Since January and the start of lockdown, Thomas Adams has been carrying out asymptomatic testing for keyworker/vulnerable students and staff on-site. Like all secondary schools, and to have students return to the classroom, we quickly set-up and organised for the mass testing of 1200 students to have 3 tests in school. With over 90% of parents giving consent, in excess of 3000 tests have been carried out in 3 weeks.
At the Lowe Hill site, the school set up 9 testing bays. Each bay containing a maintained, sterile and private area for students to take their mouth and nasal swabs.
Each day, a daily team of around 33 staff and 5 volunteers worked together to meet and greet students, register them, supervise the testing process and process the Lateral Flow tests. Finally, the recording of results which were then uploaded to the NHS website.
Peter Neale, Business Manager says “thank you to everyone who has been involved in the testing process. This is a real example of team work and the whole community coming together to ensure everyone’s safety and allowing a safe return to school”.
One parent commented “Working in a primary school myself, I understand the daily challenges faced by schools at the moment. I can only begin to imagine the amount of administration and organisation that will have gone into the arrangements for the past few weeks. Please pass on mine and my husband’s thanks to all the staff involved and for all the teachers’ efforts over the last couple of months of home learning”.
Headteacher, Mark Cooper, added “the young people have responded brilliantly and have been calm and well-behaved in swabbing themselves”.
Now that students have completed 3 tests in school, we have distributed over 2400 home testing kits. Students will now continue with twice-weekly, symptom-free testing in this vital part of the fight against Covid-19.