Head Teacher COVID Update – January Testing and Staggered Returns

Head Teacher COVID Update – January Testing and Staggered Returns

Dear Parent/Carer,

In response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, you will be aware the government has recently announced that it would like all secondary schools to prepare to test students once on-site on their return in January, and that we may stagger the return to school for the first week to accommodate on-site testing. To provide you with as much as notice as possible, I am sending you the provisional programme for the College’s COVID testing in January 2022 and the staggered return dates for the respective year groups. I am very conscious this will mean more time out of the classroom for our students, but it is the only way we can complete the COVID testing in a safe and practicable way.

The testing and return dates, by year group, for January 2022 are outlined below:

  • Tuesday 4th January – Years 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 return
  • Wednesday 5th January – Year 8 return
  • Thursday 6th January – Year 9 return
  • Friday 7th January – Year 10 return.

On Tuesday 4th January, students will be based in their tutor rooms. Year groups returning from Wednesday 5th January are to assemble in the YMCA Sports Hall where they will be held until their year group has been tested. We expect students to return to their normal lessons from Period 3 on the day of testing. A remote learning provision will be in place for the days year groups are not in College during the first week.

It is important that your child completes a lateral flow test on the day before they return to College. If they test positive then you should follow the current government guidelines and arrange a PCR test as soon as possible.  If your child has COVID symptoms they should not be sent to school, and a PCR test arranged. If you have not given consent for your child to have a lateral flow test, they will not be tested. Details on providing consent for testing have recently been sent out on SIMS Parent App for those who have not already done so. Please contact the College should you have any queries on this.

Things are currently moving at a very quick pace in respect of responses to the Omicron variant. It is possible our plans may have to change again subject to how things develop over the coming days/weeks. We will of course keep you updated if and when there are any further changes.

Yours sincerely

Dr Jeremy Plumb Headteacher