Beech Hill Community Primary School

Doing our best today for a brighter tomorrow

Letter to Parents from Wigan LA September 2021

Dear Primary School Parent/Carer, As it is the start of the 2021/22 academic year, we wanted to write to all parents to welcome our children back, to provide further information about COVID-19 safety measures in place for the new academic year, and to reassure parents about the support available for schools where cases of COVID-19 are identified. We have also included the answer to some ‘FAQs’ you may have. What is the current situation in Wigan? We know that, due to vaccination, people who contract COVID-19 are now less likely to become seriously ill or require hospitalisation. The vaccination programme in Wigan continues to be successful. 71% of residents have been vaccinated with their first dose, and 63% vaccinated with their second dose. Residents aged 16 and over can now receive their first dose, and a number of 12-15 year old residents who are eligible for vaccination are also being invited for vaccination. The evidence also continues to show that children and young people are much less at risk of serious illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19 than adults are. Having a vaccine doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual will not contract or transmit COVID-19, and therefore it is critical that we continue taking precautions to protect ourselves and others. There continues to be a high prevalence of COVID-19 across Wigan, at 288.2 cases per 100,000 people, which is close to both the rate in Greater Manchester, the North West, and England. Although this has reduced from the significantly high rates we saw in June, at present we are not seeing any further reduction in cases. More detail can be obtained from the Council’s weekly Covid-19 surveillance tracker. Schools and school leaders have a duty to ensure their school is as safe as possible and they will follow Government and local public health advice and guidance in doing so. They will have a risk assessment and will be regularly reviewing and updating their safety measures. Schools will be in contact with parents to advise them of the safety measures in place at their school. These measures will be likely to be different from school to school and will be based on that individual school’s circumstances and the risk assessment in place. It is therefore really important that parents and pupils continue to follow any safety measures they are asked to by their school. This includes: • Not attending school if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or have had a positive test. • If asked to by either your school or NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, taking a PCR test to confirm if you have COVID-19. • If asked to by your school, carry out regular LFD testing at home