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http://www.sites.google.com/view/humberstonpark

 

Update 13.01.2021

 

Update to all staff and parents regarding mass testing in school.

 

As advised previously we keep all aspects related to Covid protection measures under regular review.

 

The School's Leadership Group have discussed the procedures and practicalities of testing with the two specialist nurses assigned to the school.

 

Given the nature of the swabbing procedure we are still of the view that many if not most of our pupils would be unable to self-administer the test.

The process involves swabbing into the nasal passage and to the back of the throat to obtain an effective sample. The swab is then supposed to be removed without touching teeth or lips.

 

Our view is that the invasive nature of the procedure would be highly aversive to our children and would meet resistance if staff tried to implement the test to them.

At the first point of resistance the test would have to be ceased.

At best it may be possible to gather a few results in this way but then the value for screening asymptomatic cases becomes negligible if only a handful of members of a bubble/unit have been tested .

 

The other purpose of testing in schools is for pupils or staff who have had a close contact with a positive case to have daily tests so that they can continue attending school as long as each test proves negative. This is designed to be an alternative to 10 days isolating. 

This testing has to be done for 7 consecutive days.

Again, our view is that this is not feasible for our pupils.

 

In terms of testing staff, the process of administering and monitoring each individual test is clearly more straightforward. It does however remain voluntary.

What is not so easy to roll out is the testing of all staff over a time period that makes sense in terms of gaining protection at the right time before staff engage with pupils or mix with colleagues.

It takes 30 minutes to gain a negative test.

We have 130 staff.

Information from other schools indicate that a time period of one day ( 8.00am to 4.00pm ) was needed to test this number of staff.

The testing has to be done weekly.

It's not a one-off process.

 

We have considered our options in the context of direct experience .

Over the past 10 months of the virus ,including the local spike across October and November , there has only been one case we could identify as probably being contracted at school.

This suggests that the number of possible infections from asymptomatic cases have been small and the risk of transmission within school very low.

 

Since returning to school there have been no cases amongst pupils and only one case of a staff member testing positive. This was transmitted in their household and the person was isolating before the start of term.

 

Pupil attendance is currently at 64% but the school remains open to all pupils and we expect a steady rise in numbers in the coming weeks.

 

 

The period over Christmas with restrictions eased and the inevitable breaking of rules into the new year's celebrations were predicted to bring a sharp increase in the infection rates into January.

The current Government data for NE Lincs doesn't seem to indicate that this is the case in the local area at the moment.

The situation of course remains of serious concern and requires everyone's efforts to ensure infection rates locally continue to decrease.

 

What we intend to do is to make appropriate preparations in readiness for staff testing and evaluate the situation day to day in order to be able to quickly respond as needed to any indications of increased risk. In this event we will consult with staff about how best this might be carried out and advise parents if this has any effect on attendance times.

Until then we will maintain the current procedures for isolation in the event of close positive contacts in a class or transport bubble/unit.

 

We understand that there will be home testing kits available to schools by mid-February which ,with the same provisos as above, may help to screen out some cases.

 

 

 

We are however in a national lockdown and we expect everyone across the school's community to strictly abide by the guidance.

The presence of these restrictions, if adhered to , provides a greater degree of protection to the school compared to the previous Tiered system 

 

We appreciate that parents and our staff will have legitimate concerns about the risks to themselves and their families.

In all that we've done and will continue to do we have tried to strike a balance between the level of risk from the virus , the wellbeing of everyone in the school's community and continuing to carry out our obligations to our pupils. We look forward to your continued support during these difficult times.

 

 

Regards

Andy Zielinski and Leadership Group 

Humberston Park Special School Academy

     _____________________________________________________________

Useful information 

http://www.sites.google.com/view/humberstonpark

Hearing aids

Audiology - Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

Replacement batteries call 03033 304645 for Grimsby or email nlg-tr.audiology@nhs.net

Hearing aid repair, send your hearing aid to the team based at Grimsby hospital along with a brief description of the problem.

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