Devon SLS Updates Newsletter: Special Edition - Documents from the DfE Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform

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Spring term  |  22 January 2021

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DfE Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform

Important: the following guidance and forms have been downloaded as of 21 January 2021 but may be updated by DfE so keep referring back to the DfE Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform and look out for further announcements.

Dear colleagues,

Following yesterday's Devon SLS MS Teams meeting to discuss staff testing in primary schools, please find links below to the following DfE documents that are available on the DfE Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform (Gdrive):

DfE advice re Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) tests for staff who have previously confirmed case

The DfE are encouraging all staff who have tested positive in the past to take the LFD test. If they test positive with the LFD then they need to self isolate and book a PCR and if they test positive with PCR then isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

This could result in a lot of staff being off school who might not be contagious but are carrying the viral load because they have recently had Covid-19. The DfE confirmed that it is voluntary for staff to test but this is the current recommendation from the DfE to support with the monitoring of transmission and have escalated this issue higher up the line as they have received numerous queries about this. Updated guidance is expected soon.

Clarification on the closure of bubbles following a positive LFD staff test

Public Health Devon have raised this with Public Health England HPT Consultants who have confirmed that appropriate action to isolate all close contacts within a 48 hour period should be taken as a confirmatory PCR test is unlikely to come back negative. Waiting for the result would leave to several further days of close contacts and spread of the virus.

This will include the closure of bubbles identified as being in close contact in the previous 48 hours. If in doubt or for further clarification, it is recommended that schools contact the DfE positive case helpline and obtain further advice:

You can contact the dedicated advice service, introduced by Public Health England and delivered by the NHS Business Services Authority. This can be reached by calling the DfE Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case.

DfE Guidance  |  Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges

Information dated 21 January 2021 for schools and colleges about testing including updated guidance following the PHE position statement on the option of 7 days of daily contact testing as an alternative to self-isolation  |  READ MORE


Devon Schools Leadership Services CIO

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Devon SLS (formally DAPH and DASH - read more details about our new CIO Devon SLS in the July 2020 newsletter)