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COVID-19 testing information for reopening from Tuesday 4th January 2022 [CONSENT FORM]​​​​​​​

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Following the announcement for all secondary schools to test students on-site upon return of the Christmas holidays, I am writing to update you on the initial testing arrangements that will take place on site between Tuesday 4th January and Thursday 6th January 2022.

In line with the latest guidance received, your son/daughter will be eligible for one Lateral Flow Test on-site between Tuesday 4th January – Thursday 6th January 2022. After these dates, we will distribute home test kits for those that have consented to testing – please see further information overleaf in our FAQs guide on home test kits. A copy of the remote learning and testing timetable for each year group has been emailed home, and a copy of the letter for each year group can be found below.

Students will not be expected to wear uniform when they come on-site for their Covid-19 test, however, they will need their student ID badge and lanyard as identification. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that students are expected to adhere to our uniform expectations upon return to school. A reminder of our uniform expectations can be found on our website. Please ensure any Christmas nail art has been removed too! Thank you for your support in this matter, as the vast majority of our students look smart every day and represent the school appropriately.

A reminder, that testing is voluntary (students can still return to school on Wednesday 5th January 2022 if consent is not given for testing).

For further information about the testing process itself, please familiarise yourselves with the testing leaflet provided by the NHS, here.

Consent Form and Privacy Notice / Data

All test subjects must consent to their test results being shared in accordance with the Privacy Notice and Data Protection documentation, attached to your email.

If you would like to consent to your son/daughter having one Lateral Flow Test during the dates above, please complete the consent form linked below by Midday on Monday 3rd January 2022.

>> Testing - Consent Form

The Government’s approach is intended to minimise the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in education beyond the reopening and to support all students attending education. Being in education is vital for children's development and well-being. Time spent out of settings is detrimental to children's learning, development and well-being, particularly for disadvantaged children.

NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for students

We continue to keep John Ferneley College as safe as possible for all students and staff throughout the pandemic.

The rapid-result tests are also known as ‘lateral flow’ tests and produce a result in 30 minutes. They do not require a laboratory to process, unlike the more common PCR tests. The Government believes that, in the main, secondary-aged students can self-administer, under the supervision of an adult.

Anyone who has a ‘positive’ test result from having taken a rapid-result test in school should then take a more-typical PCR test. Equally, anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 who has a negative result from a rapid-result test, will still be required to self-isolate until, again, a PCR test has been taken.

In order for your child/children to be tested, parents/guardians must provide consent to their test results being shared in accordance with the Privacy Notice and Data Protection documentation.

Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep John Ferneley open as safely as possible. The test is voluntary, but I would encourage everyone to take it.

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose. For under 16s, staff will oversee the swab process. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with staff and students participating.

Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed via text message / email.

We know these tests work - in validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, they were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity, but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently. Testing will be offered free of charge.

Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19

From Tuesday 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 was introduced. All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19, whether Omicron or not, should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Daily testing by close contacts will help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff and students should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the Online Reporting System and to the school. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting.

If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive.

Testing kits

It is important to continue regular twice weekly, at-home testing. The next batch of home tests kits are being distributed to your child/ren this week.

A polite reminder that students with home testing kits are to test themselves twice weekly (Sunday and Wednesday). Within in this batch, each student will receive one box of 7 swabs. This batch will take students up to Sunday 9th January 2022.

Students must report their result via the NHS app / government site, outlined in the instruction booklet previously sent home, and do not need to report a negative result with the school. You only need to report the result of their test directly with the school, if positive by phoning the school directly, or reporting to [email protected].

Glenfield COVID-19 vaccination clinic for 12–15-year-olds during the Christmas school holidays

Students aged 12-15 who haven’t yet had their COVID-19 vaccine are invited to visit a specialist temporary clinic at Glenfield Hospital, with their parent/guardians, during the Christmas Holidays.

The clinic is being held on Tuesday 21st December from 10.00am – 6.00pm. Booking is required and can be done so via Swiftqueue using this link:$2y$10$WeE48pMxLpzZufbdyjQXnekD.PV2IoncUq8cN9TgEBXEmODtT59QC

It is an ideal opportunity for students to get the vaccine if they missed getting it at school. Students who are eligible to get their second dose can also have it at the clinic – so long as they had their first vaccine more than 12 weeks ago.

Vaccinators are all specially trained to work with young people and strict safeguarding protocols will be followed.

The vaccine used will be Pfizer-BioNTech.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 need to wait 12 weeks before they can have the vaccine.

Parents and guardians of 12-15-year-olds will need to attend the vaccination with their children so consent can be obtained.

If you would like to understand more about the benefits of young people receiving the vaccine, watch Dr Wadhwa’s short video on YouTube:

Students can find out more about the vaccine by watching the new NHS COVID-19 vaccine facts explainer video:

Other vaccination clinics for young people will be available over the school holidays. To find out what is available, you can either:


We will continue to support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you have any further questions, and we will do our best to answer in a timely manner.

You can call the school Reception on 01664 565901 or contact myself at [email protected].

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Teece
Head of School

[email protected]