Head Teacher Update - Letter and Video 61

4th January in School

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Tuesday 4th January 2022

Happy New Year to you all.

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones all safe and well, and that you
had a lovely holiday spending time with family and friends.

I wrote before the holiday that Covid remains a significant concern for us all
and attached the new guidelines issued. Further updates have been received
and I attach the new link for those interested. The guidance issued on the 17th
December and this update from the 21st December basically returned schools
to a much more cautious approach to managing schools. As we did not relax
many of the pre-summer measures, there will be little change to how our school
will operate.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-reducing-the-risks-in-schools/pages/overview/

It is clear from the Scottish Government reports that concerns have been
amplified in recent days with the continuing rise in those contracting Covid.
Head teachers received additional Government guidance yesterday as follows:

Asymptomatic testing to reduce COVID-19 risks.

Secondary pupils are being advised to take at-home COVID-19 tests before
they return to school to limit the spread of Omicron.

Those without symptoms should do a lateral flow device (LFD) test the night
before or on the morning of the return to classes following the festive break.
After that, testing should be done twice weekly.

All LFD test results - positive, negative or void – should be recorded via the
online portal.

Staff in schools and early learning and childcare settings should follow the
same advice. Anyone who receives a positive LFD test result, those with
symptoms, or those identified as close contacts should immediately self-isolate
and book a PCR test.

LFD tests should only be used if you don’t have symptoms.

  • You must not use a LFD test if you:
    have symptoms - you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR
    test
  • have been asked to self-isolate because you are a close contact of a
    positive case. You must self-isolate and book a PCR test

All LFD test results should be recorded via the online digital reporting portal.
If you receive a positive LFD test result, you must self-isolate immediately and
book a PCR test.

Drop-in vaccination sessions will be available for 12-15-year-olds from January
3rd 2022. Those who have already received a scheduled appointment can bring
it forward by calling 0800 030 8013. NHS Inform and local health board
websites will provide further details of where drop-in sessions are available in
each area.

Following JCVI advice, this age group can get their second vaccination from
12 weeks after their first dose.

Anyone under the age of 18 who has previously tested positive for COVID must
wait 12 weeks from infection to be given their second dose.

Kits available

Although we are sure that everyone has been able to access kits from local
outlets during the holidays, in order to ensure that everyone about to return is
able to do a LFT test in line with the guidance above, we will open the school
during the holiday tomorrow (Wednesday) between 11am and 1pm. Kits will
be available for collection from tables between the two front doors. The car
park entrance and Miller Road pedestrian gate will be open during these times.

Transport

The liaison between the Local Authority and the transport companies is
managed by the Education Transport Department, not schools. I have
discussed travel arrangements with them today (including the threat to train
services). We do not expect any disruption to the school train, or bus services.
The ferry service is, as always, weather dependent.

Expectations, exams and support

Despite all the concerning news, our school will reopen on Thursday 6th
January and we seek to run as close to normal as possible. Our expectations
are that pupils will attend school, on time, in uniform, with their kit/equipment
for that day and will show respect for themselves and others. I would like to
thank parents for their support in achieving these basic expectations. Achieving
a degree of normalcy, consistency and equity ensures good ethos in our
schools.

I am aware that many of you will be concerned about the forthcoming exams.
The SQA have stated clearly that the Summer exam diet will run. Hence the
need for good attendance, behaviour and dedication to ensure all our seniors
are prepared. Please encourage your child to keep pace with all their studies,
attend supported study and to ask the teachers for help whenever required.

Should any pupils or parents have any questions or concerns, please contact
your Clan Guidance Teacher. You can do so by using the “Contact Us” page
on the website.

Please also remember my oft-repeated offer of support. If you need pastoral,
subject, IT or even financial support, please contact us and we will do
everything we can to help you and your families.

Yours faithfully,

P A Bain
Executive Head Teacher
Oban High School, Tiree High School & Tiree Primary School


Mr Bain’s Update 5th January 2022

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