Statement regarding the confirmed case of Covid-19 at Pontypridd High School
Since our return to school this September we have placed a great emphasis on welcoming back all students and staff into a safe, working environment. I believe we have done everything that could be expected but it is a fact that the coronavirus continues to be a significant issue in our community and this is impacting on a number of schools. It is regrettable that we have had a positive case reported and our thoughts are with the student and family involved.
I can confirm that the student in question was in Year 12 and did not attend school on Friday. As soon as we were informed about the positive test result, staff collected all available information and in discussion with the Director of Education made the decision for all Year 12 students to self-isolate for 14 days. Staff will work with these students to provide online learning during this period and we will be in contact over the weekend to share further information about how this will take place.
I fully understand the concern that this news may cause, and can assure you that we have worked in close liaison with all partners led by the Director of Education for RCT. We have been assured through our risk assessment that the environment at Pontypridd High remains as safe as possible for all students and staff.
Based on the information we have, all other year groups should attend school as planned from Monday September 14th. We will continue to operate the timetable that has worked well in the first two weeks of term. All of the safety measures will remain in place and we will continually review and adapt these where we think it is appropriate to do so.
In making this decision that is specific to Year 12 students only, we have considered the way in which they have attended lessons, registration periods, access to communal areas and that we have allowed Sixth Form students to leave the school site when appropriate. We have used our specific knowledge of student movements and are satisfied based on what we know that close and extended contact between students in other Year groups such as Year 13 has not taken place at all or has been extremely limited. As such advice tells us that no other students fall into the ‘at risk’ category in terms of the close contact made. As an added measure it should be noted that students have all been wearing masks in communal areas, study rooms and when moving between classrooms whilst in school.
Toilet facilities have been accessed in limited numbers according to our plan and 'sanitised' frequently through an enhanced cleaning programme. This cleaning programme has been in operation in classrooms also between classes and at break and lunchtimes. In terms of school transport our advice at present is that no further action is necessary because all children are wearing face masks on school buses. Indeed, this emphasises the importance of students adhering to the face covering expectation.
On that basis and the advice we have received, I am satisfied that we have made an informed decision that only one year group needs to be included in the decision to self-isolate at this time. This has been supported by the LA through the Director of Education.
I trust you will understand the nature of the decision we have had to take at this time and please be assured you will be kept up to date on any new arrangements or further information.
Thank you as always for your support with this matter and please contact us at school should you require any further clarification.