From Monday 25th January, staff at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School have the option to take Lateral Flow Tests at home in order to see if they are asymptomatic carriers of the Covid-19 coronavirus. These kits have been offered to all primary school staff in England from the NHS and DfE, and are voluntary for staff to take. The thinking behind the testing offer is to detect individuals who, although positive with Covid-19, may not be showing symptoms but could still be contagious. Given that positive cases of Covid-19 amongst the staff and pupil cohort at St Peter’s has remained exceptionally low when placed in the national and global context, it is not expected that there will be many if any asymptomatic positive returns. Staff are advised to take these tests twice a week, every 3 to 4 days, on days when they attend the workplace. Staff are also advised to take these tests first thing in the morning in order to reduce to a minimum the time gap between the test and attending the workplace, and so reduce the chance of unknowingly contracting the virus. This very short time gap between testing and starting the working day could present staffing challenges if we get late notice of a colleague not being able to attend work. Also, we would need to engage in the usual track, trace and subsequent self-isolation of individuals who may have had contact with a positive Covid-19 case, even asymptomatic ones. As you would expect, we will do all we can to minimise staffing disruption on children’s education, be that in school or at home, and will engage fully with all required actions in the event of any positive Covid-19 case being reported to us by individuals who have been on the school site.
Mr R Cunningham