Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, we are receiving many questions from parents/carers. Please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website for any queries. We have done our best to compile some of the most important information and frequent enquiries from parents/carers, as we may be unable to respond to your questions individually at this time. This will be updated regularly.

Don’t forget to record ALL Home-Test results in TWO ways:

1. NHS: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

2. Bodmin College: PARENT/STUDENT Covid19 Home Self-Test Result Reporting

To inform us of a positive test result, contact us on 01208 72114

Out of Hours Covid Line: 07826 637936 / 07780 051728

For parents/carers of all students - Updated 16/07/2021

Will Covid restrictions be dropped in school following the final step out of lockdown on the 19th July? (Updated 16/7/2021)

On Monday 12th July, the Prime Minister announced that the lifting of legal restrictions (Step 4) would go ahead as planned on the 19th July. He advised that although legal obligations would be lifted, it would be advisable for people to remain cautious. For the sake of 2 and a half days of school, it seems sensible to avoid confusion and to finish the term with consistency and familiarity. Students and staff have been consulted and there has been very positive support for keeping a number of the measures going forward. Therefore, there will be no changes for the final 2 ½ days of term.

  • Ventilation will still be in place for all classrooms and indoor spaces
  • Regular handwashing/sanitising will still be in practice in classrooms, canteens and at entrances
  • Regular cleaning and hygiene practices will remain in place
  • Face-coverings remain strongly encouraged in corridors, communal areas and transport
  • Twice weekly asymptomatic (LFD) self-testing will continue until the end of term
  • Staggered timings, year group areas and movement plans will continue until the end of term
  • Close Contacts of a positive test and anyone with symptoms or a positive test result (LFD or PCR) must isolate and inform us as per the original guidance.

What is changing on the 19th July? (Added 16/7/2021)

From the 19th July, the NHS will take over the Track and Trace notifications from schools. Close contacts of a positive Covid19 test will STILL BE REQUIRED TO ISOLATE but it will no longer be the responsibility of schools to identify and notify close contacts. Instead this will be carried out by NHS Track and Trace. However, we will continue to liaise closely with Public Health Cornwall and should an outbreak occur, contingency plans will be in place to contain this.

NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts.

From the 16th August this changes again. Close contacts who have been double vaccinated or are Under 18 will no longer need to isolate, however they will still be asked to undertake a lateral flow test.

How will the NHS Track and Trace process work? (Added 16/7/2021)

If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.

You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals – or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice.

Further information can be found in this information for parents regarding changes to contact tracing for schools and colleges: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X5SgRwxSIBJNnAGnT8rroKeX8rVpXEJI

What are the arrangements regarding Summer Schools? (Added 16/7/2021)

The Government guidance on Summer Schools recommends that these are offered to Year 6 students to support their transition to secondary school. All upcoming Year 6 into 7 students have been offered a place at the Bodmin College Summer School from 31 Aug to 3rd Sept. The closing date for applications has now passed.

For students eligible for Free School Meals, Cornwall Council are also hosting Time2Move summer activities. You will have received a unique code to use when bookings your child onto these activities.

Why are students being encouraged to wear facemasks for the last 2 ½ days? (Added 9/7/2021)

As explained above, we want to keep expectations as consistent as possible for the final 2 ½ days. We are also keen to reduce the spread of infection as much as possible up until the end of term in order to protect the first ten days of students’ summer holidays from the potential impact of having to isolate if identified as a close contact.

What should I do if my child receives a positive Covid test result or is a close contact of someone who has? (Updated 2/7/2021)

We have put together some guidance for parents/carers based on Public Health England and Bodmin College protocols, designed to help parents in taking the correct course of action in a variety of Covid related situations. This information can be accessed here on the Bodmin College website and includes:

  • What to do if your child or a member of your household develops symptoms of COVID19
  • What to do if your child receives a positive test result
  • What to do if your child is identified as a close contact or a household member tests positive

What if my child develops symptoms when the school is closed? (Updated 2/7/2021)

Full details of what to do if your child or family member develops symptoms is outlined in the guidance in the COVID section on our website. Outside of school hours, parents should call 07826 637936.

If your child develops symptoms at the end of term, we only need to be notified if symptoms occur within 48 hours of their last day in school. After this period, you should follow contact tracing instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

Should I keep my child off school if they are feeling unwell? (Updated 2/7/2021)

You must keep your child at home if they have:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A fever (high temperature over 38C using a thermometer)
  • A complete loss or change of smell or taste

Speak to 119 or go to the https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test website and arrange for a test to be done. Your child and your household must self-isolate until you have the results of this test.

If your child is unwell with other illnesses and you would normally have kept your child off school, keep your child at home. Children with mild colds, runny noses, sore throats (without temperature) can still attend school.

Please also refer to the flowchart provided for parents which can be found on the college website.

Will social distancing/bubbles, LFT testing and facemask requirements continue throughout the Summer Term? (Updated 18/6/2021)

Following the Prime Minister‘s announcement on Monday about an additional 4 weeks before all lockdown measures are lifted, please be assured that all current protection measures will remain in place for the remainder of this term. Full details are available on our website along with our risk assessment.

We would still ask all students to continue with twice-weekly testing and to report results to the NHS and Bodmin College, as usual. Students have recently been provided with additional testing kits - if a student needs more tests and has not received additional packs, they need to speak to Mr Morris in his office, which is located next to the Sports Hall.

Will students be expected to wear facemasks in school? (Updated 14/5/2021)

The new guidance says that from Monday 17th May, face coverings will no longer be recommended for students in classrooms or communal areas. However, they must still be worn on public transport, school buses and taxis.

To provide you with clarity and having carefully reviewed the government guidance alongside our own risk assessment and feedback received from parents, students and staff, please find a summary of the new expectations below:

Where Face-Covering Requirement
Travelling on school/public buses/taxis Face coverings must* be worn
In corridors & canteen queues Face coverings must* be worn
In classrooms & other communal areas Although we still encourage face-coverings where it does not impact on teaching and learning, for the most part, it will be the student’s choice whether or not to wear their face-covering. However, for safety reasons, there are certain exceptions where face-coverings will still be required. More detail will be provided in the Parent FAQs
Outside buildings Face coverings are not required

*with the exception of those exempt from wearing face-coverings

As with previously, students should continue to follow the guidance on the safe wearing of face-coverings and should always keep a clean spare with them in a small plastic bag.

A face-covering can include a face-mask, scarf or buff. Students who meet the exemption criteria should carry an exemption card or lanyard which can be obtained from their Head of Year. Reusable face coverings can be purchased from the college shop for £1.10.

Please see additional government guidance here: safe wearing of face-coverings

In what circumstances will students continue to be required to wear face coverings in lessons? (Added 14/5/21)

There are a few exceptions where students will continue to be required to wear facemasks in lessons, unless exempt. These include:

  • In activities where a specific risk assessment requires a facemask e.g. when teaching first aid
  • Where there is an extremely vulnerable child or adult with a specific risk assessment that stipulates face coverings
  • Where possible symptoms of Covid-19 have been identified

Why do students have to wear face coverings on buses and transport? (Added 14/5/21)

Updated Government guidance regarding wearing facemasks from May 17th stipulates that facemasks will continue to be compulsory on buses and public transport. Students taking school buses, taxis or public transport to school will be required to wear a facemask whilst travelling unless exempt.

Why are students required to wear face coverings in corridors and canteen queues? (Added 14/5/21)

Government guidance still requires us to maintain effective track and trace procedures. Track and trace currently requires identifying close contacts within 1m to isolate. Therefore, students will be required, unless exempt, to wear facemasks in corridors and canteen queues in order to reduce the need for large numbers of students to self-isolate as a result of track and trace procedures. Our priority is keeping students safe, but also keeping students in college as much as possible. Without face coverings in busy areas such as corridors/canteens queues, track and trace could otherwise lead to many more students having to self-isolate in the event of a confirmed positive case.

Can my child continue to wear a facemask in lessons by choice? (Added 14/5/21)

Yes. Your child will be given the choice to continue wearing facemasks in classrooms if they prefer. If you or your child are particularly concerned, you might like to consider FFP2 masks, which afford a higher level of protection to the wearer of the mask.

Will staff continue to wear masks in lessons? (Added 14/5/21)

Face coverings will also no longer be required for staff in classrooms but like students, we are allowing staff the choice. Government guidance still recommends that staff and visitors continue to wear face coverings outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible.

Where can I find information regarding how grades will be awarded this year? (Added 30/4/2021)

Following the Virtual Information Evening for parents/carers which took place last week, a recording of the session is now available on the college website here. Please be aware that one of the slides used in the presentation should read "to ensure that students are not disadvantaged" rather than "to ensure that students are disadvantaged." Furthermore, parents/carers may access the college's assessment policy for AS/A-level and GCSE grading here.

Additionally, there is a helpful summary provided here by the government: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964613/Infographic_-_how_GCSEs__AS_and_A_levels_will_be_awarded_in_summer_2021.pdf

When will restrictions be lifted in school regarding facemasks, year group bubbles etc.? (Added 23/4/2021)

At present we are unable to confirm when Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted in schools and await further Government guidance, as part of the country’s roadmap out of lockdown. We will, of course, be in touch with parents as soon as we are able to provide information about any changes to the current measures in place. Please see this link for further information about the Government roadmap: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

When will Year 11 and Year 13 students be leaving school? (Updated 23/4/2021)

Information regarding end of year arrangements for Year 11 and 13 students has now been communicated with parents. Year 13 A-level students will be expected in college until Fri 21st May. Year 13 students completing BTEC/vocational qualifications are likely to be required beyond this date in some subjects. Year 11 students will all be expected in college until Weds 26th May. However, all Year 11 and 13 students must be available to attend school if required up until the 18th June, as some students will be asked to attend school to complete assessments to provide evidence to enable grades to be awarded.

Will events such as leavers’ proms/celebration assemblies, drama/musical performances etc. be able to go ahead in the summer? (Updated 23/4/2021)

At this stage, we are unable to provide any confirmation regarding events which would usually take place in the Summer Term. We will continue to review calendared events in light of the continuing Covid-19 situation and carry out full risk-assessments of all activities due to take place. We are currently in consultation with Year 11 students regarding their preferences for end of year celebrations/prom and will use this feedback to further inform our decisions about events taking place. We will provide further information about forthcoming events as soon as we are in a position to do so.

Can my child wear a coat or additional jumper in lessons? (Updated 23/4/2021)

As a result of increased ventilation in classrooms, with doors and windows being kept open, we are continuing to allow students to wear a coat on top of their school jumper in lessons. From the start of the summer term, we are no longer permitting students to wear an additional jumper/hoodie. It is also acceptable for students to wear an additional layer underneath their school shirt, such as a plain white t-shirt.

Will students be expected to wear facemasks in school? (Updated 23/4/2021)

Following a government review during the Easter break, no change has been made to the recommendations regarding students wearing facemasks in school. They continue to strongly recommend that students in secondary schools wear facemasks in classrooms as well as in corridors, serveries and communal areas. This is a temporary additional safety measure in environments where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Students will not be expected to wear face coverings when outdoors, or during activities involving physical exercise.

A face-covering can include a face-mask, scarf or buff. Students who meet the exemption criteria should carry an exemption card or lanyard which can be obtained from their Head of Year. Reusable face coverings can be purchased from the college shop for £1.10.

Please see additional government guidance here: safe wearing of face-coverings

Will afterschool clubs still be running? (Updated 23/4/2021)

We will be running a range of extra-curricular clubs and activities through the Summer Term, both afterschool and at break/lunchtimes. These activities will continue to take place in year group bubbles and with measures in place to reduce the risk of infection such as hand sanitising, facemasks indoors, and social distancing where possible. A rota of activities has been shared with students and parents.

Should my child access online learning resources if they are absent from school? (Updated 1/4/2021)

All lessons are available on Satchel One (SMHWK). If a student is absent from school for any reason, including self-isolating, shielding or personal/family reasons and if they are well enough to access online learning, they should complete the classwork tasks for each lesson which are accessible on Satchel One. Lessons will appear as per their normal timetable. This provision is in place to support students and avoid anyone missing out on learning.

I’m worried about ‘catch-up.’ How will you be providing support for my child? (Updated 19/3/2021)

As students return to the classroom, subject staff will be adapting the curriculum to revisit and consolidate key concepts taught during remote learning. Teachers will be looking carefully at students’ engagement and their classwork to identify those students who would benefit from additional support, which may result in some mall group interventions, pastoral and academic tutor support, 1-to-1 tutoring, mastery support in English and Maths, and literacy or phonic sessions.

How will my child’s grades be calculated in the absence of exams? (Added 5/3/2021)

In January, the government confirmed that students taking GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications this year would not be sitting exams this summer, and instead would be awarded grades based on assessments by their teachers. Teachers will use a range of evidence to calculate the grades that students are working at, as appropriate to individual subjects. This evidence can include: responses to exam board assessment materials such as past papers, mock exams or practice questions; coursework (non-exam assessment tasks); practical or performance based assessments; and class work. Exam boards will be providing further materials and guidance over the course of the year to support this process.

Additionally, there is a helpful summary provided here by the government: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964613/Infographic_-_how_GCSEs__AS_and_A_levels_will_be_awarded_in_summer_2021.pdf

Should my child attend school if they are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)? (Updated 3/1/2021)

Updated government guidance has outlined the following regarding young people who are classed as CEV:

We know from growing evidence that many children identified at the start of the pandemic as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) are not at increased risk of serious outcomes from coronavirus (COVID-19) and children are gradually being removed from the shielding patient list (SPL) as appropriate, following review with a clinician.

The advice for pupils who have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable is to shield and stay at home as much as possible until further notice. They are advised not to attend school while shielding advice applies nationally.

All 16 to 18 year olds with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality will be offered a vaccine in priority group 6 of the vaccination programme. At present, these children should continue to shield, and self-isolate if they have symptoms or are identified as a close contact of a positive case, even if they have been vaccinated.

Should my child attend school if they are clinically vulnerable (CV) or living with someone who is CEV/CV? (Updated 1/3/2021)

We would like to reassure you that we have all the recommended protection measures in place to reduce the risks of transmission in school. However, we also recognise that these are challenging times and you may have specific family circumstances that you wish to discuss. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s Head of Year.

If you consider your circumstances to be exceptional, you may put in an application for a Covid IEP (individual education plan). Applications will be considered by the pastoral team in conjunction with the Cornwall Education Welfare Service. This application constitutes a formal request from parents/carers for a temporary education arrangement, which would be reviewed at Easter. If agreed, this arrangement would enable a full educational timetable but with a proportion to be completed at home.

The application form can be found here: Covid IEP

More information can be found here: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools-and-colleges/education-welfare/reduced-timetables-part-time-attendance/

How will social distancing work? (Updated 1/3/2021)

Students will continue to be expected to maintain social distancing wherever this is possible. As we have a large open site and a small number of transition points in our three-lesson day, we are already in a strong position as far as enabling distancing between year group bubbles. Within year group bubbles, and during lessons, it will not always be possible for students to maintain a 2m distance, however a range of other measures will be in place to reduce the risk of transmission in these situations. This includes:

  • Seating plans facing forwards
  • Sanitiser units, tissues, bins, cleaning spray and paper towels in all classrooms
  • Face coverings in classrooms/ corridors/communal spaces
  • No sharing of books and equipment
  • Open doors and windows to ensure ventilation
  • Additional cleaning of shared surfaces during the day

Where can I seek further support for myself and my family during this time? (Updated 5/2/2021)

There are a number of organisations, both locally and nationally, who may be able to offer support in a range of situations. This is not an exhaustive list, but you may find some of these contact details useful.

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday & 10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

For students, there is also the college student support email which is being monitored by pastoral staff daily: studentsupport@bodmincollege.co.uk

What if my child develops symptoms when the school is closed? (Added 11/12/2020)

Full details of what to do if your child or family member develops symptoms is outlined in the guidance in the COVID section on our website under General Parent Information and Advice From PHE. Outside of school hours, parents should call 07826 637936.

If your child develops symptoms at the end of term, we only need to be notified if symptoms occur within 48 hours of their last day in school. After this period, you should follow contact tracing instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

What should I do if my child receives a positive Covid test result or is a close contact of someone who has? (Added 20/11/2020)

We have put together some guidance for parents/carers based on Public Health England and Bodmin College protocols, designed to help parents in taking the correct course of action in a variety of Covid related situations. This information can be accessed here on the Bodmin College website and includes:

  1. What to do if your child or a member of your household develops symptoms of COVID19
  2. What to do if your child receives a positive test result
  3. What to do if your child is identified as a close contact or a household member tests positive

Should I keep my child off school if they are feeling unwell? (Added 18/9/2020)

You must keep your child at home if they have:

  1. A new continuous cough
  2. A fever (high temperature over 38 degrees celsius using a thermometer)
  3. A complete loss or change of smell or taste

Speak to 119 or go to the https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test website and arrange for a test to be done. Your child and your household must self-isolate until you have the results of this test.

If your child is unwell with other illnesses and you would normally have kept your child off school, keep your child at home. Children with mild colds, runny noses, sore throats (without temperature) can still attend school.

Please also refer to the flowchart provided for parents which can be found on the college website.

Can my child wear their PE kit to school if they have PE in the morning? (Added 7/9/2020)

If your child is timetabled to have PE LZ1, we are happy for your child to arrive at school in PE kit but they must ensure that they have their school uniform with them, ready to change into after the lesson. Similarly, if a child has PE LZ3, students will not be expected to change back into uniform to travel home.

Does my child’s school uniform need to be washed daily? (Added 7/9/2020)

In accordance with government guidance, there is no expectation that school uniforms are washed any differently or any more regularly than usual. For hygiene reasons, we would however, encourage clean facemasks to be worn each day.

How do students pay for their food at the canteen? (Added 7/9/2020)

Students can give their name, or use their PIN number at the till in the canteen to pay for food, rather than using the biometric thumbprint system at this time. They are able to use their PIN to top-up their accounts using cash at the top-up machines located in each canteen. Students will sanitise their hands before and after buying food from the canteen.

Where can I access all of the key documents and information for parents/carers? (Updated 27/08/2020)

There is a dedicated page on the college website where all the key information and updates for parents/carers can be found in one place. This can be accessed by following the link on the college homepage or here: https://www.bodmincollege.co.uk/parentstudentarea/covid-19/ Here you will find advice and guidance to support every aspect of learning and wellbeing during this time. Additionally, these FAQs are being updated regularly and provide a summary of essential information as it becomes available.

Please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website for any enquiries.

Where can I find advice about supporting my child with their mental health? (Updated 16/4/2020)

We know that these are challenging and stressful times and it is important to take care of your family’s mental health and wellbeing. There are lots of things you can do and a good place to start is www.actionforchildren.org.uk which offers advice to parents of children from 0-19 on a range of issues, such as anxiety, behaviour and finances. The government have also released guidance for supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Information related to testing - Updated 16/07/2021

Why are you testing in the summer holidays and not waiting until term time? (Added 16/7/2021)

The operational logistics and staffing required to carry out testing on this scale mean that to test all students during normal school hours would significantly disrupt teaching and learning. Therefore, we will be facilitating an opportunity for all students to have their first test before the start of term, with their second test taking place on their first day in school. If students are not able for any reason to make the allocated appointment due to lack of transport, holiday or prior commitment, we will still have arrangements in place on the first days back.

Where do I get my test kits? (Updated 30/4/2021)

Students will be given home-test kits via their tutors in school. Further kits will be distributed as required. If any student has not received their tests, they should see Mr Morris in his office which is opposite the PE Office by the Sports Hall, at either break or lunchtime. Sixth form students can collect testing kits from the Sixth Form Office. It is important that you report your results to us as well as the NHS. For students with special educational needs or exceptional circumstances that prevent them from completing the testing, you should use the ‘Contact us’ section of the website where you will be referred to the SENDCo or your child’s Head of Year.

Why do students have to self-test on Sunday and Thursday evenings? (Added 1/4/2021)

Recent government guidance on lateral flow procedures has changed and this includes now requiring all close contacts of a student who reports a positive rapid lateral flow test to isolate temporarily, whilst waiting for confirmation of a PCR test. Previously this would require no action from the College. False positives are not uncommon with lateral flow tests and, to reduce the disruption that could be caused to students’ learning where isolation becomes necessary, we are moving to Sunday evening and Thursday evening testing on the advice of Public Health England. Testing on a Sunday reduces the number of close contacts within the previous 48 hour period, whilst testing on a Thursday means that students who are asked to isolate as close contacts may only need to be at home on a Friday and could be allowed to return on a Monday if a negative PCR result is confirmed. PCR results typically take 24-48 hours.

What if my child is SEND and can’t test themselves? (Added 12/3/2021)

We will retain a small testing centre in college to support children who require additional assistance and are unable to self-test at home.

Why are the government recommending testing people without symptoms of COVID-19? (Added 12/3/2021)

Up to one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) do not display any symptoms.

Is Covid-19 Home Self-Testing compulsory? (Added 12/3/2021)

Testing is voluntary, and no child will be prevented from going into the education setting if they do not take part. The success of this public health measure depends on as many people participating as possible.

Can children and young people swab themselves? (Added 12/3/2021)

Secondary pupils aged 11 should have the test administered by an adult (except in school when supervised by a qualified test-assistant), and pupils and students aged 12-17 should be supervised by an adult but can swab themselves.

How often do staff and students need to test? (Added 12/3/2021)

Staff and students will test at home on a regular basis (twice per week, 3 to 4 days apart) usually before they come into the education setting.

How effective are these tests? (Added 12/3/2021)

LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives.

They are also very sensitive and able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. It is important to remember that these tests are an additional layer of health protection measure in addition to hand washing, face covering and social distancing. They are however, not as accurate as a PCR test, therefore any positive LFD test completed at home should be followed up by booking a confirmatory PCR test through the NHS.

Where do I get my test kits? (Added 12/3/2021)

Students will be given a home-test kit when they receive their 3rd round of in-school testing. Further kits will be distributed as required. This is why it is important that you report your results to us as well as the NHS. For students with special educational needs or exceptional circumstances that prevent them from completing the Round 3 testing, you should use the ‘Contact us’ section of the website where you will be referred to the SENDCo or your child’s Head of Year.

What if I have a damaged kit or experience a problem during testing? (Added 12/3/2021)

Please report all incidents of damaged kits or problems to us using the ‘Contact us’ section of the website. If the problem is a medical one, please contact NHS111 or 999 if an emergency.

Why do I need to report my result to both the NHS and Bodmin College? (Added 12/3/2021)

This is in accordance with government which requires schools to keep a log of results, whilst the NHS keep their results separately. This is very important even if the result was negative or void. It will also help us to ensure that we can manage stock and distribution of replacement kits accordingly. All results are kept confidential and in accordance with GDPR Data Protection.

What if my child receives a positive test? (Added 12/3/2021)

If you receive a positive result, you must not attend college but should inform our attendance office, book a PCR test and follow NHS 111 advice on self-isolation.

Why do I have to take a PCR as well if I test positive? (Added 12/3/2021)

PCR tests are administered and read by fully qualified and trained healthcare professionals rather than by the person being tested. These act as a more accurate confirmation of whether you are infected or not.

Does my child have to have the in-school lateral flow test? (Added 1/3/2021)

In accordance with government guidance, all students will be offered the opportunity for on-site lateral flow testing from 8th March. Students will be offered three tests, which will be 3-5 days apart. This is highly recommended as part of measures to ensure as safe a return to school as possible for students, staff, and families. However, whilst we would strongly encourage all students to be tested, it is not compulsory and parental consent is required. We will be sending regular reminders to encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer. Students will receive information about the test in their live MS Teams tutor sessions this week and should not be worried about it, as students who have been tested in school during VKW provision have undertaken the process extremely well.

What happens if my child tests positive in school? (Added 1/3/2021)

If your child’s lateral flow test returns a positive result, they will be isolated in school straight away. You will be contacted and asked to collect them as soon as possible, to self-isolate for 10 days. Close contacts will also be traced, isolated and sent home to self-isolate for 10 days, in accordance with PHE and government guidance.

What is a close contact? (Added 1/3/2021)

Cases are considered infectious 48 hours prior to symptoms starting so a close contact is anyone who has been:

  • within 1m for any length of time in the 48 hours prior to symptoms
  • within 2m for 15 minutes or more in the 48 hours prior to symptoms

If your child is identified as a close contact to someone who has received a confirmed positive PCR or LFD test for COVID19 they must stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days and should access their learning remotely through Satchel One.

Further information about contacts can also be found on the government website.

I am concerned about sending my child back if not all students are being tested. (Added 1/3/2021)

Lateral flow testing is highly recommended by the government and we will be actively encouraging all parents to provide consent for students to participate in this process. Regular reminders will be sent to those who have not completed the consent form. However, testing is not compulsory and there are a number of other measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission, including the enhanced requirement for students to wear facemasks in classrooms now as well as communal areas and corridors. Additionally, the following safety measures are also in place:

  • Seating plans facing forwards
  • Sanitiser units, tissues, bins, cleaning spray and paper towels in all classrooms
  • No sharing of books and equipment
  • Open doors and windows to ensure ventilation
  • Additional cleaning of shared surfaces during the day
  • Staggered timings to avoid mixing of year group bubbles

What if I don’t want my child tested? (added 1/3/2021)

We would strongly encourage everyone to consider participating and would like to reassure students that it is nothing to worry about. VKW students have been participating since January and have produced a video to reassure their peers. Tutors will have access to this video if your child is worried.

If you have any concerns that you would like to discuss with us before making a decision please use the ‘Contact us’ section of the website and someone will be in touch.

However, if you are adamant that you do not want your child tested and do not want to be reminded, please complete the consent form ticking the ‘NO’ option.

Does my child need to attend if they are not having a test? (Added 1/3/2021)

Guidance published by the government regarding attendance outlines the following:

“Pupils not undergoing testing should attend school in line with your phased return arrangements.”

In addition to testing, the first days back at school will also provide students with a reassuring ‘welcome back’ programme to ease a positive transition back to school. If you are concerned about your child returning to school, please contact your child’s Head of Year to discuss this.

I am concerned about my child returning to their tutor group mini-bubble. Is there a way my child can just come in for the test and go again? (Added 1/3/2021)

Yes - if you have specific family circumstances or are worried about your child returning to College and the implications of them joining their tutor group, we also are offering a ‘drop in & go’ test service. Students opting into the ‘drop in & go’ testing will be allocated an arrival time where they will be shown through to the testing centre to complete their test. Once they have completed their test, they will then leave the college site and return home to await their test result. They will be able to access their lesson resources remotely via Satchel:One as normal. Providing their result is negative, they can then return for a full day on their next allocated college date. To apply for a ‘drop in & go’ allocated testing slot, booking details for this will be sent to parents later this week. We regret that due to the large scale logistics of whole school testing, we are unable to offer alternatives to the allocated time slot.

Can my child self-test at home? (Added 1/3/2021)

Government guidance recommends that all students experience their first 3 tests in school with trained staff supervising them. This is to a) reassure them on their first experience and b) help ensure that they are doing the tests correctly. This will make them more reliable. VKW students and staff have found the process to be really helpful. If you or your child is worried about the testing, we would recommend;

1. going through the testing introduction that tutors will lead,

2. considering the ‘drop-in & go’ option outlined above.

3. If you are still worried, please use the ‘Contact us’ section and someone be in touch.

Once all three in-school tests have been carried out, students will be issued with home testing kits.

Can family members of students access home-testing kits? (Added 1/3/2021)

The DFE has announced that rapid lateral flow tests will be made available for free to families and bubbles of school pupils and staff. From 1st March, you can get a twice-weekly test kit:

  • Through your employer if they are offering testing to employees
  • At a local authority test site
  • By collecting a home test kit from a local PCR test site during specific collection times
  • By ordering a home test kit online through a new ordering service
Government updates and guidance - Updated 16/07/2021

The government has also put together some information which you may find helpful: