Dear Parents and Carers
I am delighted to be able to write to you, following the government’s announcement yesterday, to confirm that Emmanuel College will open to all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 on Monday 8 March and to all remaining students on Tuesday 9 March. This slightly staggered approach will enable us to ensure that all students who wish to be tested for COVID on their return to school will receive a test on their first day back. For more information about testing please read the information below. If you wish to give consent for your child please click here. Students who are aged 16 or over should complete this form themselves.
To enable this rapid return to normal routines, teaching staff will not be available for live teaching or online support from Thursday 4 March but instead will set work for all students to complete independently. This will enable the staff team to ensure a strong start for all students.
Students’ experience of College will be very similar to the autumn term, with staggered arrival and departure times, the use of year group specific entrances and facilities and the expectation that students will do all they can to remain socially distanced from others where possible. In addition, you may have seen that students will now be required to wear face coverings for most of the day. As such, I would encourage you to ensure that your child is equipped with a comfortable and well-fitting face covering.
The priority, of course, is for us to work together to ensure that all students are where they should be in terms of academic progress and their personal development. It is, therefore, vitally important that students now prepare for their return to College by ensuring that their uniform is fully compliant and that they have all the equipment they need. Students who have a College laptop should bring this into College each day.
Emmanuel students have been incredible throughout the COVID crisis. Students have been mature and engaged throughout and conducted themselves sensibly and responsibly when on-site. This must of course continue. I would very much appreciate your support in re-emphasising with your child the high expectations we have of all students in advance of their return to College.
I very much look forward to welcoming your child back to Emmanuel very soon.
Further information about COVID testing
Rationale for COVID testing
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. However, it is important to stress that tests are not compulsory, and students are not prevented from returning to school if they choose not to consent to testing.
Students for whom consent is given for testing, will have three COVID tests in school; one on the day they return, one 3 to 5 days later and their final one 3 to 5 days after that.
How the tests work
You may have heard that testing in school for those without coronavirus symptoms uses new, quicker COVID‑19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices’, which provide a result in around 30 minutes.
You will find a helpful guide here that I would encourage you to look at with your child, along with watching this short video from the NHS. Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. College will inform the student and parents/carers of a positive test result. You can also receive a text or email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system if you are registered on the system within 24 hours of the test taking place. Students will be given a registration card at the time of their test to enable you to do this. Tests are free of charge.
What if my child tests positive?
If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by College and you will need to arrange for them to self-isolate for 10 days and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. All members of their household will also need to self-isolate and follow government guidance.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in College and resume their activities as normal. You can also receive a text or email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system if you are registered on the system within 24 hours of the test taking place.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in College who tests positive?
The student and their parents/carers will be notified by College if they are a close contact and will need to self-isolate for 10 days in line with government guidance.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at College is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (including 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.