Our first priority is the safety of all those in the Abingdon community. 

The situation is dynamic and the guidance we are able to give is often dependent on the information we receive from the government. We will update this page when further details become available.

LFD testing before the start of the Lent term 2022

To improve the safety of the school community after the festive season, the Department for Education, (the DfE), has asked that schools offer one on-site lateral flow test to pupils at the start of the Lent term 2022.

Whilst the School recognises that testing is not mandatory, we strongly encourage all students to take LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests before they return at the start of term. However, we do understand that many families will want to avoid mixing and travelling into school before term begins and may prefer to use the home testing kits that they already have and are, by now, very familiar with.

Should home testing be a preference, please can we emphasise the importance that this is done prior to the return to School. We suggest Tuesday 4 January 2022 and we would ask that parents please fill in form A that was linked in the letter to parents of 7 December. It is vitally important, for the safety of the whole school community, that student’s take a test and report the result to school. The School will send a reminder to all parents to report test results on Tuesday 4 January.

For those who would prefer to take a test in school, we will be offering onsite LFD testing to pupils on Tuesday 4 January 2022 between 3pm and 5pm in the Charles Maude Room, point 11 on the campus map. If you would like your child to take part in this onsite testing, please complete form B that was linked in the letter to parents on 7 December. Please complete this form by 5pm Thursday 9 December 2021.

Parents are advised that students who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days should not take a lateral flow test; however they should still complete the first section of form A to notify the school that they have tested positive within the last 90 days.

The advice from the DfE to all families is that twice weekly LFD testing should continue over the Christmas holiday and into Lent Term. If you do not have enough LFD kits, they are available directly from the government (follow this link) or pharmacies.

Boarders who are arriving in school on Tuesday 4 January are welcome to come to the onsite testing, although we are aware that some will have done PCR tests recently as part of their travel arrangements. It is recommended that all boarders should take a LFD test before coming to school and report the result via the first form if they have not taken a PCR test as part of their travel arrangements.

If your child has any Covid-19 symptoms, please do not come to school for testing and instead arrange a PCR test via the NHS in the usual way. Should you have any questions on any aspect of these arrangements, please email covid.testing@abingdon.org.uk

Arrangements for the Michaelmas term - 28 November update

On 28 November the government updated its guidance for schools in light of concerns about the new Omicron covid variant. We have therefore issued the following update to the arrangements for the Michaelmas term:

  • From Monday 29 November all staff and students should wear face coverings in communal areas indoors (corridors, house rooms, dining room, library, changing rooms etc) unless they have a medical exemption.
  • As per the School’s communication on Thursday 25 November, Lower School students, will be required to wear masks in lessons due to the number of confirmed cases within this section of the School.
  • Close contacts of a positive case, which is identified as the Omicron variant, will need to self-isolate for 10 days as per the new government guidance.

Boarders will not be required to wear masks in their houses and face coverings are not required in lessons for the Third Year and above. However, all students must also continue to wear face coverings on the Joint Bus Service and on public transport.

Please can we remind parents to support their children in the twice weekly, asymptomatic, lateral flow testing and not to send their children to school if they feel unwell, regardless of whether they are showing Covid-19 symptoms.

If your child is symptomatic or has been a close contact of a positive case, they should get a free PCR test; details can be found here.

If a PCR test is positive then the student needs to self-isolate for ten days, even if they have no symptoms.

Further information and advice from our local Thames Valley Health Protection Team is available in the accordion below.

Covid-19 arrangements for Michaelmas term 2021

Our first priority remains the safety of our whole school community and we will continue to emphasise the need to respect each other’s personal space and to ensure good ventilation, hand-washing and the use of hand sanitiser.

Contingency plans will be implemented as and when needed and updates to the arrangements outlined below will be posted on this webpage.

General arrangements:

  • There will be no bubbles. We will have a normal timetable with a return to the usual access to the library, dining hall (although additional dining facilities will continue to be available in the Jekyll garden) and other school facilities.
  • All students should be testing twice a week at home (on Sundays and Wednesdays) during term time. Students should complete this brief form to confirm the result of each test. Information on home testing is available on this webpage.
  • Children who are close contacts of a positive case will no longer need to self-isolate but they will be advised to take a PCR test by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Students should not come into school if they are feeling unwell, regardless of whether they have Covid-19 symptoms. Further government guidance on when to stay at home is available here.
  • If a student tests positive for Covid-19 they need to self-isolate in line with government guidance and notify the school by email: attendance@abingdon.org.uk. They will also need to have the positive test confirmed by booking a PCR test.
  • Students who are self-isolating and feel well enough can continue lessons online. Students can find details on Firefly of how to access lessons via Zoom.
  • In keeping with government guidance, we will no longer be notifying parents of positive cases in school. However this may change if we need to implement contingency planning in the event of an outbreak.
  • Face coverings/masks are not compulsory for students, except when using the Joint Bus Service or school minibuses or coaches, but if students prefer to wear a face covering when in school then they can do so. In the event of an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in school, face masks may be reintroduced in certain circumstances.
  • Sport, Music, Drama and the Other Half will all return to a full programme. Spectators are welcome to sports fixtures and live audiences to productions and concerts.
  • Trips – there will be trips during the Michaelmas term, please refer to the school calendar.
  • LFD kits are available directly from the government (follow this link) or pharmacies but they can also be collected from Faringdon Lodge reception.

Letter to secondary school parents from the Department for Education - 11 October 2021

Thames Valley Health Protection Team - information and advice

Information and Advice provided by Thames Valley Health Protection Team

What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119 and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. They can return to their normal routine and stop self-isolating after 10 full days if their symptoms have gone, or if the only symptoms you have are a cough or anosmia, which can last for several weeks. If they still have a high temperature after 10 days or are otherwise unwell, stay at home and seek medical advice.

If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset.

Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 (tested positive or symptomatic awaiting a test result)

Please see the stay at home guidance with information of what the household should do and who is exempt from isolation as a close contact. Even if you are exempt it is recommended that contacts get a PCR test, and undertake other measures outlined in the guidance such as limiting contact with anyone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces while the person in your household with COVID-19 is self-isolating.

If you / your child develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

  • get vaccinated – everyone aged 18 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now. Those aged 16 and 17 will be invited to book an appointment: Who can get the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk). Those who are aged 12-15 who are themselves clinically extremely vulnerable or live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable or meet JCVI recommendations (JCVI statement) are also eligible.
  • wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
  • open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
  • wear a face covering when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results.

Further Information

Further information is available at
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Covid-19 testing at home

Covid-19 testing at home

We are following government guidelines for the testing of students in schools to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we very much appreciate the cooperation of parents and students in keeping our community safe.

How can I obtain LFD testing kits?

LFD testing kits are available directly from the government (follow this link) or pharmacies.

When should I take a LFD test?

All students should be testing twice a week at home (on Sundays and Wednesdays) during term time. (Students will be reminded on the relevant day when to take their tests via Firefly). Further information on how to take a test is available here and from this government leaflet and video. Consent is not needed for self-testing at home and a privacy notice is linked here.

Students who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days should not take a lateral flow test.

(Students aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if needed; students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision; students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result).

How do I report a LFD test result?

Students should record the result of their test whether it is positive or negative to the School and also to NHS Test and Trace.

What should I do if my LFD test result is positive?

If a student tests positive then they will need to inform the School as quickly as possible, follow government guidance and self-isolate. They will also need to have the positive test confirmed by booking a PCR test.

What should I do if my PCR test result is positive?

The result of the PCR test (positive or negative) should be reported to the School by emailing covid.testing@abingdon.org.uk

What if I am a boarder?

Boarders will be carrying out their own tests in their boarding households (when at School). LFD testing kits will be made available for boarding students.

Any questions should be sent by email to covid.testing@abingdon.org.uk

Covid-19 risk assessment