Testing, testing 123

Testing, testing 123

14 January 2021

Mrs Julia Wood, Director of Finance & Operations

The Government’s decision just before Christmas asking schools to run COVID-19 testing on site from January was something of a challenge, but with the usual Woldingham ‘can do’ attitude, one we rose to.  In the first two of weeks of January, we completed nearly 200 tests for staff who have to be on site and the small number of international boarders who are with us.

Planning was complex and involved staff across the school. This included a number of staff undertaking online government training. Certainly a different way to spend New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, the boxes of testing kits and PPE arrived as promised on Monday 4 January. Now where to put our testing centre?

Head of Operations Mrs Rachel Leyland and her team transformed the Exam Centre into a different form of testing room!  Director of IT Mr Paul Ireland set up our IT and registered the centre as part of the Government process. School Nurse Mrs Liz Scott-Clark and Lower Sixth Housemistress Mrs Angela Wiseman were invaluable in helping with testing the boarders, all of whom needed two tests.  So far, everyone has been able to complete the self-administered lateral flow test and we have not had any positive tests… so far so good. 

We have found the testing process quite straightforward and while the training is helpful, walking through the logistics with colleagues means that we have established a very efficient and safe process that makes use of the excellent facilities in the Exam Centre.  The testing centre will continue to be used for weekly testing of staff and any new boarders that join the school. Although, we may need to relocate if the exams team need to reclaim the space for the sort of tests that don’t involve PPE and lateral flow!