9th March 2021
Thank you for the amazing uptake we have had with the saliva testing programme. This has been successful in allowing us to get pupils back into school safely.
Unfortunately, we have had the disappointing news from the programme organisers this morning that, due to issues that have arisen as they have scaled up to more tests per day, they are having to suspend the programme for the time being. This means that there will not be any saliva tests taking place for the next few weeks. I have spoken to the CEO of the programme and she has asked me to pass on her apologies.
Saliva samples dropped off on Monday, 8th March by years 7-9 ARE being processed. However, that will be the last batch until we hear otherwise.
DO NOT ASK YOUR DAUGHTER OR SON TO COMPLETE ANY FURTHER SALIVA TESTS UNTIL WE TELL YOU THAT PROGRAMME IS RESTARTING.
Do not throw away your saliva testing kits or labels, as these will be needed when the programme gets back on track.
Our Back-Up Plan: Home LFD Testing
We are planning for the worst and so putting in an alternative plan until at least Easter.
Schools are being provided with LFD home-testing kits. This was not our first choice, but it is a viable alternative while we await the saliva testing programme to get back on track. I have been in contact with the Public Health England and the local authority to talk through this alternative plan and they are happy with the changes we are making as a result of the suspension of the saliva testing programme.
What follows is information about these LFD tests.
These tests are administered at home and come with everything that is needed to complete the test. The results appear in 30 minutes and you will then need to let NHS and the school know the outcome of the test.
Tests kits will be collected from school by students during school time. You do not need to come in to get them.
Tests are free of charge. Each student will receive a pack of 3 or 7 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results. We strongly encourage an adult to support all students in taking this test, especially younger students and especially at first.
The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Families will also need to tell the school the result of each test by clicking here. These links will also be found on the front page of our website.
If a student has a positive test result, they will need to stay home and self-isolate. If the result of the test is unclear (void) they will need to do another one. Students have the option to take the test the evening before school, but no earlier. Test results should always be reported.
Taking part in testing is voluntary and all students will be able to attend St Anne's whether they take part in testing or not. I am strongly encouraging all students to take part in the national testing programme.
Comprehensive guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test.
To help roll this programme out quickly and safely, we will be doing the following:
Training for students in school.
Years 10-13 will have their training on Wednesday, 10th March and will be able to pick up their test kits in school on Thursday, 11th March.
Years 7-9 will have their training on Monday, 15th March and will be able to pick up their test kits in school on the same day.
Webinar for parents
A webinar for all parents will be take place tomorrow evening on Wednesday, 10th March at 19:00. Parents will be able to ask questions at that webinar, and an FAQ will be sent out to parents after the event based on questions from parents.
The following link will take you to the webinar, and after the event, to a link to its recording.
Updates to the Website
We will be updating the website under COVID Arrangements to include information on the LFD Testing and the privacy notice for the data aspect of the testing.
This is not the way we planned to continue with COVID testing, and when the time is right and we are happy with the service that can be provided by the saliva testing programme, we intend to return to it. Thank you for your support. I hope to see as many of you as can make it at the webinar tomorrow evening, where questions can be asked. You are welcome to add questions to it ahead of the webinar if you would like.
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