4 January 2021
You will have heard in the press about the staggered re-opening in January and the implementation of rapid testing for secondary school students to limit the spread of Covid-19 after the Christmas break.
The information provided by the government on this can be found here:
As I hope you know, I have, and will continue to follow government guidance and directives and as such, I am writing to give you the information about our response to this. I have made the assumption that the tests promised will arrive on Monday and consequently, staff can be trained.
What is a rapid Covid-19 test?
A rapid Covid-19 test involves a simple swab, which the child can administer themselves in their mouth and nose under the supervision and guidance of a trained test assistant. We have attached a visual guide to show you what to expect:
Is testing compulsory?
Participation is voluntary and active consent is required. Students aged 16 and over can give their own consent and we expect Sixth form students to sign their own forms when attending to be tested. For children below 16 years of age you can provide consent using the form attached. If you decide that you would NOT like your child to be tested this does not prevent them coming into school. It would mean that if they were confirmed as a direct contact they would have to self-isolate for 10 days as opposed to being given a daily test on site at school for 5-7 days. This additional testing allows them to remain in school each day if they are negative (after the test has been processed) without the need to isolate.
How will we be told the test result?
Test results take at least 30 minutes to process so we will require all students to leave site once they have completed their test, unless they are part of the on-site provision. We will then contact, by telephone, anyone whose test result was positive. If you have not heard from us then this means your test result was negative. We do not have the capacity to phone every household as many staff will be assisting with testing so we can only contact positive cases.
How many times do I have to be tested?
This first round of testing is known as mass testing. This is where we test all members of our school community. To complete the testing process, you must be tested twice, 3 days apart, the two test times are listed on the table. It is important that your child keeps to the time allocated so we can manage groups. They do not have to wear uniforms to come to school to be tested but will need to have a mask available to use and ideally their own supply of tissues.
Where do students go for this test?
Enter via the lower school playground main student gate nearest to the Sports Hall. Make your to the amphitheater seating and await your tutor group being called in alphabetical order. The gym will be the testing centre and staff and signs will be in place to direct you to the correct entrance and route through. Parents will not be permitted to accompany students onto the site. Students will need to leave the site immediately after testing as there are groups in school who will be following a bubble protocol.
Photographs cannot be taken at any point during the process.
What happens if my child tests positive for Covid-19?
Your child and their household must self-isolate and follow the government guidance linked here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/ . They will also be required to complete an additional PCR home testing kit test which is available nationally. We will provide remote work for them to complete during their isolation time.
When can my child have their test?
See the table provided
What do parents need to do now?
Firstly, please complete the form attached. Use this to indicate consent for testing, which must be completed before your child’s test date. Any child who arrives on site without consent will not be permitted to have a test.
Thank you for your support.
Attached: NHS Test and Trace Consent Google Form using the link
NHS Visual Guide