Old Palace Rolls Out On Site Covid-19 Testing

The first few weeks of term brought
a new but exciting challenge for our Health Officer and operations team: how to set up a Covid-19 lateral flow testing centre on the School site!

The first challenge was to find the right space in which to locate our new testing centre, ensuring it had a non-porous floor, would allow a one-way system to be set up and had enough space to accommodate the several staff members required to run the new facility. The science department, thankfully, had just the right kind of room.

Our Health Office, Kim Bednarz, our Operations Manager, Tanya Knowles, our mini-bus driver and former paramedic, Sharon Swann and myself duly completed all the relevant training models and got ready to run our trial test using ourselves as Guinea pigs. Having run a successful test, we were ready to start inviting staff to be tested. Having put the staff through the not very comfortable process of testing, we were ready to start testing some students.

We invited the children of critical workers to come in for a test before starting the provision on site. I have to praise the girls for how well they coped with having to put the swab so far up their noses. They made far less fuss than some of the staff !

Since that first week, we have now put in place a regular testing regime
for the children of critical workers and staff. This is providing all of us with a sense of reassurance that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone
in our community safe. We have also expanded the number of staff who are able to process the tests, with our highly skilled science technicians all very keen to become involved. I would like to thank Dawn Oakley, Claire Aldred, Jacky Peplow and Matthew Poole for being such enthusiasts.

Having assembled our team and developed a clear process, I know that when we are able to welcome all students back to School we will be ready to test them all!  Mrs Sinclair