Throughout the autumn term, attendance rates on the Isle of Wight have been much higher than those seen across the rest of England for both primary and secondary education.
The importance of children’s continued attendance at school was highlighted in a recent committee report by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said:
“Schools have worked extremely hard to ensure their environments are Covid-19 secure — and my sincere thanks for all they have done.
“While a proportion have had some positive cases, and this has led to other members of their settings’ community needing to self-isolate, the numbers are relatively low.
“To maintain this stability, and to #Keeptheislandsafe, it is vitally important that we all continue to follow the national guidance to continue social distancing, minimise social contact and avoid mixing with other households, as well as regular handwashing.
“We all want to see this period of enhanced national restrictions come to an end on 2 December — so please stick to the rules, and together we can get back to the freedoms enjoyed during the summer and early autumn.”
Parents and carers are asked not to send their children to school if they have any of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 — high temperature, new and continuous cough or loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
If a child has one of those symptoms they should be tested and then kept at home until the test result is confirmed. Children should only return to school if the result is negative or, when it is positive, after they have completed their period of isolation and are completely well.
If a child is sent home from school to self-isolate having been in close contact with a positive case, there is no impact on the household. However, if the child has tested positive for COVID-19, the whole household must self-isolate.
Councillor Brading added:
“It is important to note that schools are rightly careful not to name or signal the identity of those that have received positive test results, and that while they may attend the school, this does not identify where someone caught the infection.
“We would encourage people not to speculate and to make assumptions based on partial information.”