THIS PROGRAMME HAS BEEN PAUSED. IN ITS PLACE, WE ARE MOVING TO THE NATIONAL PROGRAMME OF LFD TESTING.
We are pleased that St Anne’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College is part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Testing Programme. The saliva test is more sensitive than the swab tests, and it more comfortable to be tested. It will also reduce the impact on teaching time once we are back in fully as it is conducted at home.
The saliva test is very simple and involves collecting a sample of saliva in a plastic pot. The test used is the one featured in a BBC News piece in July. Free tests are offered to all pupils and all staff at the school. Information about the programme can be found here: https://www.southampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19/covid-testing/hiow-testing-programme/schools.aspx
Students receive a testing pack which contains pots and a leaflet that shows how to collect a sample at home. These are then dropped off in school on specific days. Parents receive notification of the results via text message and email.
Why is this important?
Knowing who has COVID-19 is vital to stopping its spread. Alongside all the other measures we are taking to control the virus, this testing will help us to keep our communities safer and keep our schools open. We are also paving the way for this test to be used to help in the recovery from COVID-19 across the country. Testing is not compulsory, but we strongly encourage you take part.
How will the testing work?
Testing for keyworker and vulnerable students started in January 2021 during the lockdown. The rest of the school population will take their first test before returning to school, and then testing will continue weekly thereafter.
We deliver a series of engagement activities in school, provided by the University of Southampton, on the days before they take their tests so they can learn about how the test works and how regular testing can help keep them and their community safer.
The testing kits contain enough sample pots and labels for eight weeks of testing so please store them safely. It is important that your child takes the test when they wake up - before they have anything to eat or drink and before they brush their teeth.
Once the sample has been labelled and bagged, your child will need to bring it to school with them and put it into the big plastic box at the entrance as they go into the school building. The tests will be collected and taken to the test centre on the same day. Test results will be returned in the next 24-48 hours and you will receive a text message telling you the result of your child’s test.
If your child tests positive, everyone in the household must start isolating immediately. The programme team will contact you and ensure you get the help and advice you need. Please note that this test is for testing children who do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If your child does have COVID-19 symptoms they should not attend school and you should order a test through 111.nhs.uk or by calling 119.
If you child is absent from school or forgets to bring in their test, they should bring a new test sample in for the next scheduled testing day. The school will have some spare packs to hand out to anyone who loses their sample pots but we would encourage you to keep them somewhere safe as spares are limited.
See The video at the bottom of the page for more information on how to take the test.
Important information about your data
To enable the partnership running the COVID-19 Testing Programme between University Hospital Southampton, local government, and the University of Southampton to deploy the test kits to the school and to manage the collection of samples from schools, our school will be sharing contact details of pupils and their parents or guardians, as well as staff, with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
As you know from our school’s Privacy Notice, which can be found on our website under policies, we are very serious about protecting the personal data of all members of our school community, and we will maintain this approach in relation to this data sharing. We will only be sharing limited contact details. The NHS will share confidentially with nominated senior leadership within the School positive test results to enable immediate initiation of contact tracing to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
The Privacy Notice for this COVID-19 Testing Programme has been included with this letter (see link at the bottom of this email). Please do take the time to read this. If you have any questions or would like to exercise your right to object to this data sharing, please call the contact centre on the number below.
You should find answers to any questions on the testing programme on www.southampton.gov.uk/covid19testing where there is also a web chat service. Alternatively, you can call the contact centre on 0808 196 2282 (lines are open Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 5.00pm).
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