Dear parents and carers,
It has been a delight to welcome back students and young people across The Canterbury Academy Trust this week. These last two months, once again, have been a period of change for all of us, but particularly our young people, and we continue to be very proud of how they have adapted to the challenges that they may have faced during this latest, and hopefully last, lockdown.
At the start of this week the students who attend our City and Coastal College and The Canterbury Academy were encouraged to book their first Lateral Flow Test at our testing centre in our Professional Learning and Community Café, based on our main Canterbury Campus.
Our testing programme has been an incredible success, with over 1600 tests completed this week and all students having been offered their first test. In addition, we have begun distributing home testing kits to the students who have been attending regularly through lockdown, and who have already been offered all of their tests in school.
Next week we will be distributing home test kits to all students who want to take them. Home testing is voluntary but “strongly encouraged” as part of the return to school for all students. We have planned for tests to be distributed at the same time as each year group has their third and final test offered to them. This will enable us to offer them on a staggered basis through the week. The tests will be handed out in their final lesson of the day. There is no consent required and all students will be offered a testing kit, regardless of whether they have chosen to have tests previously in school or not.
Enough home tests will be distributed to enable each student to test twice per week, for three weeks. Further information will follow on how to get additional tests once they have been used.
For any parents who want additional guidance, the NHS have provided a useful video. It contains a step by step guide on how to conduct the tests at home and can be accessed by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvaBZskxS7tzQYlVg7lwH5uxAD9UrSzGJ
Each test should be logged with the NHS. There are full instructions in each testing kit explaining how to do this, but please do let us know if you have any questions.
Remember, there is no need to contact the school with negative test results. However, if a home test is positive, please contact The Canterbury Academy COVID helpline on 01227 286167. A senior member of staff will then be in touch to go through what should happen next.
As we carefully and sensitively continue with our next round of testing and the wider re-opening of our schools, it only remains for us to thank you again, most sincerely, for all of the support and kind messages you have shared through the last week. It has been hugely appreciated by everybody involved.
Beverley Farrell (National Leader of Education)
Trust Executive Vice Principal
The Canterbury Academy Trust