You may have seen on the news that primary school staff are to be regularly tested with something called a lateral flow device (LFD) test. Staff can opt into this weekly regime where they self-test twice a week. The LFDs are to limit the amount of staff who may be asymptomatic and still come into work or the community. This is a positive step in the right direction and should help to reduce the transmission rates across the country; it does come with its own set of logistical issues however.
If a member of staff runs the test and it comes back as positive, we will close the bubble they work in down as a precaution. The staff member then needs to go for a PCR test (polymerase chain reaction) as these are more accurate and definitive. If that test comes back as negative, then we can reopen the bubble and the member of staff can return. If the PCR test also comes back as positive, we will need to extend the bubble closure for the specific isolation period as directed by PHE and the DfE. I would be in close communication with you to assure you of your next steps if that occurs.
In all instances, we would continue with our remote learning plan and your children will still have the set tasks to complete (see the class page on the website). Do bear in mind that the member of staff who has gone for the test may not be available to respond to any emails for that day.
In light of this new testing regime, it is advisable that you have alternative arrangements in place should we have to close your child’s bubble down. If we have multiple staff off at any one point and cannot safely run a bubble, they will also have to close.
As you can imagine, this brings new pressures on all staff involved so I thank you in advance for your understanding, patience and planning as you consider what alternative plans you may have to make.