During the pandemic St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School worked really hard to comply with the government advice to make our school as safe as possible whilst maintaining a happy, inspiring learning environment.
On Monday 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister confirmed the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England with the government’s new Living with COVID Plan. The Government’s objective in the next phase of the COVID-19 response is to enable the country to manage COVID-19 like other respiratory illnesses, while minimising mortality and retaining the ability to respond if a new variant emerges with more dangerous properties than the Omicron variant, or during periods of waning immunity.
To meet this objective, the Government will structure its ongoing response around four principles:
- Living with COVID-19: removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses;
- Protecting people most vulnerable to COVID-19: vaccination guided by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, and deploying targeted testing;
- Maintaining resilience: ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency;
- Securing innovations and opportunities from the COVID-19 response, including investment in life sciences.
From 1 April, the government:
- updated guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people
- no longer provided free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
- removed the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments.
Supporting our school
One of the ways that parents can support us to maintain a safe school is by following the advice below and keeping your child at home if they display any symptoms of coronavirus or any other illness.
Adults and children who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, should follow the UKHSA guidance.
Updated COVID-19 Symptoms in Children
Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in children are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu. It is usually a mild illness and most children get better in a few days. Symptoms can include:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
What to do if a child has symptoms
Children should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:
- have a high temperature
- do not feel well enough to go to school, college or childcare, or do their normal activities
They can go back to school, college or childcare when they feel better or do not have a high temperature.
If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can come to school.
Please encourage your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and to wash their hands after using or throwing away tissues.
Most children who are unwell will recover in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids.
Children Who Test Positive for COVID
It is no longer recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
If a child or young person has a positive COVID-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test, if they can. After 3 days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
Children and young people who usually go to school, college or childcare and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend as normal.
Information for parents and carers on COVID-19 vaccination for at risk 5 to 11 year olds
The Covid vaccination has now been approved for all children aged 5 to 11 by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The Covid vaccination for the 5 to 11 age group is offered as a lower dose (10 micrograms) of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
In London and the UK we are experiencing an increase in Covid cases among the population and so it is important for all eligible groups to have the vaccine to help stop the virus causing severe infection, particularly in young children, older age groups and the more clinically vulnerable.
Where can I go to get a vaccine for my child?
In North West London, vaccinations for 5-11 year olds will start on Monday 4 April 2022 and there are a number of ways in which to get your child vaccinated.
1. Use the National Booking Service to book a local vaccination site. Bookings can be made through the National Booking Service
2. Use the Grab a Jab website to find a location that offers a walk-in session. Parents and Guardians can find a list of available sites through the Grab A Jab walk-in page. The grab a jab website is continually updated with new locations so we encourage you to check the website regularly.
3. Family vaccinations over Easter. There will be a number of locations over the Easter period that can provide a vaccination for the whole family (if eligible) and these include The Science Museum in South Kensington and CP House in Ealing. For both locations, please visit the Grab-Jab website for information on clinic times and days.
For questions and answers about vaccinations for this age group visit the Frequently Asked Questions
For a translated version of this letter go to Vaccination Information Page
What is Coronavirus?
For all of us, COVID-19 , sometimes referred to as Coronavirus , can be difficult to understand. There are a number of different ways of trying to explain this virus to children, and to show that there are measures they can take to keep safe.