I hope this letter find you and your families well ahead of our return next week. I wanted to write to you with some of the finer details regarding testing, facemasks and in particular the first three days of testing along with a statement from Kent Police regarding COVID guidelines.
We have a twenty-four-bay testing centre on site in our 2012 hall. Students will make their way to the 2012 Hall in line with the rota for their particular day. They will register (some may have done so already), have consent checked and be guided to a testing bay. Your son/daughter will conduct their own test overseen by trained healthcare assistants and testing centre operatives working alongside teaching staff. Each student will conduct their tests in a bay shielded from the view of other students. Following the manufacturer’s instructions students will take a swab of each nostril and place the swab in the testing solution. Results will then be observed by our processing team thirty minutes after the test has been conducted and recorded on the NHS test and trace website. You will be notified of the result once the NHS site has been updated using the details provided during registration. Naturally we will prioritise any identified positive cases to enact our contact tracing protocol as we have done in previous cases.
In the meantime, you can help by registering a test and trace account (ensuring that your son/daughter can log into it) by clicking here and by ensuring that Year 11 and above have completed the consent form here, with Years 7-10 here.
Following current recommendations from the Department for Education, we will be asking students to wear facemasks in all indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible unless students are exempt following discussion with your son/daughter’s college team. These measures are in place until Easter where the Department of Education will review recommendations. It is advisable that given the longevity of the school day that students have more than one mask (we would recommend at least three) available to them for comfort. Please also share the World Health Organisation guidance in this letter on the wearing of fabric masks with your son/daughter.
Please also note that on Monday 8th, Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th March the school canteen will be closed reopening on Thursday 11th March when all students return together. Please make sure that your son/daughter has a packed lunch, snacks and a drink for the day. Please also be advised that vouchers for those eligible for free school meals have already been distributed and cover those days.
Many thanks to those of you who have contacted the academy with your continued support and positivity, the staff and I are truly excited to be welcoming the students back next week. We have missed them all incredibly.
Mr W Monk
Statement from Kent Police
We are looking forward to seeing our young people returning to their schools as we appreciate this has been a very difficult time for them and wish them all well.
We do ask, however, that children are reminded of the current Covid guidelines when they are travelling to and from their homes.
Please encourage them to make their way straight to school and to NOT meet beforehand with friends in public.
At the end of the school day, the warmer weather will also undoubtedly entice children into parks and other public areas; however, it is again important to remember that the current rules only allow meeting one person from another household at a safe distance outdoors, and only as part of daily exercise.
During the next few weeks, our officers will be out in several locations for reassurance purposes and to ensure the safety of children and other people.