Headteacher’s Letter to Parents/Carers

16 September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We will this week complete one cycle of the timetable.  We are very pleased with the way in which students have returned to College, they are happy and have been keen to engage with their learning.  We are proud of the way in which they have adapted to the learning zones and the one-way system, they are a credit to themselves and you as parents.  Thank you for your support in the return of your child to College it has been much appreciated.  Year 7 students have soon become part of the family that is HTC and are enjoying the learning and meeting new friends.

Attendance was 95% last week, which is very good.

Students are accessing the broad and balanced curriculum in a safe learning zone.  All of us are committed to providing the best education possible for your child, while securing the health and safety of our whole College community. Thank you for continuing to follow Public Health Guidelines and encouraging your child to do the same.

We continue to receive advice from the Government on the current situation.  Public Health England have asked us to forward the information below:

Testing for the virus – advice

This information was received from the Medical Director and Director of Health Protection, Public Health England.

 The Department for Education has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace to ensure that we are doing all we can to minimise the potential risks of spread.  A key part of this is the appropriate use of testing to help identify people who are positive and subsequently their contacts.  We have made testing available throughout the country and anyone with symptoms can book a test online or over the telephone through 119 to get the certainty they need to protect themselves and those around them.

 Crucial to our overall support for schools and colleges is ensuring that everyone with coronavirus symptoms has access to a test as soon as they develop those symptoms. 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 students and staff who feel unwell only get tested if:

 1) they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell; or

2) they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse).

 If a student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms described above, only they should be tested. There is no need for their households to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic.

 Unless a student or staff member has one of the three main coronavirus symptoms, they should only be tested if instructed otherwise by the local authority, health protection team or their GP.  As schools and colleges across England return, students may feel unwell for example with a sore throat, stomach upset or a headache. These students don’t need to book a test but may need to stay off school or college and seek medical advice through their GP or pharmacist as usual.

 We have systems in place at HTC to manage suspected and confirmed COVID19 cases and we will always take advice from Public Health England when necessary.

Students are being supported by their Class Teachers, Form Tutors and Year Leaders.  Parents can make contact with any of these staff should they have concerns about student welfare or learning.

Thank you for your support in these challenging times. Please remember to follow both the College’s and Public Health Guidance to keep everyone learning safely.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield