The Scottish Government published updated guidance on 21 December. The guidance continues to emphasise the need for a range of measures to keep staff, children and young people in schools safe from COVID-19.
Key points you should be aware of which apply to all our secondary schools:
- all pupils should undertake twice-weekly lateral flow testing: this is a voluntary programme for young people with no symptoms to help reduce potential outbreaks in schools: find out more - including how to order a test
- face coverings are still required for all staff and all S1-S6 pupils (unless exempt): these are to be worn in class, corridors and social areas but may be removed for eating and drinking - pupils should provide their own face coverings
- physical distancing between young people and staff is still required: most schools will keep the same 2m distancing arrangements they had in place already - please refer to your own school information for details
- although there is still no requirement for strict physical distancing between young people in school, distancing between secondary school pupils is encouraged where possible
- enhanced ventilation will still be in place so pupils should dress appropriately to keep warm and in line with the school uniform code
- face coverings remain essential on home to school transport - read more about our transport arrangements
- hand sanitising will continue to be required when entering and leaving school building and individual classrooms
- parents/carers are still unable to come into school during the COVID-19 recovery (unless by prior arrangement and risk assessed) - all communications must be via email or telephone. Parent councils should also meet remotely
- if your young person was previously shielding or has a health condition: please contact your school by email to ensure their return to learning can be supported
Changes to Test and Protect/ self-isolation
The national policy on self-isolation, contact tracing and testing for children and young people aged under 18 has been updated. Whole classes will no longer be asked to self-isolate if someone in the class tests positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Your child will only be identified as a contact if they have had prolonged close contact with the case, such as living in the same household, or overnight stays. There will be no requirement for you or your child to self-isolate unless you are contacted by Test and Protect.
All close contacts of the case who need to take specific actions will be identified, contacted and advised by NHS Test and Protect to follow the latest guidance on self-isolation and testing which was updated from Monday 9 August 2021 for:
- adults who are fully vaccinated, who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive
- children and young people aged under 18 who do not have symptoms and who have not tested positive
Vaccination for under 18 year olds
Latest information about the NHS Lothian vaccination programme including details for those under 18 and the location of clinics can be found here https://www.nhslothian.scot/Coronavirus/Vaccine
What should I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?
If your child/young person is showing any symptoms of COVID-19 please do not send them to school. You should inform the school office of their absence in the usual way then self-isolate following guidance from NHS Inform and Test and Protect.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a new, continuous cough
- a fever/high temperature
- a change or loss in taste and or/ smell
Further information is available at www.nhsinform.scot