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The Norwood School

Phased Return Spring 2021

Please see below letter emailed home to families on Thursday 31st December 2020

Please read it carefully and note that it contains the link to the parental consent form for the Covid 19 mass testing programme.

Proposed start of spring term and mass testing programme


Dear Parents and Guardians,


We hope that you have had a restful, safe and pleasant break. You will probably have seen or read the recent news reports about schools being asked to implement a phased start to this spring term and being invited to set up a mass Covid testing programme for pupils and staff. I am writing to you today to explain how Norwood intends to respond to these extremely challenging government requests. Please rest assured that we will be following the government guidance as it evolves regarding the safe return of pupils to school. We intend to ensure effective face to face education can continue as soon as possible whilst  also reducing the spread of the virus when  pupils and staff return.


Phased Return 

Secondary schools will be expected to restart remote learning to exam year students (Years 11, 13) and on-site provision for key workers’ children/vulnerable students in the week beginning Monday 4th January 2021. 


All other students, in Year 7, 8, 9 10 and 12, will undertake remote learning via google classroom from Week beginning 11th January and we hope will return to the school site from Monday 18th January 2021 at 8:30am.


Please note that Monday 4th January 2021 is a staff INSET day. 


Consent and proposed onsite testing 

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 need more detailed guidance.   We are anticipating this over the next few days and hope that more assistance in staffing such a big operation will be given in order for it to run smoothly. 


We welcome the proposal to test students prior to their return to school – this will help us to stay open to students and to make sure that our school is as safe as it possibly can be for both students and staff.  Although testing for students is not compulsory and we will require parental consent , we strongly encourage all students to participate in this process. Students will administer the tests themselves at school, supervised by a member of staff. Results will be available within 30 minutes. A negative test result will mean that the student can return to school the following day, a positive result will involve students returning home and getting a PCR test via the National Health Service and remaining at home until that test result is available. any direct contacts to a positive case would be asked to test for 7 consecutive days or else isolate for 10 days. In this way, we can be sure that the risk of transmission in school is minimised and that we can remain open to as many students as possible for as long as possible. We anticipate staff being tested weekly.


We need your very prompt response to the following questionnaire to give your consent for us to test your child. Please complete this by Monday 4th January 2021 10am at the very latest. Please note that students who are aged 16 or over do not require parental consent for the test. If we are to arrange to test the entire school twice before they return to on site lessons  we will need to start to roll out the tests as soon as possible. We will be in contact with the planned rota of testing and times shortly. Those students who are expected back in school first - ie Yr 11 and 13 -  will be tested first. The reason why they have been chosen is because the Government is still intending for GCSE, A Level and Btec exams to go ahead this summer as planned.


Parental Consent Form


Thank you for your patience at this uncertain time and we will be in touch with more information as soon as we are able. Whilst these arrangements may be subject to change following ongoing national developments and policy updates, we are currently preparing to reopen along these lines.  We shall be writing to all parents again shortly with an update and confirmed details. 


With kindest regards

Mrs Webster

Head teacher