Dear Parent or Carer,
As you may have heard, the government are now rolling out a programme of testing in schools to reduce the need to self-isolate. I am hopeful that from next week (w/c 18th January 2020) students and staff who come into close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus will have the choice to:
A: Self-isolate for 10 days or
B: Come to school and take a 30 minute coronavirus test and stay in school if this is negative.
The aim of this is that we can keep school open more, identify cases of COVID-19 sooner, and therefore make school safer. The tests are voluntary but I’d like to encourage everyone who can to take one – I will be.
These tests will not replace our current measures and we will still expect people to follow the current risk assessment, especially around hand washing, wearing of masks and social distancing.
If you are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in this form and return it to the school office or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your child is not attending school currently but you would be happy for them to take the tests when they return, then please complete and send the form in.
Results will be shared directly with staff and pupils participating as well as parents of those from Years 7 to 11.
What if a student tests positive?
Pupils will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in testing sites) to confirm the positive result. They will be able to do this at school or take a test kit home. During this time, while they wait for the PCR result (via text/email), they will need to self-isolate until they get their result. If it is negative, the pupil can return to Newhaven.
If the result of this secondary test is positive, the pupil and household members will need to self-isolate for 10 days following Government guidelines. Please inform us as soon as possible.
What if a student tests negative?
They will be able to stay in school as usual. A pupil will only be told if they test positive in the first ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear, you can assume it was negative.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at Newhaven 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 your sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
I hope this all makes sense. If not, then please ring the school or email us on email@example.com and we will answer your questions. Please complete the form to give consent for the testing as soon as you can.
Jon Kelly (Headteacher)