February 3, 2022

Rector’s eNews – 02 February 2022

/ Rector's eNews

As we enter the third week of this term, I need to update you on the fact that over 10 boys have tested positive for Covid-19 during this term and that, whilst this is only 6% of the school, we are keeping a watchful eye on any developments. We certainly cannot bring the school to a halt, but have given consideration to a host of issues, for example to venues for activities; in that regard, we held an assembly outdoors in the Amphitheatre on Monday despite it being a scorching day and the Amphitheatre not being the best environment for engaging with the whole school.

Over the past couple of days, the medical protocol has changed and currently our position is as follows, guided by up-to-date medical advice and taking into account that we are a full boarding school:

Symptomatic positive cases:

  • To isolate for up to 7 days – to go home if at all possible. If parents live out of country or cannot collect their son, to isolate in the San
  • Should a boy’s symptoms clear and he tests negative within this time, he will return to normal school

Asymptomatic positive cases:

  • Do not admit to the San
  • Do not need to isolate
  • May continue with sport if they are assessed by Mr James Fleming (tel 071 773 8226) and pass a stress test

There will be no testing done of close contacts, unless they develop symptoms

Any boy presenting to the San with Covid-19 symptoms will undergo a rapid test

At our assembly on Monday, Mr Sibs Ncamani, Deputy Rector: Pastoral, explained to the school the relevance of two Apps which boys and parents are able to utilise. The first of these is the Guardian App which we have employed as a method of trying to combat bullying and other anti-social behaviour at Michaelhouse. Boys and parents are able to download this App from the App Store and use it to report such behaviour. Mr Ncamani preceded his explanation by saying that, naturally, we want to create an environment free of bullying and one in which boys are able directly to approach a prefect, a tutor, any member of staff, Housemaster, school counsellor or him as Deputy Rector or Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) if there is an issue which needs to be addressed. But the App is there for use when boys or parents find it difficult to approach one of the above directly at school. The anonymous reporting that sometimes happens when the App is used may not make it as easy to resolve a situation, on occasion, as the detail may be insufficient. Nevertheless, it is a start in guiding key staff to an awareness of a situation which needs investigation.

The other App which we hope will also be useful is one which helps with the pronunciation of names which may be thought difficult to pronounce by some. In this case, boys may give their names to their Housemasters, and we will develop a mechanism through which those who are not sure of the pronunciation of such names are able to listen to them on the App; naturally, not everyone will be word-perfect, but this is a genuine attempt to help people to pronounce the names of others at Michaelhouse correctly. Our thanks go to Mr Ncamani for his innovative approach in this respect.

Appendix A – What is Grooming
Appendix B -Transformation and Diversity Committee Minutes 25Jan2022
Appendix C – Bocconi University
Appendix D -Transport Guidelines to Parents

Read the full Rector’s eNews here


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