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Letter to Parents and Carers - End of Onsite Testing From 19th January


Please read the letter below regarding the ending of onsite COVID testing as of Wednesday 19th January - to download a PDF version of the letter, please CLICK HERE.

13th January 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have offered onsite testing to all of our secondary pupils since January 2020 to support our families through the COVID pandemic. The testing programme has been a real success, as we have identified asymptomatic coronavirus cases and been able to prevent virus transmission. However, we have always been aware that lessons are disrupted, and pupils miss out as they leave class to undertake lateral flow testing.

The new guidance advising 7 day testing for close contacts has increased the amount of on-site testing significantly, and now includes all pupils age 5 and above. We have trialled providing this on site, but with the increase in cases in the community, we are unable to meet the increased demand.

After a careful review of onsite testing, from Wednesday 19th January we will no longer be offering twice weekly testing on site.

From Thursday 20th January we are asking all pupils to test at home, bringing our testing programme in line with Government guidance which is as follows:

Asymptomatic testing

Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within settings.

Staff, secondary school pupils and students should continue to test twice weekly at home, with lateral flow device (LFD) test kits, 3-4 days apart. Testing remains voluntary but is strongly encouraged. Settings with secondary aged pupils … should also retain a small asymptomatic testing site (ATS) on-site until further notice so they can offer testing to pupils and students who are unable to test themselves at home.

There is no need for primary age pupils (those in year 6 and below) to regularly test, unless they have been identified as a contact for someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and therefore take lateral flow tests every day for 7 days.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1044968/SEND_guidance_06012022.pdf

There is still a requirement for us to have a testing facility on site to test pupils who are unable to test at home.

If your child cannot test at home, please contact the school office or your child’s class teacher and we will continue to provide onsite testing.

If you are able to support your child to test at home, you do not need to contact us to let us know. We will provide a box of 7 tests for your child to take home every 3 weeks. Home tests should be completed on Monday and Thursday mornings before school (or Sunday and Wednesday evenings if mornings are not possible).

All test results should be uploaded to the Test and Trace website. Instructions are in the leaflet provided AND emailed to covidtestresults@halesbury.dudley.sch.uk.

If you need assistance with testing or reporting results, please contact the school.

If you have already notified us that your child is not taking part in the testing programme, we will presume this is still the case and will not send home test kits unless you request them.

To summarise, from Wednesday 19th January, we will no longer be regularly testing pupils on site unless you have informed us your child cannot be tested at home.

We will always endeavour to support our parents and children, as our families are our priority. Can I please ask you to make every effort to support our continued effort to keep your children safe, protect their education and keep our school open.

Lastly, can we remind you that all pupil absences, including those who have tested positive, must be reported to the office in the usual way as soon as possible. Positive cases will be followed up with a phone call from the office to offer advice, assistance and to complete the Local Authority COVID reporting form. In some cases, pupils may be able to return to school early following negative lateral flow tests. This will be discussed at the time.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support, now and in the past, during this very difficult time.

Kind regards,

Mr J Kulyk

Headteacher

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