Dear parents and carers,
I would firstly like to say how pleased we are to have been able to safely welcome students and staff back to school for the remainder of this term. It is great to see everyone settling in so well, and back learning in the classroom.
As you will know, in line with the Government’s guidance, we are in the process of moving to twice weekly Covid-19 testing at home. This is essential for helping to limit transmission of the virus and to keep our students, staff and wider school community safe.
I would like to thank parents, carers and students for their ongoing support and cooperation with the testing programme. For any students who have not yet been tested at school, please do get in touch with us straight away so that we can arrange a time for them to be tested on-site, before beginning home testing. More information on home testing is enclosed at the end of this page. Testing remains voluntary and students will only be tested if they have consent.
The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that staff and students should continue regular testing (twice a week, three to five days apart) through the Easter holidays to manage the spread of COVID-19. Test kits are being made available by NHS Test and Trace and will be given to students, who have been tested at school, in advance of the break.
Kits will be distributed to those who have received at least one test in school. If parents want tests for students who have not been tested in school they can contact us at [email protected] and we will give the tests to the students. We will not turn any parent away from being given tests for their child but we will not be contacting those who have not been tested.
Kits contain three tests so each student will be given three kits which will cover four-and-a-half weeks. Students will have a letter/instructions and three kits all tied together to take home. Parents will get a text early on the morning their child will pick up tests so they know to expect tests that night. Tests will be distributed in the last lesson of the day to minimise kits left in school during the day.
Tests will begin to be distributed to students from the 26th March:
Friday 26th March - Year 11 and year 12/13
Monday 29th March - year 8 and year 10
Tuesday 30th March - year 9
Wednesday 31st March - year 7
This video guide demonstrates how to do a home test:
With regards to contact tracing over the Easter holidays, you must inform the Academy of a positive Covid-19 test where symptoms have developed within 48 hours of last being at school, we break up on Thursday 1st April 2021. If positive Covid cases are reported within 48 hours of the final day of term, the Academy will identify close proximity contacts and will advise the relevant individuals to self-isolate as a precautionary measure, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school. You can report by emailing [email protected].
Where students or staff test positive for Covid-19 during the holidays, but have developed symptoms more than 48 hours since last being in school, you do not need to inform the Academy. Instead, you must follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace and immediately self-isolate for the suggested period. If students are having to self-isolate due to being in contact with a positive case during the holidays, you do not need to inform the Academy about this until the first day back at school.
Selected staff will remain available to assist with contact tracing duties for the first six days of the Easter holidays (1 April), with all positive cases from that point onwards being dealt with through NHS Test and Trace.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and cooperation and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Dr Lisa Mason
Up to 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing. Getting into a regular habit of testing twice a week will help stop the virus from spreading, keeping your family and friends safer.
Please make sure your child tests themselves twice a week, three to five days apart, in the morning before school if possible and, if not, the evening before.
Your child should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter school holidays. We will be sending home extra kits for the Easter holiday before the term ends.
If your child has not been tested at school yet, then please get in touch with us so that we can arrange a time for them to be tested on-site, before beginning home testing.
This does not replace testing for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.
It is really important that the results of the test are reported online straight away, even if your child’s result is negative or void. It’s easy to do at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm.
Please keep a note of your child's test results and remember that it is vitally important that you report positive results to school as well as to the NHS.
Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week
A reminder that regular rapid testing is now also available for parents, their households and support or childcare bubbles. The government is encouraging all families to participate in twice-weekly testing to help stop the spread.
Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by ordering tests online www.gov.uk/order-school-household-tests, getting an assisted test at work (if it is available) or attending 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.
To find out more on school household testing visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff
Purpose of processing personal data
To enable Covid-19 testing to be delivered by schools and colleges and supported by the Department for Education (DfE), the DfE needs to process personal data of a designated representative for each school or college.
DfE will only use the personal data that is collected from the school or college specifically for the purpose of supporting the delivery of Covid-19 testing in schools and colleges, including the maintenance of an audit record of delivery.
A school or college should share this Privacy Notice with their designated representative to ensure the individual is informed of the processing of their personal data by the DfE.
Personal data involved in the process
A school or college will supply to DfE the following information about a designated representative for the above purpose:
linked to the identity (Unique Registration Number) of the school or college
Lawful basis for processing the personal data
When the school or college supplies the personal data to the DfE for the above purpose, the DfE becomes a Data Controller of that data. The DfE processes the personal data as part of its legitimate interest, supporting schools and colleges in the delivery of their public health duty. The DfE will only process the minimum of personal data required to meet the above purpose.
Data sharing partners
The personal data is securely shared by DfE with a third-party data sharing partner (SERCO, a delivery partner of the Department for Health and Social Care) who will only process the personal data on behalf of the DfE for the above purpose.
How we store the personal information
The information will only be stored and shared securely with the DfE’s third-party data sharing partner for the above purpose. Only a restricted minimum of individuals within DfE and the third-party data sharing partner will access the personal information for the above purpose.
How long we process your personal data
The minimum of personal information will be retained by DfE and the third-party data sharing partner only for as long as necessary to fulfil the above purpose, following which it will be securely destroyed. DFE currently anticipates the information being retained for a minimum of 12 months.
Under data protection law, individuals have rights relating to their personal information, including:
Your right of access - You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.
Your right to rectification - You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
Your right to erasure - You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to restriction of processing - You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to object to processing - You have the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to data portability - You have the right to ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.
You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. Please contact us as described below if you wish to make a request.
Further information and how to make a request or complain
Further information about how the DfE processes personal data is published in the DfE’s personal information charter. If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information or wish to make a request or complaint to the DfE please use the contact details published in our information charter.
You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how DfE uses your data.
The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Helpline number: 0303 123 1113