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COVID-19

Updated September 2021

The School takes the risks posed by Coronavirus COVID-19 very seriously and the control measures outlined in a dynamic Risk Assessment, and in the supporting protocols for staff and parents, minimise the risk of infection and the transmission of the virus.

The Risk Assessment has been prepared paying close attention to the Government Guidance which recognises that while COVID-19 remains in the community, schools will be required to make judgements concerning how to balance and minimise risks whilst providing ‘a full educational experience for children’ using their existing resources.

The Health, Safety and Wellbeing of our staff, pupils and all who visit the School continues to be our top priority.

Background

Throughout the period since the national closure of schools in March 2020, a dynamic Risk Assessment has been in place which has been updated regularly to reflect the changing circumstances characterised by the pandemic. The School pays particular attention not only to advice from the Government but also from the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA), external lawyers, Manchester City Council and information from relevant Trade Unions.

Since 4th May 2020 there have been regular meetings of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Team to discuss all health & safety aspects for the operation of the School. The control measures put in place throughout this period have been discussed and kept under review at these meetings, with consideration given on a practical level from both a pupil and staff perspective. A weekly survey of staff is reviewed at each meeting of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment team leading to actions in some instances to address issues and feedback provided to staff who have contributed to the survey.

Review by Governors

The initial Risk Assessment was reviewed and approved by Governors and will continue to be reviewed as developments occur.

Our key message to staff

All staff must follow local and national guidelines regarding quarantine, self-isolation and NHS Test and Trace.

Staff must NOT come into school if they:
– have symptoms associated with COVID-19, or
– have tested positive in the last 10 days.

Staff are strongly encouraged to continue to complete bi-weekly lateral flow tests at home, and to complete a test before returning to School following any period of absence.

The wearing of face coverings is no longer mandatory. Staff may, if they choose, continue to wear a face covering in school.

If staff have been full vaccinated and they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should continue to attend school as normal unless otherwise directed by NHS Test and Trace. It is strongly recommended in this instance that staff take a daily lateral flow test.

If a member of staff, or anyone in their household, receives a positive lateral flow test result, they are required to take a PCR test within two days.

Our key message to parents

All parents and pupils must follow local and national guidelines regarding quarantine, self-isolation and NHS Test and Trace.

Pupils must NOT come into school if:
– they have symptoms associated with COVID-19, or
– they have tested positive in the last 10 days.
Parents should inform attendance@wgs.org if their daughter is absent.

Parents and pupils must ensure they are aware of the latest symptoms associated with COVID-19 at all times and, if the pupil has any symptoms while at school, she will be sent home and advised to follow stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

If a pupil is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should continue to attend school as normal unless otherwise directed by NHS Test and Trace.

If a pupil, or anyone in their household, receives a positive lateral flow test result, they are required to take a PCR test within two days.

The School may introduce additional measures at any time throughout the school year if the number of positive cases substantially increases. Additional measures will be monitored carefully and reviewed regularly so they are in place for the shortest possible amount of time and disruption is minimised.

Admissions

We continue to deal with enquiries regarding admission to Withington and offer a range of opportunities to visit the School.  If you have any questions about admissions, please visit the Admissions section of the website or email admissions@wgs.org

Please refer to our Admissions Timetable for the proposed dates for Junior, Year 7 and Year 12 entry in 2022 and visit our Virtual Open Events 2020 page for a series of presentations that will provide informative insights into all that a Withington education provides.

COVID-19 PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR STAFF AND PUPILS

Withington Girls’ School has protective measures in place following ongoing assessments of the risks associated with attending lessons on the School site during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – these measures are reviewed and updated on a weekly basis and a current list of these protective measures are available on request via office@wgs.org. The School is following the guidance issued by the Government wherever possible and will update this list of measures as that advice changes, or if the protective measures need to be amended or supplemented. The primary link to this collection of guidance and advice, which is updated regularly, can be found here.

Withington Girls’ School has a COVID-19 Visitor Protocol, which is kept under review, link below:

WGS COVID-19 Visitor Protocol (updated 21 September 2021)

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