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17
DEC
2021

COVID -19 Testing in January 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to you this morning to update you with information regarding the start to the new term in January 2022. This information replaces the email sent to you from Mrs Jewell on 14 December due to changing government guidance and the growing concern of the spread of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron.

We are required once again to open our Asymptomatic testing centre when the college returns in the New Year. As before, this will be set up in the college gym and consenting students will be tested prior to starting their lessons. However, if your child has tested positive on a PCR test the government advice is that they do not test using a lateral flow device for 90 days after symptoms started.

We have been overwhelmed with your support for this testing process and if you have previously provided consent, you do not need to provide it again. However, if you have not yet given consent and would like your child to take part then please complete the form found on our website (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeC0zKWn6SeMq_fdrr5fshCMkLaWb6H3WIT-w1Ynh4rlrDXuA/viewform (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeC0zKWn6SeMq_fdrr5fshCMkLaWb6H3WIT-w1Ynh4rlrDXuA/viewform) ). In order to safely accommodate this widescale testing we will need to make changes to the start of the college term and testing process outlined by Mrs Jewell earlier this week.

Years 10 – 13
As previously communicated, consenting students in these year groups should make a booking for a test at the college testing centre on Tuesday 4th January 2022. This booking can be made at https://bidefordcollege.org/parents-evening-online-booking/ (https://bidefordcollege.org/parents-evening-online-booking/) . This is the college INSET day so college is closed to students (please be aware that there is no school transport on this day). Students should arrive at their allocated time and make their way to the testing centre via the main college entrance where they will be registered for their test. They should be wearing a facial covering or carrying an exemption card that they will need to present. Once they have undertaken their test they can return home. All test results will be recorded on the NHS testing website and parents/carers will receive a text message confirming the result of the lateral flow test. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 using a PCR test in the last 90 days (after 6th October 2021) do not need to make an appointment. If consenting students in Years 10 – 13 are unable to attend the testing centre on Tuesday 4th January, they should attend the testing centre at 8.45am on Wednesday 5th January. They will be able to join their normal lessons following a negative result.

Years 7 – 9
To safely provide asymptomatic testing for our students prior to the start of the new college term we will be staggering the start times of Year groups in Years 7 to 9 on Wednesday 5th January 2022 (see below). Any tests booked for students in these students for Tuesday 4th January will now be cancelled. All students will need to arrive at their allocated times (unless they are arriving by school transport in which case they should travel at normal times), regardless of whether they are being tested. This is so we can carefully control the entry of students into lessons. They should be wearing a facial covering or carrying an exemption card that they will need to present. On arrival students will need to register their arrival in the sports hall which they should access via the fire escape stairwell at the front of the main college building. Senior staff will be at the front of the college to support. They will then either be directed to the testing centre or sent to their current lesson. Students will be asked to wait until there is an available testing booth. After their test is completed, they will need to wait until it has processed. This usually takes around 20 minutes. After this time students will be able to attend their current lesson. All test results will be recorded on the NHS testing website and parents/carers will receive a text message confirming the result of the lateral flow test. If your child tests positive a member of college staff will phone you so we can arrange for them to go home.

Arrival times Wednesday 5th January

Year group Arrival time Registration location
Sixth Form 8.45am Normal tutor classroom
11 8.45am Normal tutor classroom
10 8.45am Normal tutor classroom
Sixth Form, 11 and 10 awaiting tests 8.45am Testing centre registration in the sports hall
Students arriving by school transport 8.45am Testing centre registration in the sports hall
9 9.30am Testing centre registration in the sports hall
8 10.30am Testing centre registration in the sports hall
7 11.30am Testing centre registration in the sports hall

 

Please note that the gates will not be open until 8.30am and there will be no early breakfast served.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. As such, we will be continuing to encourage good hygiene including regular hand-washing, maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes, keeping occupied spaces well ventilated and following public health advice on testing and self-isolation.

I would urge everyone to engage in this testing programme to ensure our return to school for the Spring Term is as COVID free as possible and we do all we can to avoid further lost learning days. If you have any queries about COVID testing, or if your child tests positive over the Christmas holiday please email Mrs Jewell (ajewell@bidefordcollege.org). I will also be monitoring my emails (principal@bidefordcollege.org) regularly throughout the holiday.

Many thanks as always for your on-going support.

Yours faithfully,

Dr C Ankers

Principal

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