COVID-19 infection rates are very high and the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. It is important that we all take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms they should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. You should arrange for them to have a PCR test as soon as possible. If this PCR test result is positive, they must continue to self-isolate.
If they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, but have a positive PCR test result, they must also stay at home and self-isolate.
Please continue to support your child to undertake twice weekly Lateral Flow tests (LFD) if they will tolerate this. From 11th January, anyone with a positive lateral flow test who has no symptoms does not need a confirmatory PCR test and must self-isolate.
Information on the changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
- Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 5 and day 6 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 5 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart.
- If both these test results are negative, and your child does not have a high temperature, they may end their self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to their education setting from day 6.
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, are strongly advised to 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.
In school we continue to work hard to make the school is as safe as possible for all members of the school community by:
- Maintaining high levels of ventilation throughout school – it could be chilly in the winter months, so please ensure your child has extra layers
- Continuing to ensure good basic hygiene measures such as regular handwashing
- Asking that visitors in school wear face coverings
- Ensuring that children or staff with any COVID symptoms don’t come into school, isolate and get a PCR test as soon as possible.
Is my child too ill for school
If you are worried that your child might be too ill to come to school, please use this link to help
Further sources of information for Mental Health
Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.
The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.
Test and trace payment information for Parents/Carers
Parents and carers can apply for a payment of £500 if you are employed or self-employed and will lose income because:
- you have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
- or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self isolate as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
You can make a claim up to 42 days from the first day of isolation. (SCC will backdate claims for parents and guardians of children for any period of isolation beginning on or after 8 March 2021)
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who needs to self-isolate
You might be able to get the payment if you need to take time off to look after them. They must:
- be 15 or under, or 25 or under if they have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
- live with you
- normally be at school or in childcare
- have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their school or childcare provider
You will need to meet the other eligibility criteria and need evidence that your child has been told to self-isolate.
Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital has produced resources for children, young people and families. These include social stories about going back to school, social bubbles at school and hand washing: https://www.sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk/patients-and-parents/coronavirus-resources-for-children-and-families/
The Speech and Language therapy service has also produced short videos to help families help their children talk. These are on You Tube and also promoted by the Parent Carer Forum’s Facebook page:
Support for emotional wellbeing