Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are pleased to share the news that Noadswood is taking part in an exciting new Hampshire and Isle of Wight Covid-19 testing programme, starting this term. This new test is very simple and involves collecting a sample of saliva in a plastic pot, and the test used is the one featured in a BBC News piece (click link).
Students will receive a testing pack which contains pots and a leaflet that shows you how to collect a sample at home, which is then to be dropped off in school (we will share more information with you soon about how this process this will work). Knowing who has Covid-19 is vital to stopping its spread and we very much hope that you are as excited as we are about the potential for this test to help us manage the risk of Covid-19. Alongside all the other measures we are taking to control the virus, it should help us to keep Noadswood and our wider community as safe as possible.
Testing is not compulsory, though we would strongly encourage students to take part.
How will the testing work?
Students will bring their test kit and labels home from Noadswood the day before their first test as well as a leaflet giving step by step instructions. They will be given enough sample pots and labels for eight weeks of testing. It is important that students take the test when they wake up - before they have anything to eat or drink and before they brush their teeth.
Once the sample has been labelled and bagged, students will need to bring it to school with them and put it into the big collection box (we will update you about these locations closer to the time). The tests will be collected and taken to the test centre on the same day. Test results will be returned in the next 24-48 hours and you will receive a text message telling you the result of the test.
If the test is positive, everyone in the household must start isolating immediately. The programme team will contact you and ensure you get the help and advice you need (this test is for students who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 - if you do have Cocid-19 symptoms students should not attend Noadswood and a PCR test should be ordered through the government website (click link) or by calling 119.
If a student is absent from school or forgets to bring in their test, they can bring it in on the next collection day – this can be put into the separate collection box (we will update you about these locations closer to the time).
The video below shows how the saliva test work
We have also made a specific guide page (click here).
To enable the partnership running the Covid-19 Testing Programme between University Hospital Southampton, local government, and the University of Southampton to deploy the test kits to the school and to manage the collection of samples from schools, our school will be sharing contact details of students and their parents or guardians, as well as staff, with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
As you know from our Noadswood's Privacy Notice (click link) we are very serious about protecting the personal data of all members of the Noadswood community, and we will maintain this approach in relation to this data sharing. We will only be sharing limited contact details. The NHS will share confidentially with nominated senior leadership within Noadswood positive test results to enable immediate initiation of contact tracing to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.
We have included some important documents - please do take the time to read them.
If you have any questions or would like to exercise your right to object to this data sharing, please call the contact centre on the number below.
You should find answers to any questions on the testing programme on www.southampton.gov.uk/covid19testing where there is also a web chat service.
Alternatively, you can call the contact centre on 0808 196 2282 (lines are open Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 5.00pm).
Wishing you all our very best,
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team