Dear Parents and Carers,
You will no doubt be aware that the government has given notice for all schools to reopen from Monday 08 March 2021. The Senior Leadership Team are currently working to draw up a plan for re-opening, which is likely to involve a staggered start (in line with government guidance) for different year groups from the beginning of that week.
Key to this will be how many students we will need to test. If you consent for your child to be tested, please fill in the attached google form before your child returns to school. If you have more than one child at the school you will need to complete one per student. If you have completed this form previously, there is no need to do so again.
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. For under 16s, staff can oversee the swab process.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with staff and pupils participating. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
It is the Government’s expectation that after an initial programme of 3 tests in school or college, students will be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home.
Testing will be offered free of charge. I will write to you next week with details of our finalised plan for the students return to school – we look forward to welcoming them back!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if a pupil tests positive?
Participating staff and pupils 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.
Pupils 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). AMSI 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 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 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 pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.
What if a close contact at school tests positive?
A close contact will have to isolate for 10 days as per previous guidance.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at AMSI 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 0300 303 2713 (Scotland) or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.