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Testing For 4,000 TMAT Secondary Students In Phased Return To The Classroom

Caroline Yates, Principal of Tollbar Academy, is pictured along-side some of the testing stations which will facilitate mass Covid testing so that students can return to school.

Tollbar Multi Academy Trust is gearing up to test almost 4,000 students during a phased return to school, beginning on Monday March 8.

In line with Government guidelines, all secondary students will be tested every 3-5 days to ensure that they can safely return to the classroom for the first time since Christmas.

The logistics of the phased return will be slightly different at each of the Trust’s four secondary schools, Tollbar, Cleethorpes, Louth and Somercotes Academies, because of the size of the individual premises and the number of students at each school.

All parents will be informed in writing with details of their child’s return to the Academy.

The Academies have well-prepared testing stations in place and will be increasing the number of stations at the larger academies to facilitate extra capacity. 

Students will have three tests at the Academy supervised by staff and then parents will be offered the opportunity to carry out two lateral flow tests at home per week, although there will still be provision for testing in school for students who may find this difficult.

All students will be expected to wear face masks in corridors and classrooms or any areas where social distancing is not possible. Enhanced cleaning of all areas will continue as before.

Janice Hornby, Principal at Cleethorpes Academy, said: “We are very excited to welcome all students back into the classroom. Our remote learning has been excellent but there simply is no substitute for face-to-face teaching and learning.

‘Cleethorpes Academy, as with all of the Academies within the Trust, is ready to test its students and get them back into the classroom during the week of March 8. It presents logistical challenges for us all but we are well-prepared, and I believe my Academy will be a safe environment for students to return to.”

Martin Brown, CEO of the Trust, said: “As educationalists we are really pleased that children will be back in the classroom. We just want to get back to normal as soon as we possibly can and this is a step in the right direction. Teachers and students are looking forward to it.”

The Trust’s three Primary Schools - Reynolds Academy in Cleethorpes, Pilgrim Academy in Immingham, and Theddlethorpe Academy - will all return to full-time schooling from Monday March 8. 

Pupils will all return on the same day with social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning in place as before. There is no requirement for testing of primary school children. Parents will be signposted to the school websites for more detailed information.

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