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March 2021 - return to school plans

Following the government announcement on Monday regarding the wider reopening of school to students from Monday 8th March, we are now in the process of planning what that return will look like. Once we have clear plans in place for that return with regard to safety measures and other logistical issues we may need to consider, we will share these with you. Our aim is to be able to do this by the end of the week, if not, very early next week.

Consent for Lateral Flow Testing – In school testing

You will remember before Christmas we contacted you to gather consent around the lateral flow testing process; we now need to regather consent for this in light of the changes to the process and implications of those changes.

All previous consent regarding the use of personal/private data (names, addresses, contact details etc) remains, however we now need to gather consent for your son/daughter to be tested on three occasions during their return to school.

In a change from original DfE guidance, lateral flow tests can no longer be used as an alternative to self-isolation, so any positive result from a lateral flow test taken at school will result in the person who returns the positive test, and those with whom they have had direct contact, needing to self-isolate for 10 days. Staff/students who receive a positive lateral flow test result completed on school site will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

Consent for home-based Lateral Flow Testing

Once the three in school tests have been completed, government have advised that further lateral flow tests can be carried out at home. This will mean that your son/daughter receives two test kits per week to take home, for you to administer.

If you consent to partake in the home-testing process, you will also be required to share the result (whether that be negative, positive, or void) directly with school to support the contact tracing process we are expected to undertake. You will also be required to report the result of the test to NHS Test and Trace.

If a positive result is returned during a home-based test, you will be expected under DfE and NHS guidelines to take a confirmatory PCR test at a local testing centre.

How do I confirm consent?

Attached to this page you will find a privacy notice with full outlines of the information you are consenting to share as well as a link to a survey monkey questionnaire where consent will be gathered. On this survey, you will be asked to confirm that you do, or do not consent to the following:

  • Your son/daughter partaking in the three lateral flow tests on return to school, the first of which must be returned negative before they are able to return to lessons;
  • Completing at home testing twice a week with your son/daughter and returning the results to both NHS Test and Trace, and to school to support our contact tracing programme.

If you do not consent to your son/daughter being involved in lateral flow testing, they will simply return to school in line with the specified return date for their year group, outlined later in this letter.

Please note, if you do give consent for your child to be tested in school, but they then refuse to partake once on site, they will not be forced to complete the test, but will be expected to go home before returning to school in line with the specified return date for the rest of their year group.

Once we have gathered consent, I will write again to all parents who have given consent for testing with further information about the online registration process and what needs to be done in advance of your son/daughter arriving on school site for their test.

Lateral Flow Testing on site

As mentioned previously, students whose parents consent to testing will then come in for a test and must return a negative result before returning to lessons. Students whose parents do not consent will return in line with the specified return date below during w/c 8th March in line with the rest of their year group.


Our plan for w/c 8th March is as follows:


Year 11

Year 12/13

Year 10

Year 9

Monday 8th

Lateral Flow Tests

Remote lessons

Remote lessons

Remote lessons

Tuesday 9th

Return to normal school timetable on site

Lateral Flow Tests

Remote lessons

Remote lessons

Wednesday 10th

Return to normal school timetable on site

Lateral Flow Tests

Remote lessons

Thursday 11th

Return to normal school timetable on site

Lateral Flow Tests

Friday 12th

All years in school with second and third lateral flow tests being conducted in school from 12th March onwards


On days when students are coming to site for their first test, remote lessons will not take place for that year group; on completion of their lateral flow test, students will be expected to return home and await the result of their test, then can come onto school site for face-to-face learning from the following day.

I appreciate there has been a lot of information shared in this letter, however it is important that we follow government guidance carefully and make you aware of our plans at each step. Hopefully this gives you confidence in the way we are managing the situation and priority we are placing on the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors.

Further information will be shared with students and parents in the coming week around a variety of points, including attendance, uniform on return, assessment plans etc. We will try and phase these across the next 5-7 school days to ensure as far as possible that this doesn’t become overwhelming.

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.