18th January 2021
NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for staff and students update
Dear Parent or carer
Previously I have written to you regarding the new Covid-19 testing for staff and students. I am delighted to inform you that the Ash Hill Academy Covid-19 testing centre is up and running and we have tested over 50 students and staff attending the site with 100% negative results so far.
In this update, I would like to reiterate that if you would like your child to be tested on their return to the academy, please fill in the electronic consent form (click here) that has been sent to you via the link below or alternatively, if you require a paper copy, please contact the academy directly.
In order to reassure you about the testing process and any other apprehensions, I would like to answer some frequently asked questions about the testing of your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will happen to my child during the testing process?
Who is being tested and why?
Testing is important because staff and students without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. Testing staff and students will support schools and colleges to operate as safely as possible.
Where is the testing centre?
The testing centre is located in the LRC (Learning Resource Centre) at Ash Hill Academy and students will follow a strict one-way system to enter and exit the testing centre. All students will be supported through the testing process.
How many times will my child be tested?
If you agree to your child being tested, there will only be two tests administered. The first test will be followed up by a second test 3-5 days later as per current government guidelines.
Are the tests safe?
Lateral flow tests are very safe. All staff involved in the process are fully trained and qualified to support and process lateral flow tests. A strict health and safety risk assessment has been carried out on all aspects of the testing.
Why do the results come back so quickly?
Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. The result information will be returned to you via a text message in approximately 45mins after the test has taken place.
Who carries out the testing?
The academy has trained a range of internal and agency-based staff to support in the testing process. All staff have different roles in the testing process from supporting students with the initial self-swab test to processing the lateral flow tests.
Is the test painful?
The test is not painful to students undertaking the test and feedback from students who have carried out the self-swab test have said that, at worst, it could be described as a “Little strange”. There will be no pressure placed on the students taking the test.
What happens if my child’s test comes back positive?
The 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’ on the same day (or as soon as possible). You can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119 to book a follow-up test.
Is there a charge for the testing?
Testing will be offered free of charge to all students in the academy.
Is the test compulsory?
The lateral flow tests which Ash Hill Academy is able to provide is non-compulsory and so it is requirement for the parents or carer of all students to provide consent via the online form above.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at Ash Hill Academy 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 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
If you have any further questions, please call the office on (01302) 562541 or email email@example.com
Mr G Moffatt