97 percent of HCC parents consent to testing, headeacher reveals

11th March

Heathfield Community College students finally returned this week to teaching on site with nearly all parents (97 percent) giving consent to testing.

In other areas of the country, parents have been reluctant or slow to give consent with some worried about the possibility of false results.

“After another period of remote learning and national restrictions, the relief to be back in the building was palpable,” said Headteacher Caroline Barlow.

With a ‘magnificent’ effort from the whole community, the College was able to establish a testing centre with the help of 28 volunteers and process over 1,200 Lateral flow Tests in just three days.

Ms Barlow explained: “It was not just a logistical feat, it was a triumph of the spirit and ethos of the whole community. Volunteers helped with testing, parents provided the lifts to and fro, staff stood on the doors of entrances and classrooms with big smiles to welcome students back. It has been a joy to reclaim our vibrant school community.

Caroline Barlow

“The students have been magnificent in their return. Testing has been conducted without any fuss or problem and their approach to lessons has been purposeful and focused.”

Ms Barlow went on to say that it will be important to complete the next rounds of LFD testing smoothly in College, move to home testing and focus minds on the journey to the end of the year and next destinations for Year 11 and 13.

All secondary school and college age pupils are eligible for twice weekly testing to help keep covid out of our classrooms as pupils return to education this week. This is how it works according to the Government website.

Who will get tested?

Tests will be available to pupils, students and staff at secondary schools and colleges – so pupils in year 7 and above. Their households and bubbles will also be able to get tested.

Primary school staff, their families and the childcare and support bubbles of pupils also have access to testing. Primary school pupils themselves will not take asymptomatic tests but should book a PCR test online if they develop symptoms.

How will the tests be administered and how often?

This depends on whether you’re a pupil, a member of a pupil’s family or a teacher or member of school staff.

Pupils, teachers and their families should all be tested twice each week.

For pupils, the first three tests will be done on site at schools and colleges under supervision. These will be lateral flow tests which provide a result in approximately 30 minutes. After that, pupils will be given lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits by their school or college to take home.

Upon returning to school or college, teaching and non-teaching staff should take twice-weekly tests using a home test kit provided by their school or college. This includes permanent, temporary and voluntary staff.

If you’re a member of a household, childcare or support bubble of a pupil, student or staff of a school or college, you can get a twice-weekly test: