Dear Parents / Carers
Further to yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister on ‘the roadmap for leaving lockdown’, we are pleased to confirm that our schools will be reopening to all pupils from Monday 8 March.
The Prime Minister stated that secondary aged pupils should be tested ‘as they return to the classroom from Monday 8 March’ and has said that secondary schools have some flexibility on staggering the return to enable this testing to take place effectively. The testing that we will be using in school for those without coronavirus symptoms is a new, quicker COVID-19 test known as a “lateral flow test”. Up to one-third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing, we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep our return to school as safe as possible. The test is voluntary, but we would encourage everyone to take it.
If you are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in the online form using the link below by 6pm Thursday 25th February. Please ensure that you fill in the correct form for the year group that your child is in. There are some frequently asked questions at the end of this letter to offer further information.
Year 7 to Year 11 Pupils (under 16s) https://forms.gle/s2HybDPGbR5iU4Sn6
Year 12 and Year 13 Pupils https://forms.gle/ZnqtNkHw3drtdDSf8
Our return to school will require a good deal of planning with school leaders over the coming days and we would ask for your patience as we consider the best way to bring secondary-aged pupils back safely during the week beginning 8 March. We will, therefore, be in touch over the next week with more details of the programme for the return of each year group and the mass testing of pupils.
We are delighted that we will be able to welcome children and young adults back to our schools after this most recent period of lockdown and thank you all for your hard work in supporting your children during this recent period of home learning. Please don’t forget to click on the link above to complete the consent form.
CEO, Our Lady of Lourdes CMAT
What if a student tests positive?
Participating staff and students 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.
Students 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). The school will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home or you can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test yourselves, they should choose to visit a drive-through or walk-in test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test. During this time while they wait for the PCR result (via text / email) they will need to self-isolate.
If the PCR test returns a positive result you will all have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
They will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A student 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 students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
What if my child develops symptoms?
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 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.