Parental Update – Covid Variant

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a difficult week for many of us. For me this started on Sunday afternoon when I received a call from Public Health regarding a possible variant situation in the area. Since then I have attended numerous meetings and briefings. As you will appreciate the situation across the town has been developing by the hour. As a result, some of our plans had to be changed, often at the last minute. This is particularly relevant to those students who have had their isolations extended twice during this time. Please be assured that these were decisions beyond our control.

As you will now know, there have been several cases of the South African variant detected in certain areas of the town. Residents in these areas are being encouraged to have a PCR test, and a mobile testing unit has been set up for this purpose at The Abbey Stadium. There are different arrangements for students at the school, which are outlined below.

Year 9
All students in Year 9 should have received a PCR test delivered to their home address. This should be completed, as per the instructions that come with the test. Please remember to complete any personal information that may be required. These should be posted back using the envelope provided with the test.

Any year 9 students who have been learning from home over the last two weeks should return to school as normal on Monday, unless they have a positive test result or have Covid symptoms.

Year 10-13
This afternoon, we have had a number of PCR tests delivered to school.  On Monday these will be distributed to students in Years 10-13. These should be completed at home. Please remember to complete the information that goes with the test (name, address etc). DO NOT RETURN YOUR TEST BY POST. There will be collection bins in school into which students should put the completed tests. For Years 10 and 11, this will under the canopies at the start of the school day, so students should drop them off on their way into school. For Years 12 and 13, a collection bin will be located in the Sixth Form Centre. We are asking that these tests are returned on Tuesday, but there will be further collections during the week for students who forget.

It is really important that all students complete a test so that we can help eradicate this particular variant from our community. Staff will also be taking these tests. Thank you to all our students and families who have already taken the PCR tests sent to them or attended ‘surge testing’ at The Abbey Stadium. If test results (positive or negative) come back over the weekend please can we ask that they are emailed to Thank you for your support.

Face Coverings
On Monday 17th May, the nation moves to the next phase of returning to normal. For our community this has not come at a good time. Given the presence of the variant, and the measures being taken to control it, I have decided that students must continue to wear face coverings in corridors and indoor communal areas. This decision is supported by Public Health. I will review this at half term, in consultation with my colleagues in the public health team. My overriding priority is the health and wellbeing of the whole school community. I thank you for your support with this.

Thank you again for your continued support.


Best Wishes
Adrian Ward

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