Coronavirus / Covid-19 Information
This page outlines the latest Department for Education guidance in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, together with information on the measures put in place in our school to apply this guidance specifically to our school environment.
Information for parents, carers and pupils
Pupils must report their test result with the NHS & our school twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday):
Please note our latest update on the wearing of face coverings (dated 13th May 2021).
Pupils should take twice-weekly tests using home test kits which are provided through school, including during public and school holidays.
Pupils of all year groups should take their tests Sunday evening and Wednesday evening.
You should report your test result (whether negative or positive) with both the NHS and our school using the links provided above.
We would also request that your child completes a home test before returning to school after illness or self-isolation (either that morning or the previous evening) and you share the result with the school.
Please check the NHS ‘How to Self-Test’ guide below:
Reporting all test results:
You will need to tell the school the result of each test (whether positive, negative or void) by completing this Notification of Home Test Result Form and also report the result to NHS Test & Trace https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result as soon as the test is completed.
Reporting test results can be done simply and quickly, from mobiles, online or by phone, and should be completed straightaway. Reporting not only supports contact tracing in the event of a positive case, but assists the NHS’ understanding of community rates of infection. You can add the link to your mobile phone screen to make the process easier.
For more information, check this link on the importance of testing and reporting in secondary schools.
Tests are free of charge. Students will receive a pack of 3 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.
Make sure you have enough time to do the test before going to school. We understand that for some people this may be challenging as you must wait 30 minutes before reading the result. Therefore, tests can should be taken in the evening of the day prior to come to school (Sunday and Wednesday).
Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test Step-by-Step Guide to Self-testing. There is no need to keep used test equipment after the test result has been reported. You can put it in your normal bin (household waste).
Home testing does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines. Your whole household should self-isolate until the results of this test come back.
What should you do if you test positive?
If anyone tests positive then the whole household and any support bubbles must self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days.
You need to report your result to NHS Test and Trace and please inform the school immediately by phone on 01707 275331. Use the emergency number only if you need to notify us of a positive result at evenings or weekends: 07592 756504. This is important so that we can identify any close contacts within the school community.
You should complete a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test
Site at School/college). This should be booked through NHS Test & Trace: NHS Test
What should you do if you test negative?
A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands and observing social distancing.
If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.
Why take part?
Taking part in testing is voluntary and all students will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not. We are strongly encouraging all students to take part. Testing at home will allow your child and other students to attend school as safely as possible. Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by carrying out tests at home twice every week, 3-4 days apart.
We do not need consent for you to use home test kits and kits will be sent home to all pupils, including those who have not given consent for testing in school.
All members of the household with school age children are eligible for free LFD test kits and are encouraged to conduct twice-weekly testing. The school is not able to provide these for households as we only have supplies for our own students. You can find your nearest supplier for these test kits or order them online using the NHS website: Find-Covid-19-Rapid-Test-Sites.Maps.Test-and-Trace.nhs.uk/
Please note that the locations on this site are often marked as ‘Closed’ but if you still click on the link then opening hours and contact details are accessible.
This guidance provides the current information on who can be tested and how you can get a test.
Positive Covid Case Scenarios
- What to do if your child has symptoms at home:
If your child develops symptoms of Covid-19, they must not attend school and must book a test via the NHS https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119.
The symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste.
This applies even if your child has previously had Covid-19, been vaccinated or tested negative on a LF device at home.
Your child and the whole household must self-isolate until the result of the test comes back.
– If the test result is negative, then your child may return to school.
– If your child tests positive for Covid-19 (either using a LF test or NHS test), they and the whole household must self-isolate for 10 days.
Your child may return to school on day 11, providing they are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or upon presentation of a negative PCR test result (showing the date of the test).
An asymptomatic positive pupil should self-isolate at home for 10 days too.
- Reporting symptomatic and asymptomatic case at home:
Your should report a positive test result or an asymptomatic case to school immediately by calling:
– our school office phone number 01707 275331 during working hours
– our Out-of-hours Positive Test line: 07592 456504 during evenings and weekends.
We will need to ask about close contacts as they will need to self-isolate too. Should there be further updates about your child’s absence, then please report their absence on the text line 07860 095596 or email any other information to the school on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should also fill in our Notification of Positive Case Form as we do not expect pupils with recent positive tests to undertake home testing in line with government guidance.
- Asymptomatic cases at school:
– Should your child test positive from their 2nd or 3rd test at school, then we will contact you by phone to request that you collect them straight away, and they will need to isolate for 10 days.
– In the event of a positive case in school, all pupils identified as close contacts of the case will be required to self-isolate for 10 days and may return to school on day 11 providing they are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.
- Contacts of a positive case:
School will contact parents if their child has been identified as a contact of a positive case. They will need to be collected and go straight home to self isolate for 10 days.
The household does not need to isolate unless anyone develops symptoms.
Close contact is defined as:
● face-to face contact within 1 metre for more than 1 minute
● within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes (cumulative over one day)
● travelling in the same vehicle
We will follow Public Health advice which is to only notify you if your child needs to self-isolate and we will not be informing parents of cases in school.
- Financial Compensation Scheme for household members:
There is now a government compensation scheme for those who have to self-isolate and you can check whether you may be eligible here: Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
Safety Measures and Covid Risk Assessment (Updated 13/05/21)
From year group bubbles, one way systems and staggered breaks to maximised ventilation, cleaning and carefully planned classroom layouts, we have deployed a series of measures to reduce the risk to the safety of our school community over the last year. These are changing on a weekly basis in line with public health guidance but we continue to strive to adhere to the Department for Education advice with the following:
We continue to operate our system of year group and class ‘bubbles’ and following a pupil seating plan in all lessons – this also enables us to quickly trace any ‘close contacts’. We also continue to operate a one-way system around school and there is yellow marker tape in corridors and classrooms to assist with this. Classrooms are arranged so that pupils are facing forwards as far as possible and equipment is used within bubbles or cleaned between use. We will not be holding large group activities such as assemblies until further notice.
Pupils may not use internal communal spaces such as corridors, stairwells etc as social spaces. The Dining Hall should only be used at lunchtime for eating (not for breaks); once a meal has been finished pupils should vacate the space to allow others to sit down. We strongly encourage pupils to go outside at break and lunchtime as the risk of infection is greatly reduced outdoors. The marquee remains in place and provides additional outside covered seating. Pupils are not permitted to enter or wait outside form rooms that are not their own.
Face masks (updated 13th May 2021)
The government’s guidance now states that face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms. We know that there are a range of views about wearing masks and that many pupils, staff and parents get reassurance from the fact that we have all been wearing them.
We have decided that it is no longer necessary for pupils to wear face masks in lessons, though they may do so if they choose. Face masks can be a barrier to communication and so pupils who choose to continue to wear a mask may be asked to temporarily remove it by a member of staff in order to make this easier. Likewise, there may be circumstances where a member of staff requests that a pupil wears a mask, either because social distancing is not possible in that situation or because they fall into a vulnerable group.
Exemptions remain in place for pupils where we have received a written request from home.
Pupils and staff will however still expected to wear a mask when they are moving around the school either between lessons, before or after school or at break and lunchtimes. This is because social distancing is not always possible in these areas. Face masks must also be worn in the lunch queue and when choosing food. This will provide continued reassurance for everyone and we will review this at half term. We expect that there will be further guidance from the government in due course and it may be that masks will no longer be required at all in the coming weeks.
This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons.
All classrooms have 2-metre tape at the front marking out a zone for teachers to work behind for most of the lesson. If a teacher is behind this tape, then they do not need to wear a mask as they are socially distanced from the class.
Please note that face masks should be worn when travelling on public transport and all pupils using Reg’s Coach’s should continue to wear a mask.
It is therefore important that pupils continue to bring a mask to school each day and wear it as required.
Please ensure that your child has at least one mask with them and we recommend that they also have at least one spare as mask can get lost. If a pupil forgets their mask then they should request one from Reception on arrival in the morning. We very much appreciate your support with providing masks as it is incredibly wasteful and costly for us to lend out disposable masks. We do allow exemptions from wearing a mask and would request that you email your child’s Head of Year if you would like them to be exempt so that we can authorise this.
We publish a breakfast, break and lunch service with menus for each week on the school website. The indoor Canteen will not be open at break but pupils can purchase food from the Lunch Box outside. Only wrapped cold food should be taken to form rooms. We will operate a lunchtime rota for the Canteen and pupils must only join the queue at their allotted time and should sit in designated year group areas in the Dining Hall. Face masks must be worn in the lunch queue.
All pupils should sanitise/wash their hands on arrival at school and throughout the day, including at the start of every lesson. They should follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach when coughing or sneezing.
All pupils should bring their own supply of hand sanitiser and pocket tissues to school. There will be sanitiser at all entry doors, in all classrooms and around the school. There will also be a supply of tissues and wipes in all classrooms. Pupils should use wipes to clean keyboards if they are using Chromebooks/pcs and may also wipe down their desks before use. Pupils should bring their own equipment to school and avoid sharing this with others. Cleaning staff will be working all day and cleaning down communal areas.
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds in hot, soapy water
Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
Stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions
Doors and windows will be kept open as far as possible, though of course this needs to be balanced against ensuring that a comfortable working environment is maintained. Good ventilation is often cited by scientists as one of the most effective mitigating factors against transmission.
Start/end of day
In the morning pupils should arrive at the normal time using entrance doors which enable the quickest access to their form room, adhering to the one-way system.
Sixth Form students only need to arrive in time for the first lesson of the day, or for their tutor appointment.
We will continue to operate a staggered dismissal at the end of the day:
○ 2.55 pm: Years 9 & 12/13
○ 3.00 pm: Years 10 & 11 (unless they have a Lesson 7 for science)
○ 3.05 pm: Years 7 and 8 (return to form rooms then go home)
Years 9, 10 and 11 pupils should bring their bags and coats to Lessons 5 and 6 as they will not be
allowed to return to their form room at the end of the day. Pupils cannot wait in the building at the
end of the day.
The document below outlines all the risks factors identified by the school and the measures available to eliminate or control these risks where the hazard cannot be eliminated.
Latest School Communications and Government Updates
The latest communications from the school to Parents and Families can be found on our LETTERS HOME page.
The most recent government advice on coronavirus can be found on the following link:
The Department for Education has also released advice for schools and for parents and students at the following link:
You can also follow the Department for Education on social media for alerts and updates:
Remote learning for those self-isolating
Where individual pupils need to self-isolate but the majority of their peer group remains in school, how remote education is provided will differ from the approach for whole groups. This is due to the challenges of teaching pupils both at home and in school.
Teachers will ensure that lessons are posted on Google Classroom so that they can be accessed from home. Work will be a copy of the lesson/slide resources, perhaps with references to text book pages. Staff will not be able to significantly adapt lesson resources for pupils at home if they are delivering live lessons to the year group in school.
Although pupils may not be in school, they should follow the routine and structure of the normal school day so that they have access to the normal curriculum alongside their peers who are in school. There may be some activities pupils cannot complete (for example practicals, group work activities) that will need to be re-scheduled or caught up when the pupil returns.
For more information on remote learning please refer to our Remote Education policy document below:
In addition to the structured, individual lesson activities posted by teachers onto Google Classroom, pupils working remotely can further support and supplement their learning through this list of suggested websites. Access to these will provide pupils with a variety of different material to deepen or extend their thinking through wider reading and research.
Covid Catch-up Spending Plan
For information of our Catch Up Spending Plan, please see below:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to give consent?
Students and parents do not need to give written consent to take part in the home testing programme.
Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice. Once you open the kit, consent will be assumed and you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and to the school, regardless of the result (positive, negative, or void).
Can my child take the test themselves?
Students aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if they need it. Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support. Pupils aged 11 should be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result.
Reporting problems or issues with testing
If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the school.
If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/
What type of tests are used?
We regularly send home a supply of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.
Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testingfor-people-without-symptoms
Are LFD tests accurate?
Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.
These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency(MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.
The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.
It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.
How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?
There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:
• polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample – you send the sample for processing at a lab
• lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus
LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test
How do I read the result of the test?
- NEGATIVE: one red line appears in the control region C
- POSITIVE: two red lines appear, one in the control region C and one in the test region T, one line
may be quite faint
- VOID: no lines appear or one line appears in the test region T only
What does it mean if my child has a positive result?
If your child has a positive antigen LFD test result they, their household and any support bubbles they are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and to the school.
You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at the school).
You can book a test here https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
What does it mean if my child has a negative result?
A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.
What if my child has a void result?
If the result of the test is unclear (void), they should take another one. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test. You can book a test here. All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and to the school.
Do I need to send the test to a lab?
No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result at home in around 30 minutes. 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 take the test Step-by-step Guide to Self-testing .
Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?
No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:
1. get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
2. attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the Postcode Checker or check your local council website)
3. collect tests to do at home, find your nearest collection site with the COVID Test Finder
If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people
who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirusrapid-lateral-flow-tests
How will personal information and test results be shared?
When your child takes a Lateral Flow test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.
You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
- your child’s name
- your child’s test result
- the reference number on the test Kit
You will also need to tell the school their test result.
Under UK law, your child’s school can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’. This means that your child’s data helps us to stop the spread of the virus, and to keep your children in school. For example, we will tell your child to self-isolate if they get a positive test result.
Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. This will ensure that testing is accurate and helps keep us all safe.
When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.
For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice BHGS and DHSC Privacy Notice – test at home .
In-school Testing Programme (March Testing completed)
This phase is now complete (18/03/2021)
You may be aware that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms can now be achieved using a quicker COVID-19 test known as ‘lateral flow test’. Along with other protective measures, these tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing regularly, we will help stop the virus spread and help keep our school open as safely as possible. Oxford University and Public Health England validation studies show that the lateral flow tests, administered twice 3-5 days apart, are of use to identify positive cases. The latest Government guidance states that all pupils for whom consent has been received be tested in school, once prior to their return to school and then two more times prior to them starting to conduct tests at home.
Whilst testing is voluntary, we strongly encourage you to opt into the testing programme to ensure the safety of the school community and your family.
Any pupil who has had a positive Covid test result since 10th December will not be required to join our testing programme until 90 days have elapsed since their positive test. Therefore, please advise us if this is the case by entering the details here: Positive Covid Test Notification form . Please note that this does not change the rules about self-isolation should they be identified as a close contact of a positive case.
If you are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in our Consent Form for each of your children who attend the school.
- For pupils and students younger than 16 years, this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to enrol.
- Pupils and students over 16 can complete this form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent / guardian if under 18.
It will be important to ensure that you provide the mobile phone number which you wish the test results to be sent to.
To complete their test, pupils will be asked to self-swab their throat and nose, under the supervision of trained staff to guide them and to assist younger pupils who may need more support. We know that some pupils might be anxious about carrying out these tests but they really are very simple to do.
We have created a short video which shows the process, which we encourage everyone to watch:
You can also check this instructional leaflet to find out how to carry out the test here: