Leeds City Academy COVID FAQ
At Leeds City 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: 7 October 2021
Wearing of Face Coverings
For the safety of our academy, we would like to ask that students and staff continue to bring a face covering to the academy and wear these in corridors and communal areas including the assembly hall. Whilst this is not a compulsory measure, we would like to encourage our academy community to continue to follow this important safety measure to keep one another safe. Students will be permitted to wear face coverings in classrooms should they wish to. If your child does not have a face covering, they will be issued with one on the first day.
You can learn more about this decision in our letter shared on Wednesday 1st September.
Frequently Asked Questions
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?
As of 27 August, "Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons"
For further information about this, please click here to review Schools COVID-19 operational guidance from the Department for Education.
What if my child needs to self-isolate?
- As stated above, individuals below the age of 18 years and 6 months do not need to self isolate if they are a close contact to, or live in the same household, as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Should your child become symptomatic, please notify the academy, and ensure your child remains at home following government guidance on self-isolation.
- A PCR test must be booked as soon as possible and only following receipt of a negative result can your child return to school. If your child is a close contact of someone who has tested positive, there is no longer the requirement for them to self-isolate.
- If the PCR test is positive, and your child isn't fully vaccinated, your child must follow self-isolation guidance, until they advised it is safe to return to school. The self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.
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
- 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
- Staff and students completing lateral flow tests at home until the end of September
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
Following a trust-wide review of latest Department of Education guidance and Joint Union advice, the following risk assessment has been put in place.
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 occurring.
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 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.
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
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
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
I have another concern/question that has not been answered, who can I speak to?