Principal’s Letter to Parents – 26th February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you and your families fit and well. We are delighted with the most recent news that schools can open from Monday 8th March. In order to put a system in place for COVID testing, we are now writing to you to obtain consent for the testing of your child or children. Further details regarding testing dates and return to school dates for each of the year groups will be provided to you early next week in a separate communication.
COVID Testing – The lateral flow test (LFD)
Students will be offered lateral flow tests (LFDs) from Thursday 4th March. The aim of the tests is to break the chains of transmission of coronavirus and help to identify asymptomatic positive cases. They will need to take 3 tests which will prepare students to undertake testing at home thereafter. Students will be asked to self-administer the tests but trained staff will be readily available to supervise. The Homewood Testing Centre has been in operation for the Small School for a number of weeks now and the students have coped extremely well.
How will the tests work?
These tests do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in up to an hour.
What happens if my child tests positive?
Individuals testing positive will need to be collected from school immediately. They will need to self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance for households for those with a possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID 19) infection.
How accurate is a lateral flow device test (LFD)?
Government guidance states that lateral flow tests are very accurate, which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). Students who receive a negative test result from a lateral flow test must still follow social distancing guidance, wear face coverings when appropriate and wash their hands regularly.
Who will be doing the testing in schools and colleges?
In most cases, students will self-swab in order to provide a test sample, although support will be provided by staff, if necessary.
All students will receive a registration card when they are tested. They will need to register their details on a smart phone each time they are tested. This can be completed within 24 hours of the test being taken. This can be completed at home. The following information is required:
- Date of birth
- First line of address
- Email address
- Ethnic origin
- Mobile number
Completion of this form will allow test results to be shared with your child. Further detail will be provided to your child.
Participation in the programme requires active consent from the person being tested. Students in Years 7-11 will require consent from their parents or carers (see below). Students in Year 12 and above can complete their own consent form. Any student who does not take part in testing will still be able to attend school unless they develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a positive result. If you have not already submitted consent, please complete and submit the short consent form shown in the link below. Please could we ask you to support the school by completing the consent form above and submitting it by Tuesday 2nd March at the latest.
You will need to complete one form per child and the form should be submitted even if you choose not to give consent.
The attached Terms of Consent and Privacy Notice below detail the personal data required to participate in the programme.
Thank you very much for your continued support and co-operation. As said, I will write again to you at the beginning of next week with further details about testing arrangements and the return to school dates from Monday 8th March.
J K Single