We are writing with an update on arrangements for your child’s learning over the next few weeks.
Lessons during w/c 4th, 11th and 18th January
The Government has confirmed that there will be a staggered start to the new term for pupils in secondary schools. This is one of the measures being taken nationally to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
• All pupils in Years 7 to 11 will have lessons online from Monday 4th January onwards.
• Pupils will follow their usual timetable from home (online via MS Teams).
• Please ensure that your child logs on punctually for all lessons (including registration and assembly).
• The children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will be able to attend school. Please let us know (via email -email@example.com) if you would like your child to attend school from Monday onwards.
On Monday 11th January, all pupils in Year 11 will return to school. All pupils in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will continue with online lessons.
We will communicate arrangements for the Year 11 Creative IMedia exam, which is scheduled to take place on Monday 11th January to Year 11 pupils and their parents as soon as we receive the relevant information from the exam board.
From Monday 18th January onwards, school will be open to all pupils.
COVID-19 Testing in School
We are working to keep our school as safe as possible. You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is being introduced in schools across the country using new ‘lateral flow tests’.
The tests will be supervised by trained school staff and there will be minimal disruption to lessons. The tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. Results are available within 30 minutes and will be shared directly with participating pupils and their parents.
We will be testing all participating staff and pupils twice during their first week back at school. In addition, pupils who are identified as close contacts of someone testing positive will be offered daily testing to avoid having to isolate.
Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help staff and pupils to remain in school safely. The test is voluntary, but I would encourage everyone to take it.
Please find additional information about the testing on pages 4 and 5 of this letter. If you are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in the enclosed consent statement and return it to your child’s Form Teacher on their next day in school. You may also reply by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be sending out an online form for parents to complete next week should this be more convenient.
If you have any queries or concerns, or need support in any way, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the school and our efforts on behalf of your child.
Wishing you and your families a safe, happy and warm new year.
Mr C. Dillon
Mr S. Dixon
COVID-19 Rapid Tests Registration and Consent Form – Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11
For pupils aged 16 years or younger (in Year 7 to 11) – this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to enrol.
Pupils aged over 16 (in year 12 and 13) can complete this form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent / guardian.
1. I have had the opportunity to consider the information provided by the school about the testing, ask questions and have had these answered satisfactorily, based on the information presented in the letter.
2. I have discussed the testing with my child and my child is happy to participate. If on the day of testing they do not wish to take part, then they will not be made to do so and consent can be withdrawn at any time ahead of the test.
3. I consent to my child having a nose and throat swab for a lateral flow test.
4. I consent that my child’s sample(s) will be tested for the presence of COVID-19.
5. I understand that if my child’s results are negative on the lateral flow test, I will not be contacted by the school except where they are a close contact of a confirmed positive.
6. If the lateral flow test indicates the presence of COVID-19, I consent to my child having a nose and throat swab for confirmatory PCR testing, which shall be sent the same day to an NHS Test & Trace laboratory.
7. I consent that they will need to self-isolate following a positive lateral flow test result, until the results of the confirmatory PCR have been received.
8. I agree that if my child’s test results are confirmed to be positive from this PCR test, I will report this to the school and I understand that my child will be required to self-isolate following public health advice.
9. I consent that if a close contact of my child tests positive, but my child has tested negative, they will continue to attend school but will be tested every day at school for 7 days.
First Name (of pupil)
Last Name (of pupil)
Date of Birth (of pupil)
Currently showing any COVID-19 symptoms?
Name of parent or guardian (print)
Signature of parent
Relationship to pupil
Do these tests work?
In validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, these tests were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity, but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently.
What if a pupil tests positive?
Participating staff and pupils who test positive will be informed about their results individually. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be notified. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results.
Pupils will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in local and regional testing sites) on the same day (or as soon as possible). The school will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home or you can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test yourselves, they should choose to visit a drive-through test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test.
During this time while they wait for the PCR result (via text / email), they will need to self-isolate.
If the PCR test returns a positive result, you will have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
They will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A pupil will only be told if they test positive on a ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative. A small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
What if a close contact at school/college tests positive?
A close contact of someone in school/college who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to return to school if they agree to be tested once a day for 7 days and the test is negative. If they do not want to take the test, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines.
This does not apply to household members or close contacts outside of school who will still need to self-isolate. Further details will be provided at the time, but if you would prefer to self-isolate instead of doing daily testing, you can.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland) or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.