Renfrewshire Council

Director of Children's Services letter to parents at Kirklandneuk Primary School - 28 May 2021

Letter sent to parents and carers at Kirklandneuk Primary School by Renfrewshire Council's Director of Children's Services Steven Quinn, 27 May 2021

Dear parent or carer

As a parent or carer of a pupil at Kirklandneuk Primary, you will of course already be aware of the NHS Test and Protect activity taking place in the school.

I appreciate the numbers of pupils and their families now being required to self-isolate will have caused understandable concern and I wanted to write to you all to offer reassurance over that.

The advice of the health authorities is that the school remains safe to be open and I wanted to update you on the work we and our NHS colleagues are doing to make sure that stays the case.

Current cases and self-isolation

Test and Protect activity started in Kirklandneuk Primary on Thursday 20 May. Each positive case identified has had a careful risk assessment carried out by the school, NHS and the council's environmental health team to ensure our safety and hygiene measures are working as intended. An inspection by environmental health has also taken place and concluded that the school is following all health and safety measures.

Whenever staff or pupils are asked to self-isolate, we ask them to take the PCR test. PCR tests are available at Glasgow Airport (drive through) and Bridge Street Car Park in Paisley (walk through). You can book a PCR test on the UK Government's website.

Pupils who are self-isolating should not use a lateral flow test (LFD). Your child must take a PCR test if they are self-isolating.

If your child receives a negative PCR test, they cannot return to school. Pupils must complete their 10-day self-isolation period and must remain at home. They should not be out in the community or visiting friends and family while they are self-isolating.

By asking pupils who are self-isolating to take a PCR test, we have been able to identify a number of positive cases where the individual has no symptoms of COVID-19. Ultimately, this is leading to more staff and pupils having to self-isolate, however, I want to make it clear that self-isolation, while a precaution, is also key to reducing the spread of this virus.

We know that there are new variants of coronavirus circulating in the country, each more transmissible than the original variant. This means that everyone needs to continue to follow the national guidance, such as wearing a face covering, avoiding crowds and keeping physical distance between people outside of your household.

As soon as pupils have completed their 10-day self-isolation period, they can return to school. It's really important that children stay at home and complete their self-isolation period.

Home testing kits

For those children currently in school, your child has been sent home a pack of lateral flow (LFD) test kits. These kits are for the whole family to use and we urge you to use them. Please follow the instructions on the test kits. If you have run out of test kits and want more, you can order more free test kits to be delivered to your home through universal testing services.

To order more tests, please visit the UK government's book a test website and complete the form. It will ask you if you want to create an account. You can continue without one and still get a home test kit.

You can also pick up LFD test kits at the main testing centres in Renfrewshire from 3pm each day - Glasgow Airport (drive through only) and Bridge Street Car Park in Paisley (walk through only).

Safety measures

The health, safety and wellbeing of your children and our staff is the number one priority for me and my team. We continue to closely follow all national guidance, based on expert scientific advice, to ensure we do everything possible to keep your child safe and provide the best learning environment possible.

That includes an enhanced cleaning regime across all buildings, cleaning of surfaces during the day, promoting good hand hygiene, advising physical distancing where possible, careful management of pick-ups and drop-offs, and staff wearing face coverings where appropriate.

Head teacher Karen McKechnie and her staff have worked closely with the council's education managers and environmental health team, and public health experts from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and they remain satisfied that the school has robust measures in place to stop the spread of the virus.

In addition, we have also carried out targeted enhanced cleaning in the school.

I would also reiterate that we all have a role to play to help stop the spread. If your child or someone you live with displays any of the three main symptoms of COVID-19, please do not send them to school. You should all stay at home and book a test for everyone, whether you have symptoms or have no symptoms.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss of, or a change in, taste or smell.

Support for home learning

We know many of you will have questions over the impact of self-isolation on your child's education. The head teacher and staff will do everything that they can to ensure that pupils self-isolating do not miss out on any learning.

I would like to end by thanking you for your patience throughout what I know has been a challenging time for all involved. I can assure you that nothing is more important to us than the safety of our pupils and staff. We and the school will continue to do everything in our power to look after that.

Further information on health and safety arrangements in our schools and on how we are handling cases of Covid19 in schools can be found elsewhere on the council website.

You can also find out more information on what to do if you or your child has symptoms on the NHS Inform website.

Yours sincerely

Steven Quinn

Director of Children's Services