Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
This letter is aiming to give you some information about the covid testing programme that we have been running in school and aim to use with as many students as possible on their return to school.
We have been running our testing programme with staff and our key worker students since the start of January and you may have noticed the recent government guidelines about how covid testing fits into the return to school in the week beginning 8th March. Here are the headlines:
● All students should be offered a lateral flow (LFT) test on return to school which involves throat and nasal swabbing.
● Student participation in the testing programme is not compulsory but is strongly encouraged.
● Students should be tested 3 times at school, each test being 3 to 5 days apart.
● To facilitate this, secondary schools may stagger the return of students back to school.
● After the third test, students should be provided with home testing kits, with the aim of completing tests twice per week.
In order for your child to take part in the testing programme, we need to have consent. If your child is in Years 7 to 11, this consent must be provided by parents. If your child is in the sixth form, they may give their own consent. Please click on the link below in order to complete a very short survey and give consent for testing. Whilst this is not compulsory, you are strongly encouraged to give this as part of the national strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19. The survey also gives you a link to FAQs about the use of your data. If you have previously consented (for example your child is part of the key worker group), you are asked to complete this new consent form again. Consent needs to be given by Friday 5th March at 12pm.
What Testing Looks Like
There will naturally be some anxieties and questions about what the process looks like. Please watch the linked video below, which will hopefully answer some of those questions. Staff will be on hand to guide students through the process and it takes less than 5 minutes from beginning to end.
When and How Often?
Testing will happen on your child’s first day back to school and then twice more during the first two weeks. See the timetable below for exact dates. After their third test, students will be provided with kits to test themselves twice a week at home.
Sixth form students should expect a separate communication in the coming days to inform them of their specific testing time on Monday 8th March.
Monday 8th March: Year 11 and 6th form Test 1
Tuesday 9th March: Years 7 & 9 Test 1
Wednesday 10th March: Years 8 & 10 Test 1
Thursday 11th March: Year 11 and 6th form Test 2
Friday 12th March: Years 7 & 9 Test 2
Monday 15th March: Years 8 & 10 Test 2
Tuesday 16th March: Year 11 and 6th Form Test 3
Wednesday 17th March: Years 7 & 9 Test 3
Thursday 18th March: Years 8 & 10 Test 3
Friday 19th March: Testing kits sent home
If you or your children have any further questions regarding the testing, these can be submitted via this simple Google Form: https://forms.gle/5uXveio1uaxLNf1T7
Please note the following answers to some frequently asked questions:
* If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days you will not have to do any testing in school. Please indicate this on the consent form.
* If you test positive you will have to go home and self-isolate for 10 days. You will also need to take a PCR test at a covid testing centre.
* You may still be identified as a close contact of a positive test case and asked to self-isolate as a result of this.
* You will need to complete at least 3 tests in school before being given home-testing kits to complete at home by yourself.
* Your test result will be known to us within 30 minutes and we will inform you if your result is positive. All test results, positive or negative, will be sent to the registered phone number and email address.
* If you do not consent to testing or forget to fill in the consent form, you should attend school as normal starting on the day indicated in the letter sent home on Friday 28th February.
Thank you for your support with this.
Geraint Edwards & Lawrence Foster