Message from Mr Clarke – Year 7 and 8 Covid Transmission

Dear parent/carer

In September I wrote to all parents to discuss how we were monitoring Covid transmission in school and set out our associated contingency plan, a copy of which can be found by following this link. We are continuing to monitor the number of cases on a daily basis and make decisions on issues such as lessons, school visits, lettings, extra-curricular clubs and social times, based on the information we have available to us.

In September, we had identified that a section of our year 10 cohort had reached the threshold where it was deemed by Public Health Lancashire and the school that we had ‘transmission’ occurring within the school population. As a result of the rates at the time, we implemented a series of additional measures to minimise this transmission, whilst still allowing students to attend. This is something we are keen to maintain for a whole host of educational and social benefits. We are very pleased to report that the measures we adopted for our year 10 cohort resulted in the number of cases coming down, currently sitting at zero positive cases in this year group.

During the time of heightened transmission in our year 10 population, we also made the decision to revert to all eligible students wearing face coverings in communal spaces and agreed to review this at the end of this half term. We have made the decision to extend this for a further two weeks after the half term, setting a revised review date of Friday 12 November. All eligible students should return to school on Monday 1 November, continuing to bring a face covering to school to be worn in communal indoor areas.

This morning I had emailed all of our staff to say that we are monitoring our year 7 and 8 cohorts very closely and spoke to Public Health Lancashire to discuss the proposed actions should we receive notification of a further case. At 4pm this afternoon, I was notified of a further positive case and as a result, we will be putting the following measures in place from Thursday 21 October:

  • Reintroduce face masks for year 7 and year 8 in classrooms for the remainder of the week and the first week back after half term (allowing us to assess the rate of transmission on our return)
  • Students will be regularly reminded about the importance of hand sanitising on entry and departure from classes. Hand sanitiser is available throughout school to supplement students’ own sanitiser
  • Please could we ask all students to conduct a lateral flow test this evening and politely remind all parents to not send their child into school if they have any of the covid related symptoms
  • All staff who teach year 7 and year 8 will be asked to conduct a lateral flow test in a similar fashion
  • There will be no extra-curricular activities for year 7 and year 8 for the next two days leading up to the half term.  This will, unfortunately, include those year 7 and year 8 students who would have been representing the school at a cross country competition tomorrow. This arrangement will remain in place for the first week of our return so that we can reassess the transmission in those year groups and hopefully we will return to normal provision in the week commencing 8 November.

I had hoped that we may get to the end of the half term, potentially providing a ‘fire-break’ preventing further transmission. In my conversation with Public Health Lancashire this morning, I asked whether it would be advised for all year 7 and year 8 students and teachers to take a PCR test. Given that we are not in school next week, it was agreed that I would instead urge as many students and staff to continue to conduct the twice-weekly lateral flow test on Thursday and Sunday during the half-term holiday (and also remind all parents that students must not attend school if they have any Covid related symptoms). However, if your child were to develop symptoms during the half-term break, you should follow the NHS advice and book a PCR test.

Tomorrow is a ‘catch up’ day of vaccinations for students who were unable to receive these on Thursday 7 October, due to high demand within our school community. The offer for 16-17 year olds to be vaccinated began this month; however, the NHS link that has been set up nationally is not working correctly and will not let those students book a vaccination. I have spoken to the programme director and have been informed that there will be catch up sessions in the local community during November. If we receive any further information on this, we will of course share this with you.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at We hope you are able to enjoy a peaceful half term break and thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Best wishes

Mr Russell Clarke, Headteacher