Covid-19 / Coronavirus 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.
In April 2022, the Department for Education published updated guidance regarding Covid measures in education settings. The key points for schools were: Please note that schools are no longer able to provide pupils with test kits. There is no longer a requirement to take a Covid test if you get symptoms. If a General Practitioner requests that a pupil is tested and the result of the Covid test is positive, this must be reported to both our school and the NHS. The most recent government advice on coronavirus can be found on the following link: CORONAVIRUS GOV.UK PAGE You can also follow the Department for Education on social media for alerts and updates: Twitter – Department for Education Facebook – Department for Education The latest communications from the school to Parents and Families can be found on our LETTERS HOME page. For information of our Catch Up Spending Plan, please see the document below: The following sections have been archived as restrictions have now been lifted.
Information for parents, carers and pupils
The pupil will then have to isolate for 3 days.
In April 2022, the Department for Education published updated guidance regarding Covid measures in education settings. The key points for schools were:
Please note that schools are no longer able to provide pupils with test kits.
There is no longer a requirement to take a Covid test if you get symptoms. If a General Practitioner requests that a pupil is tested and the result of the Covid test is positive, this must be reported to both our school and the NHS.
The most recent government advice on coronavirus can be found on the following link: CORONAVIRUS GOV.UK PAGE
You can also follow the Department for Education on social media for alerts and updates:
Twitter – Department for Education
Facebook – Department for Education
The latest communications from the school to Parents and Families can be found on our LETTERS HOME page.
For information of our Catch Up Spending Plan, please see the document below:
The following sections have been archived as restrictions have now been lifted.
Safety Measures and Covid Risk Assessment (updated Feb 2022)
We have deployed a series of measures to reduce the risk to the safety of our school community over the last year. These change in line with public health guidance and we continue to strive to adhere to the Department for Education and Herts County Council advice with the following:
In line with the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 21st February 2022, the following changes to our Covid-19 measures in school will take effect from Thursday 24th February.
Wearing face coverings will be optional for all pupils and staff from now onwards. This applies both in classrooms and in communal areas.
If a pupil has medical reasons for wanting to continue to wear a mask, you will need to inform the school in writing/by email.
There will be times when pupils are asked to remove masks in order to aid communication and it is reasonable for a member of staff to insist on this unless we have notification from home that there is a medical reason for a pupil to wear a mask at all times.
We have some staff who are clinically vulnerable and who may request that their classes wear a mask, particularly for certain activities. We would ask that pupils respect this wish and so continue to bring a mask to school and keep it in with them in case of need.
Hygiene measures & ventilation
We continue to recommend that rooms are kept well ventilated as this has proved to be beneficial in minimising the spread of all infections (not just Covid).
Similarly, we recommend that pupils continue to sanitise their hands and wipe down keyboards before use as a way of reducing the spread of germs.
These measures are under constant review and open to change, should guidance change or cases start to rise again
Risk Assessment (to be updated)
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.
Testing & self-isolation (updated Feb 2022)
Twice-weekly testing using home LFDs is no longer required.
We will not be able to provide test kits for use at home. Families can order home test kits through most pharmacies or online here: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests – GOV.UK. It is likely that there will be a charge for tests in the near future.
If a pupil or member of staff develops Covid symptoms then they should book a PCR test to check whether they are positive or use a home test kit if they have one available.
Reporting positive test results
If they are absent either due to Covid symptoms or because of a positive test result, they should notify the school like a sickness absence by texting our Absence Line. A positive result should also be reported to NHS Test and Trace.
It is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate when someone develops Covid. However, the government’s advice is that anyone testing positive self-isolates for a minimum of 5 days and up to 10 days. We are asking all staff and pupils to follow this advice.
They can come out of self-isolation after day 5 if they test negative on two consecutive days (home LFD test kits can be used for this).
The advice is that if the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest. Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature is advised to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
There is no requirement for any ‘close contacts’ of a positive case to self-isolate or to take LFD tests. This applies regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
Remote learning for those self-isolating
Work for self-isolating pupils
Work will be set for pupils who are self-isolating on our online platform, Google Classroom. If your child is not unwell after testing positive for Covid, it is expected that they keep up with their lessons so that they can access the curriculum alongside pupils who are in school.
Teaching staff will endeavour to set the work as close to the lesson time as possible, but there may be a delay sometimes with posting material due to staff workload. 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. It is not practical to expect staff to set up ‘live’ Google Meets for pupils who are working at home at the same time as delivering an on site lesson.
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.
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:
You can also follow the Department for Education on social media for alerts and updates:
Twitter – Department for Education
Covid Catch-up Spending Plan
For information of our Catch Up Spending Plan, please see below:
In-school Covid Testing (September 2021 / completed)
The Department for Education has instructed schools to carry out onsite Covid testing of pupils in return to school in September for the new academic year. Each pupil will be offered two tests 3 to 5 days apart. Whilst testing is voluntary, we hope that pupils will attend to carry out these tests as they are part of the strategy for preventing the spread of infection and so will keep pupils and staff safe.
Parents/carers are required to give consent to their child(ren) participating in testing. Those who gave consent for the March testing programme do not need to give consent again. However, all those new to the school will need to complete this form Consent for Testing. Parents who have responded in the past and now wish to change their consent may also do this using this form.
Pupils aged 16 and over may provide their own consent but should consult their parents/carers first.
The testing process is very straightforward and a demonstration will be given prior to testing, as well as staff support during the process. Please watch this short video which demonstrates the procedure to be followed:
Should any pupil test positive for Covid then parents/carers will be contacted immediately. The pupil should self-isolate at home and book a PCR test. Please refer to the positive cases section for more details.
In-school Testing Programme (March 2021 / 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:
Positive Covid Case & Isolation (Before February 2022 / no longer applicable)
Positive Cases and Self-isolation (until Thursday 14th February 2022)
Pupils must self isolate if they experience symptoms (temperature, cough, loss of taste or smell) or if they test positive for Covid on either a PCR test or a home LFD test.
If a PCR test comes back as negative, then they can come out of isolation.
Pupils should self-isolate for 10 full days unless they test negative on a home LFD on day 5 and day 6 (no earlier). If both of these are negative, then they can come out of isolation on day 6. If one or both is positive then they need two consecutive days of negative tests before they can come out of isolation.
If a pupil takes their test early in the morning of day 6 and it is their second consecutive negative test then they can come to school on that day.
If a student has NO symptoms and tests POSITIVE on a LFD test (Day 0) they must SELF-ISOLATE for 10 days and they can return to school on day 11. If they get a NEGATIVE lateral flow test on day 5 and on day 6, they can return to school on day 6 if they have no temperature (though this needs to be confirmed by a parent via a text message to school). If the lateral flow tests are still showing as positive, then they must keep self-isolating and return to school on day 11 or until they have 2 consecutive negative LFD test results and no temperature (which ever is earliest).
If your child is returning to school earlier than 10 days as a result of 2 consecutive negative tests, then please inform the school by texting the absence number: 07860 095596.
In all cases, we will require confirmation of this from parents/carers before pupils are admitted back into lessons.
Anyone self-isolating can come out of self-isolation after day 10, regardless of whether they have tested positive on an LFD, so long as they do not have a high temperature.
If someone in your household tests positive or has symptoms of Covid then the rest of the household does not have to self-isolate so long as they are under 18 years, 6 months or have been fully vaccinated. However, all members of the household should test themselves daily for 7 days using a home LFD.
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.
Sixth Form Information Evening 2021 Covid Precautions (completed)
Sixth Form Information Evening 2021 Covid Precautions
Instructions for our visitors
The health and safety of our pupils, staff and visitors is important to us. We are expecting a large number of visitors, so please try to limit the numbers in your family party to three people.
Please support the school by following these guidelines:
- All visitors, pupils and staff should wear a mask around school unless exempt
- Use our sanitising stations and/or handwashing facilities on arrival (or bring your own sanitiser to use)
- Follow the marked one-way system and instructions from staff or sixth form on duty
- Do not enter overcrowded rooms or corridors: wait for people to move on
- Respect the need for distancing between visitors and staff/pupils in teaching rooms
- Only attend the Headteacher’s speech in the main hall if you have a ticket for that session. Attendance will be split over 2 sessions at 6:30pm and 7pm.
- In order that we can accommodate all our visitors, we request that you continue to move around the school and spend no more than approximately 1 hour on site
Due to operating a one-way system, you may need to go back through certain areas in order to access the next stage of your visit.
Thank you for your support
Pre-February 2022 FAQ
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 positive results of the tests to the school and to NHS Test & Trace and to the school.
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.
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 should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report their result to both NHS Test & Trace and to the school.
If your child or someone in your household tests positive or has symptoms of Covid then the rest of the household does not have to self-isolate so long as they are under 18 years, 6 months or have been fully vaccinated. However, all members of the household should test themselves daily for 7 days using a home LFD.
If you have received a positive result when testing at home, a confirmatory PCR test is no longer needed (since January 2022)
You can book a PCR test here https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after 5 full days (no earlier) and following 2 negative LFD tests (on 2 consecutive days), if they do not have a temperature.
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 may need to 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
4. order test kits online for home delivery for those who need them the most via the NHS. 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 received a positive result from a Lateral Flow Device 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 inform the school of their test result if it is positive.
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 .