Tuesday 9th February
An Eventful Few Days
- Since Friday evening, we have had six covid-19 cases among staff, and three among students.
- Too many staff are isolating for the College to be safe, so the site has been closed.
- Remote learning continues as normal. Some teachers are unwell; others have poor internet, so there may be fewer live lessons and more work set in advance this week.
- The College site will re-open for students in the “KWV” provision on Monday 22nd
- I have been truly humbled and grateful for the amazing support from parents/carers in the past few days, and the “get well soon” wishes to my colleagues who caught covid-19.
Six colleagues have tested positive (4 support staff, 2 teachers); fifteen colleagues and three LFT testers are isolating. Four clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) staff are shielding. Most of these colleagues are able to work from home but see above. Staff absence for non-covid reasons remains much lower than usual for the time of year.
Before Christmas 12 students tested positive for covid, as well as 31 family/household members. Over the holiday we were informed of 2 further students testing positive. Since the start of term there have been 6 students with a positive result and 11 family/household members. Last week, student attendance in the KWV provision was just over 15% of the College roll, which is higher than Devon and England averages.
Please keep informing us of any positive tests, even it seems daft because you are in lockdown !
Locally to Clyst Vale, numbers of new infections once again have continued to decline in the past week and remain well below national averages. According to the NEU covid map for schools, in the last week East Devon has fallen from 110 to 99 cases per 100,000, and the BBC gives 55 cases; Broadclyst, Cranbrook, Stoke Canon and area has also fallen from 104 to 91/100,000; Exeter has fallen from 78 to 61/100,000 (NEU) or30(BBC), and Pinhoe and area has decreased to 63 from 93. The national average for the BBC figures is 188/100,000 which is a steady decline from last week’s 249. (The NEU and BBC use different dates)
There is, in my view, too much doom and gloom about catch-up and politically-driven speculation about catch-up programmes. There is no doubt that all children have been affected by the pandemic; many if not most will bounce back very quickly. There is no doubt that younger children have been affected more badly, and that the mental health of students in exam years has been tested. Similarly, students from disadvantaged backgrounds have not fared as well as the “average”. However, the frequent generalised catastrophizing in the media is not helpful about “lost generations” earning £40,000 less over a lifetime. It’s likely to cause increased anxiety for students and parents as the implication is that catching up will be almost impossible. Similarly, the ideas of extending the school day and shortening the summer holiday by two weeks need far more thought and detail. It’s February, there’s no confirmation of when the return to school is, if students are struggling as badly as stated, then they will be very daunted and anxious about staying at school until 5 pm or how they will learn effectively for two extra weeks in the hottest part of the summer. Again, I advise students and parents to try not to worry about things which are outside their control and which will almost certainly change.
When will all students return to school ?
Two weeks ago it was announced that schools would re-open on 8th March “at the earliest”. A further announcement will be made on 22nd February. There is press speculation that the return might be phased so that certain year groups come back before others.
Summer Exams 2021
The national consultation has now closed. It is anticipated that the Department for Education will report outcomes and decisions at the end of this month. In the meantime, it is essential that students in “exam” years continue to work hard and progress through the syllabus. For some students this is becoming increasingly challenging: maintaining motivation, uncertainty over the exams, uncertainty over plans for next year, the tiring effect of lockdown, and the time of year. Please let us know if your child is struggling.
Lateral Flow Testing:
We have decided to test everyone on site twice weekly in order to maintain a high level of covid security. Until Friday last week we had conducted 1152 tests, none positive. Several parents have asked if the students who have recently tested positive had had LFTs on Thursday; all six members of staff had been tested, and one of the students.
We do not know what is happening about mass testing when students return to school, however. For students we require parental permission, of course. If you need it, here is the link to the form: Student Consent form for Covid-19 testing, and you can find the accompanying letter and Privacy Notice on our website, at https://www.clystvale.org/c19/
Keyworkers’ and Vulnerable Children
The link for KWV definitions is:
Free School Meals (FSM)
We have joined the Department for Education’s Edenred voucher scheme. During half-term central government does not fund FSM, so for that week we have joined Devon County’s scheme. If you have any queries about FSM, please e-mail
Key Points to Remember for 22nd Feb Onwards, Please
- Please do not send your child to school if they have covid symptoms.
- Please do not send your child to school if they have had symptoms and are waiting for a test result even if they seem better.
- If any member of a household has symptoms, everyone must stay away from school or work until the test result is known. If positive, everyone must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or 10 days from the test date if there were no symptoms.
- Please tell us [student absence; AtHoS; Post-16] if your child or household member has symptoms; test dates and results; dates you have been given for a return to school. This applies even if your child is not attending College.
- Please use the number below for reporting an “out-of-hours” positive test result.
- Students should wear masks at all times unless exempt. Except lessons, when actually eating/drinking, and if outside AND at 1m+ distance from one another.
|Evenings & weekends – reporting of Covid-19 positive test results|
We have introduced a dedicated phone number, solely for reporting positive Covid-19 test results at evenings and weekends
The number is: 07818 212 931
It is not for suspected cases, non-Covid-19 illness or absence, and is not an advice line.
Please text positive Covid-19 test result information to this number, including:
· Name of student
· Student’s tutor group
· Date symptoms appeared
· Which symptoms, or no symptoms
· Date of test
· Date of test result
If necessary, someone will contact you having received this information. Thank you!