RE: All learners returning to school & NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for learners
I am sure that you have heard or read the news that the Prime Minister has set out the plan for the return of all learners during week beginning 8th March 2021 in a phased manner. Whilst I understand the concern and anxiety that the return of learners may raise for some of you, please be assured that at St John Fisher Catholic College, we continue to work hard to keep everybody as safe as possible. Being back in school will help our children in their learning and wellbeing, and I look forward to warmly welcoming all learners back to school.
Until Thursday 11th March, unless detailed below as returning to school, learners must work from home.
On Monday 8th March, we will welcome Year 11, 12 & 13 who have consented to test from 8:45am. They will then go to lessons as usual. Those who have not consented must remain at home and join remote lessons.
On Monday 8th March, we will also welcome any vulnerable learners and children of critical workers who have consented to testing. Those who have not consented must remain at home and join remote lessons.
On Tuesday 9th March, we will welcome Year 9 & 10 who have consented to test from 8:45am. They will then go to lessons as usual. Those who have not consented must remain at home and join remote lessons.
On Tuesday 9th March, we will welcome all Year 11, 12 & 13 learners, including those who have not consented to testing.
On Wednesday 10th March, we will welcome Year 7 & 8 who have consented to test from 8:45am. They will then go to lessons as usual. Those who have not consented must remain at home and join remote lessons.
On Wednesday 10th March, we will welcome all Year 9 & 10 learners, including those who have not consented to testing.
On Thursday 11th March, we will welcome all learners from all year groups, including those who have not consented to test.
Opening our school wider from 8th March in a safe manner is my main priority so with this at the forefront of my mind, our school offers lateral flow tests, which is a type of asymptomatic testing that is presently carried out at St John Fisher Catholic College. The test is voluntary, but I would encourage everyone to consider giving consent. The Government says that up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat (detailed below). Results, which take 30 minutes from testing, are shared. For participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians are informed.
If you are happy for your child to be tested when they return to school, they will be tested 3 times from 8th-19th March. Please fill in the online registration and consent form by Thursday 5th March. Please complete this consent form even if you have previously completed a consent form.
Please complete one consent form for each learner. Learners taking the test will be supervised by trained staff.
Moving beyond this first fortnight of testing, the Government have advised that learners will be expected to test at home with testing kits. Once we have any more details of this, we will let you know.
Also, with immediate effect, Government guidance states that in addition to face coverings being worn by all staff and learners when moving around the school in corridors and communal areas, face coverings must be worn in classrooms. This does not apply to practical PE lessons. The Government had recommended this precautionary measure for a limited time, with this measure being reviewed by the Government at Easter.
Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that everyone at St John Fisher Catholic College remains safe. We will support our learners throughout, but please contact us if you need this information in any other language or if you have any questions. You can call the office on 01782-307551 or email email@example.com.
What if a person tests positive?
Participating staff and learners 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. A person who receives a positive case will need to self-isolate and follow guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
They will be able to stay in school and resume activities as normal. A learner 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 learners 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 who has tested positive for COVID-19 will need to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme 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 https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. As always, thank you for your continued support. I look forward to welcoming all learners back by 11th March.
Mr G Murray
Head of School