Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, I want to thank everyone for our full return on Monday. Despite all the COVID changes, students were wonderful in following all procedures. Our attendance was the best first day back at 97.3%.
As we are aware, the situation with COVID is changeable and we need to make adjustments to respond to the local situation. All schools have received the following advice from Public Health England:
Whilst Cheshire and Merseyside has not yet been placed in a local lockdown, the region is experiencing an increase in local transmissions of Covid-19 which, if left to increase further, may result in lockdown restrictions being put in place. With this in mind, we are strongly encouraging the use of face coverings by staff and pupils (Year 7 and above) when moving around in communal areas or corridors, in the event that social distancing is difficult to maintain.
However, social distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene remain the most effective measures against this virus. It is essential that everyone follows the well published routines at Cowley. Despite St Helens having had low COVID numbers, it is essential that we are not complacent and continue to work together to minimise the risk.
Therefore, as from Friday, 11th September, all staff and students will be required to wear a face covering in communal areas, e.g. corridors and queuing in eating areas. Advice will be given to students on how to safely wear face coverings. We will continually review our practices, especially following advice from PHE.
Finally, NHS testing has requested the following:
‘It is vital that we learn from the recent Scottish experience, where the return of schools saw a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms. We want to avoid a similar surge in test demand as England’s schools and colleges return to ensure that we continue to prioritise our testing capacity for those with symptoms and to avoid children, students and their families self-isolating unnecessarily.
To ensure we identify those with coronavirus while avoiding a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms, we ask that you recommend to your pupils, students and staff who feel unwell, that they get tested if:
they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms:
• a high temperature
• a new, continuous cough
• the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell, or
• they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse)’
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Mr C Sheeran