Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced that pupils across the UK will be returning to school from 8 March. This a vital first step on the Government’s roadmap strategy and will signal the start of lockdown restrictions being eased.
All schools across Knowsley continue to have robust risk assessments in place, along with many COVID secure policies and procedures to ensure that they are providing safe learning environments when they reopen.
Along with the work that the schools are doing, it is also important that parents and pupils play their part in helping keep schools open and reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the classroom.
The Department of Education has announced that all secondary school students (who consent) will be tested three times at school during the first two weeks of term. This will be followed by the provision of home testing kits so that families can test themselves twice weekly.
Testing will identify people who have the virus but don’t have any symptoms. Importantly, they can self-isolate and stop them passing on the virus to others.
Testing is voluntary and consent from the parent / carer will be obtained in advance. The test is self-administered by the pupil and results are returned in around 30 minutes.
To help with the introduction of testing some schools may have a staggered return, with different year groups returning on different dates.
Ahead of the start of term, your child’s school will send you a consent form for testing, a date for your child’s return to school and the dates that tests will carried out.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is really important we all play our part in keeping our schools open and moving the country down the roadmap to recovery.
“Schools, parents and pupils across Knowsley have done a fantastic job in adapting to remote learning. However, we believe that classroom learning is vital to our children and young people’s development.
“I urge all parents to consent to testing where possible and play their roles in slowing the spread of the virus.”