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Whole School Re-Opening

Return arrangements for all students from 8 March onwards.

Monday 1 March

Recent Letters

Tuesday 23 February

Many of you will now be aware of the intention for all students to return to school on Monday, 8 March following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday. However, the DfE have confirmed that schools will need to carry out a ‘lateral flow test’ on all consenting students before they return to lessons. To enable us to manage the logistics of this operation, the DfE are allowing schools to phase the start of students across the week of the 8 March. The students will then be tested on a further two occasions by Friday, 19 March.

We will provide further information about the exact start date and time for each student on Monday, 1 March. When students do return to school, they will be required to wear full school uniform and Sixth Form students will return in business dress. In order to help us prepare for the students’ safe return, please carefully read the details set out below.

NHS Test and Trace: Covid-19 testing for staff and students

As you may be aware, our testing centre has been operational since 11 January 2021 and we have been successfully testing students in the mini school and staff who are on site at this time. Along with the other protective measures we are taking, 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, we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep our school open as safely as possible. The test is voluntary, but we would strongly encourage everyone to take it.

If you are happy for your child to be tested, when they do return to school, please fill in the consent form (one per child who is currently at Ridgewood School in your household) by following the link below, by the close of this Friday, 26 February. We can then start to plan the testing rota for when the students return.

Trained staff will supervise those taking the test. The ‘lateral flow tests’ are quick and easy, using a swab of the nose and throat. For under 18s, staff can oversee the swab process. Parents/carers will receive an instructional leaflet with some more information on ‘how to do the test’. It would be very helpful if you could go through this with your child, so they are aware of the information prior to taking a ‘lateral flow test’.

Results will be shared directly with students participating. Where participants are under 16, parents or carers/legal guardians will also be informed.

Testing FAQs

What if a student tests positive?

Participating students who test positive will be informed about their results individually. If participants are under 16, parents or carers/legal guardians will also be notified to collect their child. Your child will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the positive test result and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.

What happens if the test is negative?

Your child 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 anything via your email or mobile phone, you can assume it was negative. A small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.

What if my child is a close contact of someone in school who tests positive?

If your child has been in close contact with someone in school who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will be informed so you can collect them as soon as possible from school; they must then self-isolate for 10 days.

Please note - household members or close contacts outside of school of a student who tests positive using the ‘lateral flow test’ in school, still need to self-isolate. They cannot come on site to be tested; the ‘lateral flow testing’ is only for Ridgewood students and staff.

How will home testing be done?

After their third test in school, your child will be supplied with LFD test kits to self-swab and test themselves twice a week at home (instructions are provided in the home test kits). You must report your child’s result to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone as per the instructions in the home test kit. Please ensure that you also share the result, whether void, positive or negative, with the school to help with contact tracing. You will receive further details of how to share home testing results with school once you have completed the lateral flow consent form for your child.

Volunteers required to help deliver mass testing in school

Finally, to support with the proposed testing of students when they return to school, we are looking for a team of volunteers from our community who would be able to help deliver the programme.

The school has staff who are already taking on some of the key roles in the test centre, however, there is a need for a number of adults to provide support with the process. There are different roles, some require giving instructions to students on how to administer the test, others involve data handling and recording etc. We will need volunteers from the 8 -19 March. We will draw up a rota for volunteers/staff members when we have clarity on availability. We are using the school gymnasium as the school’s test site, since it is a large and well-ventilated area.

The government have provided a short on-line training session that you would be required to take prior to starting, and the school will provide all the necessary PPE required and other hospitality arrangements. All volunteers will be supervised by school staff and at no time will you be with a student on your own.

If you do feel you would like to support the school in this way, could you kindly respond to the questions in Section 4 at the bottom of the ‘lateral flow test’ consent form.

Please get in touch via the enquiry form on our Contact Us page, should you have any further questions.