Current Information regarding Covid-19 – January 2022

Happy New Year to you all!  We hope you have all had a well-rested holiday and enjoyed lots of family fun.

On return to school Tuesday 4th January 2022 we would like to inform you about current procedures for school in light of the virus at this time:

Staff in education settings, should take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before they return in January, then continue to test twice weekly at home.

Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site through ATS or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.  Positive results should be reported within 24 hours after the test, negative results must be reported within 7 days. 

Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.

Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education setting from day 8.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.

Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19

People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.

Children under 5 are not being advised to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under 5 is a contact of a confirmed case, they are not required to self-isolate and should not start daily testing. If they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 they should limit their contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19, and arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible. They can continue to attend an education or childcare setting while waiting for the PCR result. If the test is positive, they should follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

A reminder that the current requirements on remote education continue to remain in place

As students and pupils return to education following the holiday period, the current requirements for remote education continue to remain in place.

We recognise that the high rates of COVID-19 may cause difficulties with the availability of our staff. Our shared priority is to keep school open and children continuing face-to-face education. Where workforce issues arise, we may need to use existing teaching, temporary and support staff more flexibly where required to ensure we remain open, whilst ensuring that we continue to have appropriate support in place for pupils with SEND. 

Where there is a need for remote education, please refer to our information page regarding this on our website.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on COVID-19 vaccination for at-risk 5 to 11 year olds.

On Wednesday 22 December, the government accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that a primary course of vaccination should be offered to children aged 5 to 11 years old who are in a clinical risk group, or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed. 

Updated guidance on the use of face coverings in education settings

In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adults (including visitors) when moving around in corridors and communal areas. Health advice continues to be that children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings.  Face coverings do not need to be worn when outdoors.

It is therefore recommended that all settings have a small contingency stock of face coverings available if an individual has forgotten or damaged their own. To support this, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has begun delivering face coverings to settings: from Friday 7 January for primary settings. These face coverings are being provided by DHSC at no cost to settings.


January 2022 – Schools Covid-19 operational guidance