variant - appeal - covid testing - tests

Headteachers in Nantwich are appealing for volunteers to help them carry out mass Covid testing when secondary schools return in January after the Christmas break.

Brine Leas and Malbank heads David Cole and John Harrison today contacted all parents to launch the appeal.

It comes just 24 hours after the Government announced plans for testing of all staff and students from January 4.

They say they “urgently” need people in the community to come forward and that they do not need to be medically trained.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced yesterday that secondary schools would have a “staggered” return in January to allow for testing to to place.

It means year 11 and 13 students will be back on January 4 but other years will have online teaching and not likely to be back until January 11.

David Cole, head at Brine Leas, said: “While I’m not yet able to clarify the final detail of the first week of next term until after the weekend, there are some things that we already know.

“The most urgent one is that it is the Government’s intention to test all of the staff and students as they return to school and then use rapid testing to help reduce the number of people that need to isolate when there is a confirmed case.

“To make this happen, we urgently need a group of volunteers at the start of next term and beyond to help us make this a reality.

“Volunteers don’t need to be medically trained, but any that are would obviously be incredibly useful.

“If we are able to recruit a good number of volunteers then this will help to reduce the burden on those that are volunteering.

“We need a group of volunteers to assist us with this so we are able to continue providing education and pastoral care to our students during this phase.”

John Harrison, at Malbank, added: “We’ve already had a fantastic response from parents after I sent out an email asking for support.

“But we will need more support to achieve the level of service we want to achieve.

“Any help from people in Nantwich will be warmly received.”

Training and PPE will be provided and volunteers do not need experience or background checks to volunteer.

Volunteer roles include:

Quality Lead/Team Leader – on-site operations at the test site, including day-to-day workforce management. Ensure quality assurance, incidents, risks mitigation across the testing service.

Test Assistant – guidance and supervision on swabbing as requested, collecting completed swabs for processing, cleaning swabbing bays.

Processor – preparing samples for analysis, processing of LFT and interpreting and passing results to Results Recorder, cleaning of processing bays.

COVID-19 Coordinator – signing off and schedules testing activities, ensuring communications and consents actioned, managing positive cases as per school/college guidelines.

Registration Assistant – ensuring subjects are registered and distributing test kits on arrival. Ensuring entry of subjects onto testing site.

Results Recorder – collating results from processing operatives and uploads to digital solution.

Cleaner – cleaning testing bays, ensuring waste correctly disposed of, including working with clinical waste provider to dispose of clinical waste.

A NHS handbook on how this will work in schools has been created, here.

Anyone who can volunteer in the first few weeks of term are urged to email to [email protected]  with the word ‘Volunteer’ in the subject line providing name, contact phone number, indication of any (or all) roles able to help  with and approximate availability.

For Malbank volunteers email [email protected]

One Comment

  1. des thorley says:

    Should be lots of folk that can help here

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