/covid-19-latest-updates/health-advice/vaccinations/covid-vaccination-sites-haringey for the vaccination centres in Haringey.
To see more about the recent Government Announcement please click here.
Spring Term 2022
Normal school will resume on Wednesday 5th January at 8:30. It will be Week One. Please note that, during the current restrictions we are asking all students to come to school in their PE kit if they have a PE lesson that day.
Tuesday 4th January will be given over to in-school Covid-19 testing. Work will be set on Google Classrooms for all students to complete on Tuesday 4th, though there will not be live lessons. These will cover lessons 3 to 6 (as the first day of the spring term begins for students at 11:00am with Period 3) Please see below for the schedule for children attending their Covid-19 tests in school on Tuesday.
Today, Sunday 2nd January 2022, the government have announced: “From today, Sunday 2 January, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in classrooms where pupils in year 7 and above are educated. The advice is short term only, to support pupils and teachers as they return to school this term and builds on the existing proportionate guidance that recommends face coverings for all adults in communal areas of all settings. We are updating our guidance to reflect this. The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed.” We therefore request all families to support their children in wearing face coverings in school (and on their TfL journeys to and from school) every day (including Tuesday 4th January when they are scheduled to come in for their Covid-19 test).
Please see What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 for the updated guidance for parents and carers from the Department for Education and Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak for their new guidance for schools (2nd January 2022). See also the Gov.UK blog: What to expect when schools, colleges, universities and early years settings return after the Christmas break (3rd January 2022)
Please also note the updated guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection (1st January 2022)
(Government update on 2nd January 2022: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak)
For more information please also see the Headteachers letter 16th December 2021
The schedule for Covid testing on Tuesday 4th January is given below:
|Covid Test schedule for Tuesday 4th January (students should come in on the schedule below based on the first letter of their surname). Students need not wear school uniform though they should wear face coverings (unless exempt). The tests will happen in the school hall so please use the Montenotte Road entrance.|
|Last Name beginning with:||Time|
|T – V||17:30|
2nd January 2022
31st December 2021 – Updated government guidance links
- COVID-19 vaccination programme for children and young people: guidance for schools (print version 3)
There has been an update to the government guidance and we now require students and staff to wear face coverings in common areas of the school. This is in response to the emergence of the new variant. Please follow this link for more information.
The Local Authority has also provided additional information here
Our 2nd in-school vaccinations for students (12 to 15) whose families have consented to the vaccine will be on Tuesday 9th November. We will be letting families know of their scheduled appointment time on Monday 8th November
Click here for the Headteacher’s letter outlining the process for if\when your child is identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19
11th October 2021
Click here for a joint letter to parents of secondary school and college students in England on Covid-19 testing and vaccines from the Secretaries of State for Education and for Health and Social Care
Below, please find links to the letters referring to the planned Covid-19 vaccination programme now scheduled for Highgate Wood School for Tuesday 12th October
If you wish your child to take part it is important that you complete the e-consent application as soon as possible. The link is here, and also given in the letter from Vaccination UK below.
- Headteacher’s letter of current plans for Covid Vaccination programme on 12th October
- Letter from Vaccination UK giving e-consent link and other information
- Headteacher’s letter of 2nd October
- Haringey’s letter to parents and carers – Covid 19 vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds
Please be aware that Haringey Public Health is running a Q&A session for parents and carers in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12 – 15 year olds. The webinar will take place on Thursday 7th October at 5:30pm The webinar will be an opportunity for parents and carers to ask Haringey clinicians and professionals any questions they may have about the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12 – 15 year olds. The panel members are:
- Dr Will Maimaris, Director of Haringey Public Health
- Dr Sheena Patel, GP and Clinical Director, Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group
- A representative from Vaccination UK
To join the live webinar via Zoom at 5:30pm on Thursday 7 October, click: https://bit.ly/3oxiECj
You can submit questions anonymously before the event through: https://forms.office.com/r/Zzy7YqGRT2
You can also post questions live in the ‘chat’ box during the session.
Update 16th September 2021: Vaccination programme for people aged 12 to 15
As announced on 13th September 2021, people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. For more information please visit the Department of Health and Social Care’s initial announcement saying “the government has accepted the advice of the 4 UK CMOs and the NHS is preparing to deliver a schools-based vaccination programme, which is the successful model used for vaccinations including for HPV and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP), supported by GPs and community pharmacies. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination in line with existing school vaccination programmes.”
Further information was published on 16th September in the UK Health Security Agency’s Guidance: COVID-19 vaccination programme for children and young people: guidance for schools and by Public Health England in their publication Covid-19 vaccination, a guide for children and young people. Other publications from PHE on the Covid-19 vaccination programme for young people are available here.
On Friday 17th September the Department for Education published the post NHS to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to 12- to 15-year-olds: your questions answered on their Education Hub. This provides more information on the planned vaccination programme.
There is an additional leaflet from the UK Health Security Agency that has been developed for young people with special education needs and disabilities. That leaflet is available here.
The UK Health Security Agency have also published “Vaccination programme for children and young people: Guidance for Parents“, together with other Covid-19 vaccination guidance and resources on their web page Covid-19 vaccination: resources for schools and parents.
We will update this page with further information as it is published.
Update 23rd August
We are now finalising our plans for the first few days of the start of term. As you will be aware, the Department of Education has asked secondary schools to arrange Covid-19 testing for all students returning. These will be the “new” LFD tests that require only a nose swab (the throat swab is not required). As before, testing does require parental consent – which we ask you to provide by filling in the form at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lfdtest21
We would be very grateful if you could complete this as soon as possible so we have a good idea of numbers which will allow us to schedule testing as efficiently as possible.
The arrangements for the tests, and the start of term, are as follows:
- We are asking all students in Years 8. 9. 10 and 11 to attend their start-of-term tutorial virtually, on Google Classrooms on Friday afternoon, 3rd September
- Students in Years 8 and 10 who have consented will be invited in on Monday 6th September for their 1st Covid-19 test (we will circulate the schedule nearer the time) They must come into school in school uniform. All students will be expected to register on their Google Classroom and engage in the learning activities provided when they are not involved in the tests or travel to school. They should enter through Montenotte Road entrance. Regular school for these years will start on Tuesday 7th September at 8:30am. On that day Year 8 must use the Back Gate entrance, Year 10 to use the Tennis Court entrance. (these are their designated entrances for the coming year)
- Students in Years 9 and 11 will be asked to engage in remote learning on Google Classrooms on Monday 6th, and those who have provided consent to have a Covid-19 test will be invited in on Tuesday 7th September for their 1st Covid-10 test. (we will circulate the schedule nearer the time). Students must come into school in school uniform. All students will be expected to register on their Google Classroom on that Tuesday and engage in the learning activities provided when they are not involved in the tests or travel to school. They must come into school in school uniform. They should enter through Montenotte Road entrance. Regular school for Years 9 and 11 will start on Wednesday at 8:30am. On that first day of “normal” school. Year 9 must use the Tennis Court entrance. Year 11 the Montenotte Road entrance.(these are their designated entrances for the coming year).
- Year 7 and Post 16 students have been scheduled to have their first Covid-19 test on Friday 3rd September when they will be the only groups actually in school.
Please be aware that return to school is not conditional on having a Covid-19 test and students may decide to withdraw their consent at any time prior to the test. For those who do take the first test, a second test will be scheduled for later in the week -which will take place whilst they, and their peers, are attending lessons as normal.
We will be circulating more information in the coming week.
Update 5th August
We look forward to seeing our Year 13s on Tuesday, 10th August, for A Level results and university clearing. This year Year 11 results will be available shortly after, on Thursday 12th August. Thursday 12th and Friday 13th August will also be days for enrolment into our sixth form.
Please be aware that term is scheduled to start on Friday 3rd September. Students in Years 8 to 11 will begin the term with an online tutorial session – where they will also be able to receive their timetables for the coming year. This is to allow the in-school Covid-19 testing for students in Year 7 and the Sixth Form.
Please be aware that students in Years 8 to 11 will receive their new ties during that first week, it will not be necessary for them to purchase these. New Year 7 students should buy their school ties together with other items of school uniform from School Colours Direct.
You will be aware that the government is now offering Covid-19 vaccines to those 16 and above. Please click here for further details of this initiative
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.