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Answers to questions following positive case 15th Nov 2020

Sunday 15th November 2020.

Feedback form question which has arisen from the confirmed case of Covid-19. Sorry, I can't reply to individulal issues here but I can give general answers which link to National Government guidelines. 

(Please also see previous newsletters and information on this notice board)


How long do I have to isolate for?

If any individual, staff or child, is a close contact they will have to isolate for 14 days.

The individual with the positive test has to isolate for 10 days from the day symptoms first started. If the individual had no symptoms, then it would be 10 days form the test result date.

Can my other child come to school?

Yes. Only the children and adults in the affected bubble have to isolate – this means they cannot leave the house. All other members of the household are allowed out. Other siblings should come to school which is Government guidance, not ours. Government guidance can be difficult to understand and follow and we know that many parents will find it difficult if they have one child who can’t leave the house but others who are expected to come to school. We haven't got a magic answer but we’ll work with you on this particular issue. 

Whatever we think about Government guidelines is irrelevant. They are the rules that all of us have to stick to and follow through. 

What does isolation mean?

Please see the NHS website for guidance:

Why can we say which year group the individual is in?

Under GDPR regulations we can only say it is someone in the school community. We have contacted all affected parents. If they choose to say which year group, we cannot stop this.

What is a close contact?

The NHS gives examples of what close contact is:

  • close face to face contact (under 1 metre) for any length of time – including talking to them or coughing on them
  • being within 1 to 2 metres of each other for more than 15 minutes – including travelling in a small vehicle
  • spending lots of time in your home, such as cleaning it

Why are some adults and children isolating?

The Government have recognised that younger children cannot socially distance very effectively. At Portsdown we run year group bubbles – this means that children in a particular year group stick just to that year group. In some year groups, within their own year group, children are grouped to support their learning. The two classes in the year group share a playground at break and playtime. Staff stick to these bubbles as well. If there is a positive case in the year group, then the rest may be a close contact and as such would have to isolate. All schools in Portsmouth operate these bubbles but they vary depending on a wide range of factors including age of children, staffing and layout of building.

But they share the same toilets.

All schools in Portsmouth have a limited amount of toilets. At Portsdown children are only allowed to go to the toilet one at a time except when their class is washing their hands, in which case an adult will be with them ensuring that other children form other year groups do not go in. Toilets are cleaned more regularly by our site and cleaning teams throughout the day.

How does the school decide what action to take following a positive case?

As soon as we have confirmation of a positive case we contact the Department for Education. They then run through a decision making process. If we have 2 or more cases in the same bubble, we contact Public Health England and the local Health Protection Team.

We then contact all of the affected parents and staff, let the wider school community and finally let the Local Authority know.

My MarvellousMe doesn’t work – how do I fix it?

Get in contact with the school office after 9:30am any day and we’ll help you. This is the same for Studybugs or our electronic paying system.

Please ensure that your MarvellousMe is downloaded and working as this is one of our main ways in which we can contact you. We will also use our website and our Facebook pages.

Will my child still get work?

Yes, the teachers will be in contact with you soon. Yoiu can contact the teachers through their work emails which are on teh year 1 page under the 'Children' Pencil. 

What about the flu jabs?

We will get in touch with the school nurses and come up with an alternative date. As soon as we know, we wil llet you know.

Parents are not socially distancing outside school

Unfortunately it is very difficult to police that. We would all expect that adults follwo the nation guidelines and stay 2m apart. We rearranged pick up and drop off times so that there are less parents on site at any one time and asked parenst to wear masks. There are a few parents who are turning up too early or standing around chatting. We'll ask them to move on in school but it wouls be difficult to do this out of school. The whole school community needs ro be respctful of the rules and stick to them for everyones safety.