If your question is not answered below, please send us an email.
How does the testing process work?
The person being tested blows their nose into a tissue and throws this into a hygienic waste bin. This gets rid of excess mucus.
The person being tested will then locate their tonsils using a mirror.
They will then rub the fabric swab over both tonsils at the back of their throat at least three times.
They then put the same swab gently into one nostril until they feel a slight resistance and rotate it 5 times.
They then place their swab into a testing vial and the testing processor will then complete the test.
When the test is complete, the testing processor will upload the results of the test to the national Test and Trace database.
For mass testing, which will take place before students return to in-school teaching and learning, students will have to be tested twice and there will be a gap of 3-5 days between the first and second tests.
For serial testing, which will be offered if a child is identified as a close contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, a test will be completed every day for seven days. If the student continues to test negative, they may continue to attend in-school teaching and learning.
Who will be administering the tests?
Children and adults will complete the swabbing process themselves, under the guidance of a trained staff member or volunteer.
The testing team will be made up of school staff and volunteers from the local community. All will undertake training provided by NHS Test and Trace, prior to testing taking place. This training consists of 6 online modules, each of which ends with an assessment. Only staff who have passed the assessment are permitted to commence testing.
When will tests be taking place?
Mass testing of all students and staff, for whom consent is given, will take place during the weeks beginning 4th, 11th and 18th January.
You will be notified by email of the time and date of your son/daughter’s test and we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible.
If I do not give consent for my son/daughter to be tested, will they be allowed to return to school?
Mass testing, which will be taking place during the first few weeks of term while students are completing School at Home, will be optional. If you do not consent to your son/daughter being tested, then they will be permitted to return to in-school teaching and learning with the rest of their year group when their period of School at Home ends.
Once students have returned to in-school teaching and learning, if your son/daughter is identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they will be required to self-isolate for up to ten days. However, if you consent to ‘serial testing’ your son/daughter will be tested every day for seven days and provided that they do not test positive, they will be allowed to continue to attend school and will not have to self-isolate.
What is a ‘close contact’?
A ‘close contact’ is someone who has had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. This contact will have taken place within 48 hours prior to the person testing positive showing symptoms of COVID-19. If the person testing positive is asymptomatic then the 48 hours period begins from when they were tested.
We will never disclose the name of a student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and if your son/daughter is identified as a ‘close contact’, there will be no appeal against this.
My son/daughter has already had a positive COVID-19 test and therefore should have antibodies, will they need to have a test?
As mentioned above, students do not have to have a test to return to school when their period of School at Home ends. However, if they are identified as a ‘close contact’ of someone who has tested positive, then they would have to self-isolate for up to ten days, if they did not participate in the serial testing offered.
What time will learning begin on 5th January?
The school day will begin with tutor time at 8:35 on Tuesday 5th January for all students. Work for tutor time and each timetabled lesson will be shared on Satchel:One.
When will my son/daughter return for in-school teaching and learning?
We endeavour to meet the government’s expectation that Years 11 and 13 students will return for in-school teaching and learning from Monday 11th January. However, the limited time available for us to implement the mass testing programme may mean that their return date is later during this week.
Similarly, we endeavour to meet the government’s expectation that Years 7-10 and Year 12 students will return for in-school teaching and learning from Monday 18th January. However, the return date may be later during this week.
Exact arrangements for return to in-school teaching and learning will be shared with you as soon as it can be confirmed.
Will school busses operate when students return for in-school teaching and learning?
My son/daughter had a public examination scheduled in January. Will this still be going ahead?
Yes. All public examinations will be going ahead. If your child is due to complete an examination during this period, you will receive a communication by email with details of the arrangements for this examination i.e. arrival time, arrival location etc.
Will testing take place prior to any examinations?
Where it is possible to do so, we will endeavour to do this. However, we will only receive our equipment to conduct testing on Monday 4th January at the earliest. We will then need to complete setup of our testing centre and training for our staff and volunteers. Therefore, it may not be possible for us to honour this intention.
How will this current period of School at Home affect summer examinations?
The government has not indicated that there will be any changes to summer examinations, beyond those changes announced already. However, if the situation does change, then we will share this information with you as soon as possible.