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Testing for COVID 19 in school
In order to allow students to safely return to schools and in line with Government guidelines, all students will take part in COVID ‘Lateral Flow Testing’. This is a process that involves the student swabbing the back of their throat and nose and returns a result after only 30 minutes. The process is simple and safe and will be supervised by staff that have received approved training. This testing is mandated by government and will allow us to ensure the safety of staff, students and all members of our community.
Between Monday 8th and Wednesday 10th March, we will ask students to attend the school at a particular time to receive the test. Following the test they will return home.
All testing will take place in the canteen at the upper site on Ordnance Street and students should proceed through the main gates towards reception and then proceed up the external stairs towards the canteen. This route will be clearly marked.
From Thursday 11th March students will return to school at normal times and for normal lessons. Between Thursday 11th March and Friday 19th March students will receive a further two tests, and these will take place during the school day. We will provide further detail on this process in the Parentmail on Friday 5th March. Following this, students will receive home testing kits and instructions to complete tests at home.
Prior to attending their testing slot, parents and carers will need to complete a consent form giving the school permission to carry out these tests. The consent form must be completed online and I include the link below. Please ensure that this is completed as far in advance of the test as possible, and for students that have already completed a paper consent form, we would still ask you to complete the electronic version.
On entering the school, students will need to complete a registration document that will allow us to record their test result and inform them of their result. This is a fairly straight forward process involving entering details on a website, but it can be time consuming on the first run through. It is also very important that students come to school with the following information: Home address including postcode and their mobile phone number (or a parents phone number if you would like the result sent here). I would be very appreciative if you could show the following video to your child for them to be prepared to register.
Following registration students will be provided with guidance on how to complete the test by trained members of staff. For more information on this process please see the video below:
Lateral flow test results go direct to students’ phone and / or email address. We recommend that students bring their phones into school for this purpose. If a student receives a positive test result, the student will immediately be notified by the NHS to their phone or email and the child and close contacts will be required to self-isolate for 10 days following the date of the test. If a positive result is received on the first test (between the 8th and 10th March) students will already be on their way home and should self-isolate from when they return home. Please can you ring the school reception on 01634 543123 press Option 2 to inform us that your child has had a positive test.
I would like to thank you in advance for your support in allowing a safe and COVID secure return to school for our community and would like to summarise the following key points:
- Please fill in the consent form in advance: Online Consent Form
- Students should only attend on their timeslot and you should refer to the accompanying document for this slot.
- All tests will take place at the Ordnance Street site.
- Please watch the two videos linked to above for guidance on registration and carrying out the test.
Early Help is a supportive service, exploring yours and your families’ wellbeing that will work with you to overcome challenges or issues. Early Help can access services and support from within their own service or via referral to relevant agencies e.g. counselling.
The Early Help service can make relevant referrals e.g. food bank, hygiene bank and are available during the summer break and beyond, so there are staff available Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm) and dependent on the support needed, you may be able to have a specific Early Help Worker to lead the support with you.
If you want to speak to a Hub directly to know what is available to you in your area you can call your local hub and ask to speak to their duty worker:
Strood Children and Family Hub – 01634 33 55 33
Chatham Children and Family Hub – 01634 33 88 33
Wayfield Children and Family Hub – 01634 33 77 33
Gillingham Children and Family Hub – 01634 33 88 77