At Leeds West Academy, we understand how overwhelming this time is for you and your children.
We want to reassure you that we have implemented government guidance and put in place robust procedures to ensure the safety of every student and staff member.
This is a rapidly changing situation, which is why we are working tirelessly to ensure we are providing you with accurate and comprehensive information as we receive new information from the government.
Please keep checking back for updates and referring to our communications. All information that we publish is correct at time of posting.
We thank you for your patience, understanding and resilience through this very difficult time.
This page was last updated: 17 May 2021
Wearing of Face Coverings
Students will be continuing to wear face masks in classrooms at Leeds West Academy.
This will be reviewed on a weekly basis and we will share any changes to this in due course.
You can learn more about this decision in our letter sent on Friday 14 May.
What does a day look like at Leeds West Academy?
Below you will find a brief overview of what a student's and a staff member's day looks like at Leeds West Academy.
|Student - Day in the life||Staff - Day in the life|
What are the main symptoms of COVID 19?
Remember, the main symptoms are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What should we do if someone in our household develops symptoms?
- Stay at home and self-isolate
- If your child develops symptoms at school, we will call you so you can bring them home
- Other members of your household must self-isolate too
- Book a free NHS test as soon as possible, which you can do online or by calling 119
- If you test negative, then your household can stop self-isolating
- If you test positive, then your household must self-isolate for 14 days
- Once you have your test result, please tell the academy as soon as possible:
What if my child needs to self-isolate?
- Home-based distance learning - we will provide a programme of online distance learning which will be accessible through the academy’s website.
- Paper work-packs - if your child does not have access to a laptop or tablet, we can also issue paper work-packs. These can be safely sent to your home address
- Free School Meals - if you receive Free School Meals then food-shopping vouchers will be safely sent to your home address. Please ensure that the academy has your current postal address. If you feel you may now be eligible for Free School Meals, you can find further information here: Leeds West Academy – Free School Meals
What if I have children in different year groups or schools?
- If one of your children has been sent home, then other members of your household do not need to self-isolate.
- This is unless your child starts to show symptoms of COVID 19, which you should then follow the advice above.
- If your child does start to display symptoms, please inform the academy as soon as possible.
Will self-isolating affect our attendance record?
If your child is self-isolating due to public health advice it will not count towards their attendance record, which means you will not be marked if:
- Your child self-isolating if they have symptoms of Covid-19
- Your child self-isolating because somebody in their household has tested positive for Covid-19
- Somebody in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
- The student has been told to self-isolate by the NHS test and trace app
If you have any concerns or updates regarding your child’s attendance please contact the academy on 0113 229 5454.
What has the academy put in place?
All control measures that have been put in place are in accordance with government guidance, including:
- Face covering requirements - strict requirements for all staff, students and visitors to wear face coverings in communal spaces
- Strict processes and protocols - regular hand washing regimes and one-way systems
- Reorganising timetables and classrooms - reducing contact hours and increasing social distancing
- ‘Bubbles’ - grouping students into bubbles within specific zones of the academy
- Staggered break and lunch times - minimising contact between groups of students
- Enhanced schedule of deep cleaning - ensuring all surfaces are cleaned frequently
- Further deep cleaning and sanitisation - when students or staff report any symptoms
- Track and Trace programme - we follow a robust track and trace system to identify whether students and/or staff that have been in ‘close contact’
Additional measures which go above and beyond government guidance include:
- Providing additional equipment - providing all students with their own resources such as pencil cases and exercise books so they do not need to share
- Free face coverings - providing all students and staff with White Rose Academies Trust face masks to ensure that everyone can safely cover their face when in communal areas
- Microbial mist fogging - implementing microbial mist fogging, which is a safe and robust additional cleaning process that disinfects large areas and kills 99.99% of known viruses, germs and bacteria
How do ‘bubbles’ work?
‘Bubbles’ are a tested method of reducing contact and preventing the spread of infection. It involves ensuring students only mix with others in the same group to create a bubble at the academy, which involves:
- Organising these ‘bubbles’ so they avoid mixing with other groups
- Having different start and finishing times, and going through separate entrances and exits
- Making each bubbles stay within specific areas of the academy to avoid contact with other bubbles
- Each bubble having their own break and lunch times
- Students being escorted by their form tutors at the end of the day and leaving immediately, waiting for their specific academy bus, or waiting for siblings in a socially distanced area
What does ‘collapsing a bubble’ mean?
Under certain circumstances, Leeds City Council (LCC), the Department for Education (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE) may advise the academy to collapse a bubble of students:
- This may be a small group of students who have been in close contact in lessons or at social times, or a greater number of students, depending on the circumstances of each case
- Collapsing a bubble helps to reduce the spread of cases
- It means that every student within the bubble must to self-isolate for 14 days
- If the academy has to do this, we will inform you as soon as possible
- If your child’s year group is self-isolating, you and other members of your household do not need to self-isolate unless your child develops symptoms
What if my child forgets their mask/face covering?
If your child forgets their mask or loses their mask at school:
- They should not borrow or use someone else’s mask
- They should speak to a member of staff as soon as possible
- We will provide them with a clean mask that will provide them with suitable protection
- This will either be a new unused mask, a freshly boiled clean mask, or a new unused disposable mask
- The academy will make a note of any time it has provided a student with a replacement mask and contact you if this keeps occuring
Does the school operate a track and trace system?
- The academy has implemented the Government's Track and Trace programme which requires logging when all staff and visitors enter and leave the building. This information is then kept for a set period of time in case we have a positive case on site
- For each confirmed case we follow a robust track and trace system to identify whether students and/or staff that have been in ‘close contact’
- These colleagues are alerted immediately through our internal arrangements and instructed to self-isolate as per current guidance
How do students know what to do to stay safe?
All students are expected to follow the academy safety measures and should understand the importance of following these procedures:
- Reminders from staff - students are reminded by form tutors, period tutors, duty staff and year managers on the importance of regular handwashing, social distancing, staying in their year group bubble and wearing face coverings
- Signage - easy to see signs and posters throughout the academy reinforce key routines and measures such as regular handwashing, remaining socially distanced, remaining within assigned student bubbles and wearing face coverings
- Hand sanitiser stations - the academy has installed hand sanitiser stations in key locations so that students and staff can sanitise their hands before and after each session. These are checked and topped up by cleaning staff on a regular basis
- Face coverings - the academy has paid for a supply of face coverings and has provided every student with a pair of masks for free
- Lesson protocols and movement - students are timetable in fixed classrooms and are only permitted to move around the academy when escorted by a member of staff at key times throughout the day
- Student toilets and one-way systems - students will have access to toilets during break and lunch times which are monitored by staff. Floor markings show a one-way system.
- Behaviour - the Positive Behaviour policy remains an essential and integral feature of the daily operations at the academy
What are your staff doing to prevent infection?
- Face covering requirements - all staff understand that they need to wear face coverings in communal spaces
- Reorganising offices and social distancing - maintaining social distancing and minimising contact
- Working from home and virtual meetings - when possible to reduce contact
- Reporting symptoms and self-isolating - all staff take these measures very seriously
- Priority testing - As teachers are classed as key workers, we have access to priority testing so we should be informed quickly of results
What are your procedures if someone tests positive?
We work closely with Leeds City Council (LCC), the Department for Education (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE) to ensure we carefully and effectively manage confirmed or potential cases of COVID 19:
- Track and trace procedures - In accordance with national guidance, we will ask any colleagues and students who spent longer than 15 minutes and in close contact (less than 2 metres proximity) with the symptomatic student or staff member to go home and self-isolate for 14 days from the last contact
- All the other members of the child’s household can continue their normal activities as long as their child does not develop symptoms within the 14 day self-isolation period
- Whenever a teacher or a student is sent home with symptoms, we will implement a process of deep cleaning, following the academy’s rigorous additional cleaning regimes (such as ‘microbial mist fogging’)
- We log each case with Public Health England and the Director of Children’s Services, as well as informing parents of any necessary action for their children
- We strictly follow the procedures and advice from Public Health England and the Director of Children’s Services, which may involve collapsing year group bubbles to minimise the risk of infection
Other Key Concerns
Are school meals safe?
Our catering staff have worked tirelessly to plan and deliver their services to ensure that students continue to receive nutritious hot meals in a safe and accessible way. The catering team are following a strict set of procedures which include:
Whilst preparing food, catering staff will comply with our catering partner’s robust risk assessment for preparing and serving food. You can find out more about how Mellor’s Catering are keeping staff and customers safe during COVID-19
Catering staff will wear their aprons, gloves and a mask when serving food
When serving food, catering staff will maintain social distancing
And meals will be prepacked for a swift grab and go experience to cut down queuing times
Students will use disposable cutlery
All tables and benches will be wiped down with disinfectant before, during and after breaks and lunches, ready for the next year group bubble to arrive
How do we pay for school meals?
- As we need to reduce physical contact, we ask that students do not bring in money to the academy to pay for food.
- All payments for food items will need to be made in advance using the sQuid payment system
- If you already have a sQuid account set up for your child, please log using the link below
- The cost of main meals is £2.00 per day or £10 for the week. Please note that it is important that you load the full value, for the week of meals, before 9pm on Sunday evening, otherwise it may not be processed in time for the day after
- We are continuing to subsidise any breakfast items throughout this half term, in order to provide support to our families during this uncertain time
Is it safe for my child to bring in a packed lunch?
- As long as your child is not sharing food with other students then it is safe for them to continue to bring in packed lunches
- Staggered lunch breaks mean that students are only having lunchtimes within their bubble, which reduces overall contact with others
- We have also provided many hand gel dispensers and we encourage regular washing of hands before eating and use of hand gel to sanitise their hands throughout the day
What does close contact mean?
According to the NHS website, examples of close contact include:
- 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
If a student or staff member becomes ill at the academy, what happens next?
- If a student or staff member becomes ill but is not symptomatic of COVID 19, we will follow our standard first aid procedures. First aiders will wear the appropriate PPE
- If a child is unwell with non-COVID symptoms we will ask the student to stand outside the classroom, wearing a mask, and wait for on call support from another staff member. They will then escort the student to the first aider in the medical room to assess and treat the student, and potentially contact parents if needed
- If the student has had an accident or medical condition resulting in a severe injury or medical state, we will call for immediate first aid support from a first aider who will attend the student. They will then contact the parent
- Absence from other schools for any other reason other than Covid-19 is dealt with in the usual way by reporting this to the attendance office
Why weren’t we told about this earlier?
- We can assure you that we are providing you with as much information as soon as possible
- We implement any new government guidance as soon as it is announced, and we continue to follow and review this throughout this difficult period
- We can understand that this is an anxious time for everyone involved. This means that we all have to play our part and work together to ensure the safety of everyone. This also means that the best way for you to stay informed is to engage with our official channels of communication which are through digital letters, social media, emails and updates to our website
I am a student at the academy and I am concerned, who do I go to?
- If you have any concerns about your safety, you can always talk to your teacher/pastoral support or a member of staff who you trust
- If you are struggling with anxiety and mental health issues through this period then please talk to your year manager or Form Tutor in the first instance
- Unsure who is your pastoral contact? You can find their contact details for your academy below
How will these measures affect exams?
- The government is investigating potential solutions and we will wait on the guidance of the Department for Education, as this is one of their top concerns
- Currently, we are still planning for the Autumn GCSE exams/resists (for the 2019/20 cohort) to be held in November. We will provide further information nearer the time
I have another concern/question that has not been answered, who can I speak to?