Year 11 COVID-19 Tests
COVID-19 Tests: Year 11 on Tuesday 5 January and Friday 8 January 2021
As you are aware (see Mass Testing), we will be offering COVID-19 tests to all staff and pupils who do not have symptoms of the virus - the recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature and/or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
While entirely voluntary, the government’s expectation is that schools will make their best endeavours to test all pupils twice in the week before they return to school. This will also help identify those who are carrying the virus without displaying symptoms, reducing the risk of transmission.
Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will also help staff and pupils to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. The tests are not an alternative to observing our existing COVID-19 preventative measures or the Tier 4 restrictions. Pupils are strongly discouraged from using these tests to facilitate gatherings such as parties and sleepovers.
By testing our staff and pupils and observing the Government's guidance for Tier 4, we will all be able to help to stop the virus spread and keep our school open as safely as possible.
All pupils are expected to engage in remote learning from Tuesday 5 January 2021. Revised timetables are now available - see Happy New Year and Remote Learning.
Pupils in Year 11 are currently scheduled to return to school for face to face lessons on Monday 11 January 2021, with pupils in Years 7-10 returning to their classrooms from Monday 18 January 2021. In preparation for the return of Year 11 to school and in order for them to be able to have two tests before they return to school we will be opening our test centre at Deer Park to pupils in Year 11 on Tuesday 5 and Friday 8 January .
As stated above, participation in this mass testing programme is entirely voluntary and we will only be testing those pupils whose parents complete and return formal consent forms. Pupils in Year 11 who decline the invitation to be tested are expected to return to school for face-to-face lessons alongside their peers on Monday 11 January.
Please be aware, this is a changing situation and we are learning as we go. We appeal to you for your patience and understanding.
- How to book a test
We have sent parents an email with a consent form as well as a privacy notice. These will need to be completed and returned before pupils can come into school to be tested.
Parents can then book times, through our Parents’ Evening booking system, for their child in Year 11 to have two tests on Tuesday 5 and Friday 8 January before they return to school on Monday 11 January. Our test centre will be open from 9:00am-12:30pm and 1:00pm-3:30pm.
We ask that parents avoid booking tests when pupils have been invited to attend ‘live’ lessons in MS Teams. It is important that pupils prioritise and attend these live sessions. See Revised Year 11 Timetable.
- Where the tests will be taken
Our test centre will be based in our Science Faculty. Pupils in Year 11 will complete their registration in S4 and will then administer their own swab test under supervision in S3.
- Arrival and access
Parents bringing pupils up to the school for their COVID-19 tests should use the rear drive and park in the car park closest to the astroturf. Parents should remain in their vehicles, while pupils walk directly to our test centre in our Science Faculty.
Pupils arriving independently should go directly to our Science Faculty around the outside of our buildings. There is no need for them to go through any other school building.
While on site, pupils are expected to follow our established COVID-19 preventative measures. They will be expected to wash their hands on arrival, observe social distancing and wear masks in our indoor areas.
Pupils are expected to follow the instructions of the staff managing our test centre. They will be marshalled and supported both with the registration and testing.
- The test
Pupils will be using the Lateral Flow Device test. These simple and quick tests will enable us to rapidly test pupils, students and staff, without the need for a laboratory.
Pupils will complete a self-administered supervised throat and nasal swab test. See How To Do Your COVID Test leaflet.
- Test results
Test results will be shared with parents.
If the test result is negative, a pupil will be able to continue his/her activities as normal. The pupil will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A pupil will be told if they test positive or negative on a ‘lateral flow’ test. A small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
If the test is positive, parents will be advised immediately and asked to collect their child from the school. Pupils who test positive 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). In exceptional circumstances, the school will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home if parents cannot take their child to a test centre. Parents can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test, parents should choose to visit a drive-through test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test. During this time while parents and pupils wait for the PCR result (via text/email), they will need to self-isolate. If the PCR test returns a positive result, the pupil will have to self-isolate and they and their family should follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
A 'close contact' of someone in the school 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.
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 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our staff and pupils throughout, but please contact us if you need this information in any other language or format or if you have any questions. You can call the office on 01285 653447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.