Important Update on Year 8 Bubble Closure – Monday 7th June

Dear parents and carers,

Current context

Firstly, can I thank you for your understanding as we manage the significant challenge of Covid infection within Year 8 that we are currently facing.  The following data will perhaps help give you additional context of the picture that senior staff have been responding to on a case-by-case basis, and in regular contact with Cheshire East Public Health, as it has developed over the half-term break.

DateNumber of positive cases reported to school
Thursday 27th May1
Friday 28th May1
Saturday 29th May2
Sunday 30th May1
Tuesday 1st June2
Wednesday 2nd June2
Thursday 3rd June6
Saturday 5th June1
Sunday 6th June1
Monday 7th June1
TOTAL since 27th May18

Additionally, of our current cases, 2 have already been identified as being of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Public Health advice – Sunday 6th June

Based on this data we were advised by Public Health on Sunday morning to close the Year 8 bubble for Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th June while further investigation of patterns could be conducted.  We were also advised to message to you the value of frequent lateral flow device testing as a means of helping to break chains of transmission. These tests assist in identifying individuals who, due to not showing any symptoms, were unaware that they were carrying the Covid-19 virus and were therefore infectious.

Current Lateral Flow Test reporting response rate

Over the last three days we have received 182 test results for Year 8 via our online test reporting form.  This represents a response rate of 52% for this year group.  In view the situation being reported in the North West, we were hoping to have been able to report a higher response rate to Public Health.

Onsite Lateral Flow Testing programme – Wednesday 9th June

Consequently, given the scale of the positive cases experienced by this year group over the last 10 days and the presence of the Delta variant, we have agreed with Cheshire East Public Health that the safest way to bring Year 8 back into school quickly and sustainably would be to run an onsite Lateral Flow testing programme for Year 8 students on Wednesday 9th June.  We will contact you again on Tuesday with full details of how this testing will operate but as you will remember from our March mass testing programme this will require students to attend at specified times and for only part of the day.

Continued need for home Lateral Flow Testing and reporting

Please note that Public Health are recommending that in addition your child continues to conduct home lateral flow tests at least twice a week, and report the results, since the greater the regularity the greater the likelihood of identifying a person who is infectious but asymptomatic.

Remote Learning

On Tuesday 8th June Year 8 students will continue to follow the remote learning programme that was sent out on Monday morning.  On Wednesday 9th June, as live remote lessons will be impractical due to the onsite testing programme, teachers will set tasks via FireFly or direct students to “Behind the Leaf” work.

I appreciate that bubble closures create challenges for families and, of course, we want to resolve these as quickly as possible.  We look forward to receiving the lateral flow test data over the next few days that will provide strong evidence for us all that this pattern of cases has now been broken.

Yours sincerely,

J. H. Pulle

Headteacher

Wilmslow High School

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