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Posted on: December 20th 2020

Mass Testing @HSG update

You will probably have seen or read the news stories this week about schools and colleges being asked to implement a phased start to the spring term, and being invited to set up a mass Covid testing programme for pupils and staff. We are writing to you to explain how we, as a school, intend to respond to these extremely last-minute government requests.

We will follow the government guidance on how to phase the start of term, which is intended to ensure effective education can continue but also reduce the spread of the virus as pupils and staff return after Christmas. We will write again following further information as it is made clear to us. 

Mass testing programme

We are positive about the potential for the mass testing of pupils and staff in schools, as a way of reducing the spread of the virus and enabling fewer pupils and staff to have to self-isolate. You can read more about how the government expects this programme to work here.

 Setting up this programme in schools is an incredibly complex operation. We have been sent some information about how it should work already, but more detailed guidance is expected to be produced by the government over the Christmas holiday period.

We will not, therefore, be in position to have this programme up and running as soon as the spring term starts. At the start of term, we will review what the expectations are, what support is available from the government or other agencies, and what we can realistically and safely deliver for our school community. 

We will let you know more about our plans as soon as we can in January. In the meantime, from the start of next term, we will continue to implement the safety measures we have been using in the autumn term.

Please accept our apologies for having to send this information to you after term has already ended. We are having to respond to a vast quantity of extremely last minute and complex government guidance, in addition to continuing to provide contact tracing for members of our school community. 

Thank you for your patience, and all best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Christmas holiday such as it is given changed tiers yesterday.