What’s the current situation?
Unfortunately, infection rates in Bolton are rising once more. This is the case for many Northwest Local Authorities.
We recognise how important it is to keep young people in school. Whilst the national rhetoric may lead us to believe that the period of school closures is well behind us the reality is very different.
The national vaccination programme has been a great success and while almost all staff at Little Lever School are fully vaccinated, staff are still susceptible to contracting the virus. If staff contract the virus they will still need to self-isolate for a minimum period of 10 days.
As infection rates rise across Bolton, particularly in ‘school-age’ children, we are finding that some schools are having to send year group bubbles home once more as they do not have the staffing capacity in school to deliver the curriculum safely and effectively. We are not in this position and we do not want to be in this position over the next few months.
In line with guidance issued by Bolton Public Health, and in agreement with all other schools across Bolton, we will be introducing additional measures to reduce the transmission of the virus. We hope that these measures will allow the school to remain open to all children throughout the autumn term.
From Monday 18th October:
- All students and staff who have consented to testing will need to continue to test themselves using an LFD test TWICE per week on a SUNDAY and THURSDAY. The results must be sent to school as previously. If a student does not have symptoms but tests positive on an LFD test they must not come into school and must book a confirmatory PCR test. Further guidance is available on our webpage; https://www.little-lever.bolton.sch.uk/home-testing-guidance/
- Students and staff must wear face coverings in communal areas i.e. as they transition to their sessions. There will be no requirement for students or staff to wear face coverings in their sessions.
- Students and staff will be required to hand sanitise as they enter and exit every classroom
- We will reduce the opportunities for large gatherings of students and staff
- Promote social distancing measures between staff once more
We hope the recent vaccination programme for school children between the ages of 12-15 years has an impact in helping to reduce the spread of the virus over the coming months ahead.
We will operate these measures of control until the end of December. At this point we will review the impact with the local Public Health team.
While I understand this may be frustrating news to hear, our priority is that we do all we can to ensure the school remains open to all students for as long as possible. We have flu jabs available for all staff to access and we will continue to do all we can to reduce the spread of the virus to try to keep as many staff free from self-isolation and illness as we possibly can over the next few months.
Please take care.