I am writing to express genuine thanks for your support and understanding in, what has been a difficult week for our school, in terms of Covid infections. As you will be aware, Newcastle has been one of the hardest hit regions in the entire country in terms of Covid infections, and at Jesmond Park Academy there has been a corresponding increase in cases this week which has resulted in a greater number of close contact isolations.
In terms of transparency, we are continuing to provide daily updates on the number of year group cases as they arise in the key information and updates area of our school website. At the time of writing, the number of cases either confirmed by a PCR test or awaiting confirmation by a PCR test following a positive LFD test over the last 7 days are as follows in each year group:
- Year 7 - 5
- Year 8 - 4
- Year 9 - 13
- Year 10 - 14
- Year 12 - 8
The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and school community is always our number one priority and I would like to reassure parents that we are taking all necessary actions to keep everyone safe, and we continue to take advice from our colleagues in Public Health.
In response to our increased numbers, there was a review meeting held with Public Health England on Wednesday 7th July and a further meeting this morning, on Friday 9th July. Public Health have looked at the epidemiology of our cases and the control measures implemented and are very satisfied with everything we are doing. In fact, they are saying that the number of cases we meet does not meet the threshold for a more formal multi-agency Outbreak Control meeting. The rise in cases at Jesmond Park Academy mirrors the higher transmission rates locally and nationally, as you may have already seen in the news. All schools in Newcastle have seen a rise in cases, although no Newcastle secondary school has had to close or shut down full year groups - the message is to keep year groups open unless there is a business continuity risk not to, e.g., staffing levels decrease to an unmanageable level. Thankfully, whilst staff absence is also on the rise, we are not at that stage yet. We know how unsustainable the current situation is and we are monitoring the situation closely.
Thank you again for your continued support and the messages that so many of you have sent in. This has been a particularly difficult term with the increase in the new Delta variant, which is highly contagious, and we could not have coped without the continued support of students, staff, and the parent body.