If you have any queries then please contact admin@simonballe.herts.sch.uk

Please can I also remind you that if your child tests positive, please continue to use the COVID email address – covid19@simonballe.herts.sch.uk


Information update (November 2021)

On Saturday 27 November, the Prime Minister announced new temporary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK.

The new measures will be introduced as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant while we gather more information. We will continue to keep this under review as the situation develops.


Face coverings

Face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and students in Year 7 and above, unless they are exempt.

Students (in Year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport unless they are exempt.

We request that students bring their own face coverings with them.


Contact Tracing and Isolation

The current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place. In addition to these, any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. You will be contacted directly and told to isolate.



All eligible staff and students aged 12 and over are encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters.

Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and adults, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.




Information update (September 2021)

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 (x2)
  • 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

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal. 

When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test

Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do. They should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).

If anyone in our school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, we will send them home and they should follow public health advice.

For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.

If a student is awaiting collection, they will be left in a room on their own if possible and safe to do so. A window will be opened for fresh air ventilation. Appropriate PPE will also be used if close contact is necessary.  

Ensuring good hygiene for everyone:

Hand hygiene, frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. You should continue to ensure that students clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser.

Respiratory hygiene The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important.

Ventilation – When school is in operation, it is important to ensure it is well ventilated and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained. 

Vaccines for students aged 16 and over

We have been advised that for those interested, students aged 16 or 17 can get a vaccine at a walk-in clinic. More information can be found at A Healthier Future.


Frequently asked questions

Q: Why you should I do a LFT test regularly

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

You should do your rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

Even if you’re vaccinated, there’s still a chance you can pass COVID-19 on, so you should keep getting tested regularly.

Q: How accurate are the tests?

 Response: The test is to test people who are showing no symptoms. There has been a lot of coverage about how accurate the tests are and we learn that there is more accuracy if the person is confident in performing the task carefully- hence the 3 tests. However it is known that they are not 100% accurate but all schools and many people believe that it is better to try and catch any asymptomatic persons, rather than not testing at all.

Q: I completely understand the need for the LFT but my child has a severe gag reflex and will be sick if he has to swab the back of his throat. 

Response: Please fill in the consent and please tell them not to worry. Instead of having a throat and nostril swabbing they can request to have “Nasal” swab only. This means they do both nostrils instead of their throat. 

Q: My child suffers terribly from nose bleeds which can lead to them being sick and passing out.  They are very worried about putting the swab up their nose. 

 Response: If you child is worried about or has specific concerns with doing a nose swab or a throat swab they should inform the tester, the tests are carried out by the student themself so they will only do what they feel comfortable doing, the tester is there to guide the student and ensure it is done correctly and safely 

Q: How will we know the test result? What happens if it is a positive?

Response: You will only hear if it is a positive result. You will then have to immediately isolate as a household for 10 days. The young person does not need a further test. The family members will only need a test if they get symptoms. If there are siblings, they must isolate and not come into school. We will inform teachers and arrange for work to be sent. 

Q: I have read this article which suggests that that is not safe, other studies say it’s pointless and has a low percentage of success, I feel you are not listening to this evidence.

Response: Schools are governed by the Government and the DFE as their respective body, we are instructed to follow their guidance and procedures as are all schools in the county.

We will endeavour to ensure all students are supported throughout the schools testing process

If you feel unsure, do not give consent.

Q:  I am really worried that some students will not be tested and my child could be sitting next to a positive case.

Response: This is always a possibility and the tests are not compulsory or enforceable. We will continue to have controls in place, seating plans and close contact tracing, the risk is further mitigated by the wearing of masks in class and communal areas.

Q: Have you any ideas as to how we can organise this at home?

Response: Many parents will have more than one child at home who will be testing and in some cases, adults will be too. We suggest that tests are done early evening, in a relaxed way. The results take 30 minutes to develop after testing. The problem some families might have with a morning test is that often families are in a hurry in the morning and this may lead to a rushed test. Also, if positive, you can notify the school the evening before so we can try and organise work, track and trace etc as quickly as possible. 

Q: We have had Covid in the past 90 days, does my child still need a test?

No, If your child has had a confirmed case of Covid in the last 90 days you will need to work out when the 90 days ends and then LFT testing can resume. The 90 days should be counted from the day the positive took place.

Q: I am still worried and do not want my child to return to school. Is this ok and can you send work?

Response: I am afraid that this is not acceptable and this will be marked as unauthorised absence. Schools are working extremely hard to mitigate risks and also with the vaccination rate, infections are falling. 


These documents are the latest guidance about Covid-19 in schools.

Schools – Myth busting

Letter to parents and carers from Jim McManus_230920

Masks non medical

Masks medical