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Supporting 4000 Students
The Excel Academy

FAQs


Since our students have returned, parents/carers, understandably have many questions and concerns. We have created a list below of some of the frequently asked questions and further information about what to do if you or your child has symptoms of Covid-19.

General
Someone in our household is showing symptoms - can my child still come into school?

If you, or someone in your household or support bubble experiences symptoms, DO NOT ATTEND the Academy.

If you develop symptoms you should self-isolate for 10 days before returning to the Academy and get tested wherever possible. You should not return until you receive a negative test result or your isolation period has finished.

If someone within your household or support bubble develops symptoms, you should self-isolate for 14 days from the onset of their symptoms or wait for them to receive a negative test result before returning.

Full guidance on this is available on the NHS website here.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, face coverings are required in all communal areas of buildings on the Academy premises unless you are exempt.

You may remove face coverings when in classrooms or when eating and drinking in designated areas.

Face coverings should be worn in line with the PHE guidance to ensure they are effective.

What if I get symptoms of Covid-19?


If you, or someone in your household or support bubble experiences symptoms, DO NOT ATTEND the Academy. The main symptoms include a fever, a new and continuous cough, or a loss of taste and smell.

If you develop symptoms

If you develop one or more of the main symptoms of Covid-19 you should get a test and you and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get the test result. If you have symptoms you should isolate for 10 days from when they started. If you have not had symptoms, the 10 days starts from when you had the test. You should not return until you receive a negative test result or your isolation period has finished.

If you are already at the Academy when you develop symptoms, you will be asked to go to an isolation room before going home to isolate and book a test.

You should inform the Academy of your test results as soon as you receive them.

If someone in your household develops symptoms

If someone within your household or support bubble develops symptoms, you should self-isolate for 14 days from the onset of their symptoms or wait for them to receive a negative test result before returning to the Academy.

Please stay at home for the time recommended by the NHS and book a test here.

What is the latest government advice about education provision

The latest government advice for parents/carers about early years provision, schools and colleges can be found here

What if I am at high risk or if a member of my household is at high risk?

Your health and wellbeing is our first priority and we are here to support you and your family unit throughout your education.

We understand that some students may be at additional risk or feel anxious about returning to school after isolation. This can be particularly difficult if you have an underlying health condition, are part of the BAME community or live with someone who is vulnerable.

Please be reassured that we have taken all possible and suitable precautions within school following guidance from Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Public health England. Our full risk assessment can be found here

If you have any health concerns about your time in the Academy please contact your principal here

How am I supposed to socially distance?

At the Academy

Social distancing is important to ensure you can still enjoy time safely at the Academy. Students have been designated separate year/class group bubbles to limit the number of students and staff they will be in contact with. You should not attempt to move anything we have put in place, close windows or remove signs.

You can also socially distance by:

-following one way systems in place at entrances and exits, stairways and in corridors

- using the lifts one person at a time

- wearing a face covering in all communal areas whilst inside the Academy

Socialising

You are advised to socially distance yourself from anyone who is not in your household or bubble. This means staying 2 metres away.

Full details of the Local Covid Alert status of your area and the restrictions and guidelines which are in place can be found here.

It is critical that you follow these guidelines to keep both yourself and others safe.

What if someone tests positive for Covid-19?

When we receive news of a confirmed case from a student or a staff member, we follow the steps below. This explains why students and parents won't always be contacted directly regarding confirmed cases in the Academy.

Step 1

The first thing we do is our dedicated Health and Safety team contact the local Health Protection Team (that’s a local arm of the government’s Public Health department who help to manage our health and safety on a regional level).

They will ask us and the affected person questions about when they were last in the Academy, which areas they've been to and who they've been in close contact with.

Step 2

From this information, they'll decide who will need to self-isolate or undertake testing. If you are affected by this, for example because they're in your class or bubble, we will contact you directly.

In some cases, you will be asked to self-isolate.

If you are not contacted directly, it is because it is extremely unlikely that you have been in any contact with the affected persons and therefore are not at any risk. Therefore, you should continue to follow your timetable as normal unless you are advised otherwise.

For those who are asked to self-isolate or remain at home, it is important to remember that the risk remains extremely low, thanks to the measures we have in place in the Academy which reduce contact with others.

Step 3

We will always undertake additional deep cleaning of the affected areas when guided to do so, using specialist equipment and products designed to eradicate Covid-19.

While deep cleaning will usually only affect certain classrooms and facilities, we will update our website and social media when this may impact on learning (for example if a building will be closed for a day).

However, it is not possible for us to contact all students individually. As you will understand, our priority is contacting students directly affected, following the advice of the local Health Protection Team and ensuring the learning of unaffected students continues uninterrupted. We will keep you updated via our usual communication channels.

My child has been asked to self isolate and they are anxious. Why didn't they receive an explanation of these instructions?

Due to the nature of the situation we have to act quickly, and unfortunately we are not able to talk to all students about what was going on and why. We know that many adults are also finding this time challenging, but we ask that all parents/carers work with their own children at this time too, to offer reassurance.

Our staff are undergoing additional training to support all students through this difficult time. If you find reassurance of your child difficult, please contact us and we will support you.

My child has been asked to self-isolate. Do I need to?

No, currently the advice to self-isolate from Public Health England is only those who have been in close contact. The letter we send out has been provided to the Academy by PHE, therefore the information is from the Government and is the most current advice. Obviously, if you develop symptoms then you should self-isolate along with your household.

How do I know if I came into contact with the infected person

We keep a register of all classes and when someone is showing symptoms or have tested positive we contact the affected person to ask who else within the Academy they have had contact with. This is in accordance with advice from Public Health England and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Is it safe for other students to come into the Academy?

Guidance is only those who have been in close contact with the infected person should self-isolate at home. According to Public Health England and the Local Authority there is no reason at this stage to suggest any other year groups are affected.

If the people that have been asked to self-isolate get tested and it comes back negative can they return to the Academy before the 14 days deadline?

The advice is that people who have been asked to self-isolate must do so for the required time. People should only be tested if they have any of the 3 symptoms linked to COVID 19.

Why do you not tell people who has received a confirmed result so I would know whether my child has been in contact?

As you might expect we are not able to release any further details of the person in respect to their privacy. We know who the person was in contact with and they will be informed to self-isolate.

My child is in a different year group but I want to keep them at home. Can I do this?

We can understand your concerns and we wouldn’t open the Academy if we didn’t feel that situation was contained. You will be aware that the government has announced that all students should return to school and continue their education.

What is your process for a positive case in the Academy?

Regular checks are conducted by the Health and Safety team to ensure all our academies are implementing risk assessments - ensuring all steps are being taken to reduce the spread of infection.

· When a positive case is identified the Trust Health and Safety team support academies to identify close contacts and ensure those who are identified self-isolate.

· Following guidance from Public Health England it is not our policy to isolate whole bubbles as our team will complete a detailed close contact assessment.

· If we receive notification of a positive case over the weekend and are unable to conduct a detailed close contact assessment, as a precaution, we may require the whole year or class bubble to remain at home on the Monday until this assessment is accurately completed.

· It is important that our staffing remains at a level to fully implement our risk assessment controls properly. To ensure the integrity of these risk assessments, we have limits on how many supply teachers the academy will use if staff are absent. If staff absence exceeds these limits the academy may decide to educate a year group at home until staffing levels have recovered. We would like to reassure you that this would be an option of last resort and if it does happen, we would rotate the year groups to reduce the impact on one particular year.

· Any child that is required to work at home will be provided with the necessary resources to continue with their education.

My child has been asked to self-isolate but they have free school meals. Do they need to come to school for these?

In the Government guidance schools have been told that they need to provide either a meal or a food parcel for free school meals pupils if they are isolating. We shall contact all eligible households and provided details on how we will deliver the free school meal. If you require a free school meal and cannot locate this information, please contact the school.

How do you learn from cases within the Academy?

Since the start of term, we have managed Covid-19 cases across some of our Academies and I would like to thank you for the tremendous support you have given as a community, to a situation that we understand has caused anxiety. As a Trust we have worked closely with Public Health England and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, following their advice exactly to ensure we are putting in every control that will help reduce transmission of the virus. We would like to reassure you that the Trust has a robust risk assessment in place at every academy which you can read here.

In line with the rise of cases nationally, we may continue to have to deal with positive COVID cases in our academies.

The challenge for everyone is following the guidelines both inside and outside of the academies and try to avoid bringing the virus into the Academy.

This is an unprecedented and challenging time for all of us and your support has meant a great deal to staff working in academies. By working together and supporting the social distancing measures we will hopefully get through this difficult time as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Learning
What does learning in the Academy look like?

Prior to September we made changes to our sites and to our teaching and learning to ensure that we keep all our community safe.

Whilst in the Academy, staff will practice social distancing from the students, wear face coverings in all communal areas of the Academy and stay within their bubbles and follow other signposted safety measures.

Full details of our risk assessment can be found here

Communication
How will I be able to communicate with the Academy?

We encourage you to stay in touch with us / your child’s teacher as much as possible. This can be done through the following:

ParentMail
Emailing: enquiries@excelacademy.info or clicking on contact us
Calling the academy office on 01782 882700

If you require a paper copy of any of the pages / documents published on this website, please click here and complete the form stating which page(s) / document(s) you require along with your name and address.