Please use the following link to see the latest Covid-19 information for parents from Conwy County Council and take some time to have a look through the information in the tabs below.
Covid-19 Procedures in school
Following announcements by Welsh Government earlier this week, I wanted to update you on the way we will be working for the remainder of the term, and to highlight some changes in their guidance which will affect us all.
1. Face coverings:
As they have been since the start of this term, face coverings are now optional in school and on school transport. Whilst the Coronavirus is still prevalent in our community, this is a matter of personal choice, and students will have our full support whether they choose to wear a face covering or not.
2. If your child has Covid-19 Symptoms:
If your child has a high temperature, a continuous cough or a loss or change of taste or smell, please keep them off school and arrange for them to complete a lateral flow test. We will continue to check for these symptoms in school for the time being, and will ask you to collect your child if they are exhibiting any of them.
3. Lateral Flow testing:
Staff and students are no longer required to carry out regular, asymptomatic, lateral flow testing. However, if you have symptoms of the virus you should use these tests to identify whether or not you have it. You should also continue to report test results using this link : Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). All the details you need regarding ordering and using these tests is available on our website here : https://www.aberconwy.conwy.sch.uk/en_gb/covid-19-lft-testing/
4. Isolation for positive Covid-19 cases:
If any student or member of staff tests positive for the virus, they should self-isolate. The isolation period remains at 10 days, but if your child records negative lateral flow tests on day 5 and day 6 of the isolation period, they may finish their isolation early on day 6 (and return to school). If not, they should continue testing until they receive two consecutive negative tests.
Self-isolation of GCSE, AS and A level candidates:
If your child is undertaking exams this summer and they test positive, the length of time they need to stay in isolation has been reduced in some circumstances to reduce the disruption it may cause. The isolation period remains at 10 days, but if any student undertaking exams records negative lateral flow tests on day 3 and day 4 of the isolation period, they may finish their isolation early on day 4 (and return to school). If not, they should continue testing until they receive two consecutive negative tests.
5. Household contacts:
This term, in line with national guidance, we suggest that staff and students who have been in close contact with family members testing positive complete a daily lateral flow test for a period of 7 days. As long as these tests remain negative, your child may continue to attend school.
I hope this provides a useful summary of how we will be operating this term – if you need any further information by all means get in touch with us or you can access the government’s guidance here: https://gov.wales/self-isolation.
In conclusion, as we appear to be reaching the end of restrictions in school, may I take this opportunity to thank you for all the help and support you have given to the school, and of course your children, over the last two years. This has been a very challenging time for us all but I have been very impressed by the resilience and positivity shown by our students throughout. We look forward to the ongoing return to some kind of normality, and being able to offer all the activities, support and inspiration they enjoyed before the global pandemic.
Update – Arrangements from Monday 25th April 2022
Following recent updates and announcements from Welsh Government, we will be adjusting the way we operate at the start of the new term from tomorrow onwards. Below is a summary of what your children need to know:
Update – Arrangements from Monday 28th February 2022
As school reopens, I wanted to update you on the way we will be working for the remainder of the term, and to highlight some changes in the Welsh Government guidance which will affect us all.
NHS Test, Trace, Protect: COVID-19 Rapid Lateral Flow Self-Test
15th April 2021
Dear Parent Carer
The Welsh Government has recently announced that a free and voluntary programme of asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will be available in education and childcare settings across Wales and is to be extended to all students in years 7-13 from Monday April 19th.
Along with the primary infection control measures we have implemented, such as social distancing and good hand hygiene, testing will allow us to provide some additional reassurance to the wider school/college community.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 have the virus without symptoms so could be transmitting the virus unknowingly. Part of controlling the spread of the virus requires identifying those infectious individuals who aren’t showing any symptoms and asking them to self-isolate. Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. The speed and convenience of LFD tests supports detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise be tested. They are clinically approved and are crucial in the fight against the virus.
As the tests are more sensitive with higher viral loads, there is a risk of returning a negative result when viral loads are low (e.g. in the early stages of infection). This is why it is recommended that two LFD tests are taken 3 to 4 days apart, on a Sunday and a Wednesday evening, to enhance detection by picking up any cases which were not detected during the first test and to catch any new infections.
If you test positive using a LFD, it is likely that you are infectious and you must self-isolate immediately and book and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test through the NHS within 24 hours of your positive LFD test result. Contact tracing will be triggered following a positive LFD and your close contacts will be required to self-isolate until you receive your PCR test result, if the PCR test result is positive you and your close contacts will have to self-isolate.
A negative LFD result should not be read as a means to relax or ignore social distancing or other virus prevention measures intended to reduce transmission – LFD is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk.
How the tests work
If you agree to take part, will need to be complete a consent form and return it to school. We will then give you a pack of LFD test kits which will enable self-testing from home. Tests should be taken on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in around 30 minutes. Comprehensive guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet which comes with the test kit. Once the test has been conducted each test result must be logged online at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Purpose of testing
It is important to highlight that the purposes of the testing policy in education and childcare in Wales is to complement the primary control measures (such as social distancing and face coverings) that have already been put in place to enable face to face learning / care to continue and to:
– Rapidly identify those who are regularly on site during learning hours, who are unknowingly carrying the virus and ask them to self-isolate to reduce disruption to face to face education.
– Complement symptomatic results data with asymptomatic results data to provide a picture of infection rates as marker for the effectiveness, and implementation of, primary control measures and to assist in the early identification of clusters. In addition to a range of other data and public health advice this information can be used to inform national policy decisions.
The testing policy for education and childcare should not be viewed as a ‘test to enable’ or ‘test to return’ to face to face learning i.e. it is not a condition of coming on to the site or accessing learning/care. Additionally, this testing offer is entirely voluntary.
Consent / Privacy
All individuals wishing to take part should familiarise themselves with the testing process and privacy notice, if you choose to participate, you are committing to self-administer the test and provide results for all tests (negative or positive).
With our primary protective measures and testing, we will help to reduce the spread of the virus. I am therefore strongly encouraging all staff and students to take the tests. However, anyone who chooses not to participate should still attend school if they are not displaying symptoms.
People who decline to participate in this testing programme should follow the usual national guidelines on self-isolation and anyone should get tested if they show symptoms.
Ysgol Aberconwy – COVID-19 Testing of Students/ Learners in Education Settings Privacy Statement
Ownership of the Personal Data
To enable the Covid-19 testing to be completed at Ysgol Aberconwy we need to process personal data, including the sharing of personal data where this is allowed under data protection legislation. Ysgol Aberconwy is the Data Controller for the data required for the management of tests and implementing local arrangements in the event of a positive test.
We will process personal data relating to students and learners under article 6.1(f) of the UK GDPR – it is necessary in the legitimate interest of the data controller. We will process special category personal data under the provisions of article 9.2(i) of the UK GDPR, and Part 1 of Schedule 1(3) of DPA 2018 where it is in the public interest on Public Health Grounds to ensure we can minimise the spread of COVID in a timely manner and enable us to continue to deliver education services as safely and securely as possible. This data is processed under the obligations set out in Public Health legislation (Regulations 3(1) and (4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI)) which allows the sharing of data for COVID related purposes and where it is carried out by a health care professional OR someone who owes an equivalent duty of confidentiality to that data.
Ownership of the Personal Data you share with DHSC
Every time you use a lateral flow test you must report the results. More details can be found here – Report a COVID-19 test result – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the data controller for the information that you transfer to them about you and your test results. For more information about what the DHSC do with your data please see their COVID-19 Privacy Notice
The education setting remains the Data Controller for the data we retain about you for the management of tests and implementing local arrangements in the event of a positive test.
You should read both this Privacy Notice and the DHSC COVID-19 Privacy Notice to understand how your personal data is used prior to taking a test.
Personal Data involved
The following personal data is processed by the education setting in relation to your test:
· Unique code assigned to each individual test and which will become the primary reference number for the tests.
· Test result For more information about what the DHSC do with your data please see their COVID-19 Privacy Notice
How we store your personal information
The education setting will maintain a test kit log which will record against your name details of the testing kit which has been provided to you. The education setting may also record Personal Data about you in its internal COVID-19 results register (the education setting’s COVID-19 results register will not be shared with DHSC). This information will only be stored securely on locally managed systems with appropriate access controls in education setting and will only be accessible to personnel involved in the management of tests and implementing local arrangements in the event of a positive test.
The education setting will retain its test kit log and COVID-19 results register for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of the last entries made by the education setting into them. For more information about what the DHSC do with your data please see their COVID-19 Privacy Notice
Processing of Personal Data Relating to Positive test results
We will use this information to enact our own COVID isolation and control processes without telling anyone who it is that has received the positive test. For more information about what the DHSC do with your data please see their COVID-19 Privacy Notice
This information will be kept by the education setting for period of twelve (12) months by the education setting and by the NHS for eight (8) years.
Processing of Personal Data Relating to Negative and Void test results
We will record a negative and void result for the purpose of stock controls of tests and general performance of the testing process.
Data Sharing Partners
The personal data associated with test results will be shared with
· DHSC, NHS Wales, PHW – to ensure that they can undertake the necessary Test, Trace, Protect activities and to conduct research and compile statistical information about Coronavirus.
· Your GP – the NHS may share the information you provide with your GP to maintain your medical records and to offer support and guidance as necessary. Any data you provide to the education setting will not be shared with your GP.
· Local Government to undertake local public health duties and to record and analyse local spreads.
Personal Data in the education setting test kit log will be shared with DHSC to identify which test kit has been given to which individual in the event of a product recall. The education setting will not share its internal COVID-19 results register with DHSC.
Under data protection law, you have rights including:
Your right of access – You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.
Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to object to processing – You have the the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.
You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.
Please contact us at [insert email address, phone number and or postal address of education setting’s DPO] if you wish to make a request.
How to complain
If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at [Insert your organisation’s contact details for data protection queries].
You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.
The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
Staff and students in years 7-13 along with college learners are being offered free Lateral Flow Tests to help combat Covid-19.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 have the virus without symptoms so could be transmitting the virus unknowingly. Part of controlling the spread of the virus requires identifying those infectious individuals who aren’t showing any symptoms and asking them to self-isolate.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests are being used widely to successfully detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals.
The speed and convenience of LFD tests supports detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise be tested. They are clinically approved and are crucial in the fight against the virus.
Parents of students in years 7 to 11 need to complete an electronic consent form before their child can be given the LFD test equipment. Please use the link below for the appropriate year group for your child:
Students in years 12 and 13 must complete their own electronic consent form which will be made available to them on their Year Group Team, or by clicking HERE. They do not need to have parental consent.
What is asymptomatic testing?
Asymptomatic testing is testing people for coronavirus who are not displaying any of the normal symptoms to see if they are unknowingly carrying the virus.
If individuals have coronavirus symptoms, they should self-isolate and arrange to have a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (you can book online or by calling 119) and not use the LFD test.
Why are you offering tests?
The aim of the testing is to quickly identify those who are unknowingly carrying the virus so that they can self-isolate. This will prevent less people catching the virus and reduce the amount of close contacts who have to self-isolate reducing the impact that coronavirus has on face to face education and childcare.
These tests will also help us to gain a much clearer picture of what is really happening in our schools and settings and provide reassurance to the wider community.
It is recognised that asymptomatic testing is likely to lead to an increase in case rates initially, however this increase is likely to decline once positive cases are isolated and transmission chains are broken.
What is involved with the asymptomatic testing for education and childcare?
Education and registered childcare and play settings will have access to Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) for distribution to any eligible individuals that would like to take part. This enables anyone who is eligible to undertake a test for coronavirus at home twice a week. The LFDs provide a result within 30 minutes and don’t require a laboratory to process.
Who is eligible for the routine tests?
In addition, all secondary school students in years 7-13 and all Further Education (FE) learners will be able to access LFDs to undertake regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing, alongside the current provision for staff listed above.
Which Leaners will be eligible to access routine testing?
We intend for all learners in years 7-13 and in all learners in FE colleges to be able to access LFDs should they choose to undertake regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing.
Should learners with additional support needs take part in this testing offer?
For some learners with additional support needs it may not be appropriate for testing to take place under any circumstances. Schools should work with parents/carers and those who work most closely with students with additional support needs to decide whether testing will be appropriate, taking into consideration the needs of the individual.
Risk assessments play a key role in considering the individual needs of young people with additional support needs, and may be used to consider whether the self-test programme will be appropriate (taking into account the potential for support from parents or guardians).
I am not on the eligibility list but work in an education or childcare setting, does that mean I won’t be able to access routine monitoring?
All those who regularly work in education and childcare settings on a day to day basis should be offered tests. We are working with partners to establish the routes in which professionals who regularly work in education and childcare settings but are not directly associated with one school or setting can access testing. These include professions such as school or college transport drivers, supply teachers, transport escorts and child minders.
Which settings can offer routine tests?
In education, this includes:
All childcare and play staff are eligible for testing, including those working in all roles at day care settings and childminders. This includes:
Is testing voluntary?
Yes, testing is voluntary, but individuals are strongly encouraged to take up the offer to further reduce the risk of asymptomatic transmission.
If individuals have coronavirus symptoms, they should arrange to have a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test you can book online or by calling 119 and not use the lateral flow device (LFD) test.
Do I have to take a test in order to attend school/college?
No. The purpose of this testing offer is to try and quickly find those who are carrying the virus without displaying any symptoms and ask them to self-isolate. This will reduce disruption to face to face education.
No test is perfect and lateral flow tests should not be used as a confirmation that the individual is not carrying the virus in order to attend school or college as sometimes the test may not pick up when someone is infectious.
Once the individual understands the testing process and has read a privacy notice, if they choose to participate they are committing to self-administer the test and provide their results. Education and childcare settings should ensure that individuals provide their results (positive, negative or void) to the NHS via the results portal. Results should also be shared with their workplace to support local contact tracing.
What is a lateral flow test device?
Lateral Flow (Antigen) testing involves the processing of nasal and throat swab samples with a Lateral Flow Device (LFD). The device, best described as looking like a home pregnancy test, detects a protein (antigen) produced by the virus. If present in the person’s sample, a coloured line appears on the device that can be read between 20-30 minutes after processing.
What is the difference between regular Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and Lateral Flow Tests (LFT)?
Both the RT-PCR test and lateral flow test require a swab to be taken from the nose and throat. The RT-PCR is used for those who are experiencing symptoms and the swab is analysed in a lab.
Whereas, a lateral flow test is used for those not experiencing symptoms and the swab can be analysed using a lateral flow device at home, so the results can be returned within an hour. While LFDs are not as sensitive as lab-based RT-PCR tests, scientific advice has indicated that by testing more frequently with LFDs, their accuracy is on a par with RT-PCR tests and this is why we repeat the tests on a twice weekly basis.
Why are you asking education and childcare settings to undertake routine testing?
The Welsh Government are offering staff in education and childcare settings and all secondary school and FE learners, the opportunity to undergo twice weekly testing. Testing is voluntary, although all those offered the test are encouraged to take up the offer.
Education and childcare settings have implemented the control measures outlined in sector guidance to reduce the risk of transmission. The testing offer will enable settings to reduce this risk further by safeguarding against the transmission of the coronavirus by those who show no symptoms.
Recent pilots in Wales and the wider UK have shown how routine, rapid testing can be used effectively and have positive impacts in schools and other settings.
The routine test regime tests asymptomatic individuals – those who do not have coronavirus symptoms. If an asymptomatic person receives a positive test result via the routine testing (see further advice on a positive test below), they must self-isolate according to the guidance in order to prevent further transmission of the virus. In this way twice weekly testing identifies cases of coronavirus that would otherwise have not been found and helps to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community.
While twice weekly testing help us prevent the spread in the community, it is important that settings continue to implement the control measures outlined in the guidance specific to the settings to lessen the risk of transmission and likelihood of positive test results.
Are the test provided free of charge?
Yes. There is no charge for the tests.
How do I order my tests?
Initially all schools, colleges, alternative provision and registered childcare settings that are open will be sent tests kits.
The school or setting will manage the collection of tests (7 in a box for staff and 3 in a box for students/learners) to individuals who would like to take part in regular testing.
For individuals who do not wish to participate in twice weekly testing, they are able to attend the setting providing they have not come into contact with a positive case, developed symptoms or received a positive COVID-19 test result outside the setting’s testing programme.
I am a Headteacher/Principle/Manager, how will I order tests for my setting?
An initial supply of kits will automatically be sent to all schools, colleges, alternative provision and registered childcare settings. A delivery schedule will be issued to all settings in advance of deliveries.
Resupply of test kits will automatically be sent to the schools and settings until later in the year when schools and settings will be able to manage their own resupply via a website. Further information will be provided to eligible schools and settings when this function is available.
How often should I take the test?
Welsh Government have changed their guidance regarding the frequency of testing. The expectation is that all staff and students of secondary age and above should test twice a week using LFDs. It is for the individuals and the individual settings to make appropriate arrangements for the days on which tests are undertaken. We would like tests to be taken on Sunday evening/Monday morning, and Wednesday evening/Thursday morning. It is recommended now that all secondary school staff and students return to testing twice a
week before entering school using LFDs.
When should I take the test?
We are asking all students to complete a test on Sunday evening/Monday morning, and Wednesday evening/Thursday morning.
Do I have to take the test on the same days each week?
Yes, it is advised that tests should be taken on a fixed schedule e.g. the same days and times each week.
If I’ve previously had Coronavirus in the last 90 days, should I still undertake twice weekly testing?
Anyone that has previously tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test should not be tested on this programme within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset or test (if asymptomatic).
The education and childcare programme is not for individuals who are symptomatic and tests should not be used in those circumstances. If you go on to develop new COVID-19 symptoms within this time, you should not take your lateral flow test, please urgently book a PCR test and self-isolate. You can arrange a test by booking online or by calling 119.
I have been vaccinated, should I still take the tests?
Yes, the LFD test confirms if you are infectious to other people. Current scientific advice is that vaccinated individuals should still take part in the same way as anyone who has not been vaccinated. This will be kept under review and any changes will be communicated through the schools and settings leads.
How will the testing work?
Education and childcare settings will be supplied with at home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits which individuals will be able to use twice weekly 3-4 days apart before coming into work or setting, ideally in the morning. The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in about 30 minutes. Testing is not mandatory for individuals and they will not need to produce a negative test result, or provide proof of having taken a test, to return to work in person. However, testing is strongly encouraged.
LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and are crucial in the fight against the virus. The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace current testing policy for those with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms, whether they are involved in the asymptomatic testing programme or not, will still be expected to obtain a PCR test and follow NHS Test, Trace, Protect Guidance, self-isolating until they have received their results.
Settings and individuals must continue with all current protective measures – asymptomatic testing does not replace these controls or make these less important in controlling the virus.
How accurate is a Lateral Flow test?
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. The speed and convenience of LFD tests supports detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise be tested.
Extensive clinical evaluation has been carried out on the lateral flow tests. Evaluations from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show these tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.
LFD tests identify individuals with the early stage of infectiousness and with the highest infectivity. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying by LFD remains important.
It is important to remember that these tests are an additional layer of health protection measure in addition to face coverings, social distancing etc. People who have had a negative LFD test must still comply with the relevant protective measures for their workplace.
How do I undertake the test?
Training is not required, the tests can be self-administered and come with clear instructions, but in summary:
Each time an individual takes a test they need to record the result via the online results portal (which can be accessed via a smartphone) or by the phone number provided in the test kit. This needs to be done each time a test is take regardless of whether the result is negative or positive.
How do individuals with complex needs undertake the test?
For some learners with additional support needs it may not be possible to self-swab and process the tests. In these cases it may be possible for parents or guardians to support the process. It is for the individual and their parents/guardian to consider if participation with the testing programme is appropriate, taking into consideration the needs of the individual.
How do I record my result?
When you have completed your test, you must send your result to the NHS using this link www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.In addition, if the test is Positive, you must let the school know using this link HERE.
What do I do if my result is positive?
If the result is positive you will need to:
In the meantime, you must follow the self-isolation guidance and self-isolate for 10 days, as will all members of your household. This should start immediately from the LFD positive test result.
If the PCR test result is negative you can end your self-isolation period and resume twice weekly testing.
What do I do if the result is negative?
If the test result is negative, you will need to record this via the online results portal but no further action is required and you can continue your day as usual. All results must be recorded.
How do I dispose of the test?
Regardless of the test result, once your test is complete, put all of the used test kit contents in the waste bag provided. Seal the bag and keep this in a safe place for 72 hours, after this time dispose of the bag in your general household waste.
Can I use the test on a member of my family?
No, the tests are for those working in education, childcare and play settings and those learners in secondary school and FE learners. This means that tests should not be used for family members.
Lateral flow tests should not be used if you develop symptoms, please book a PCR test if you develop symptoms.
How do I store the tests?
The tests kits should be stored indoors in a dry space where the temperature does not drop beneath 2 degrees and does not exceed 30 degrees. When taking and processing the tests, these should be at room temperature (approximately 15 to 30 degrees).
Settings will need to create and update a test kit log and a test register to record the distribution of test kits and manage test kit supply.