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South Dartmoor
Community College

Return to School Plans


Thank you for your patience while we worked out the best way for our students to return to face to face learning. To give you some context, the government has made it a requirement for all students who give consent to have a total of three Lateral Flow Tests three to five working days (including weekend days) apart, before moving to home testing. They must all be tested once before they return to classrooms. If they are in school when testing takes place, they must remain in a holding area before their test and they must then wait the 30 minutes for the test result before going back to lessons, assuming it is negative.

Until yesterday, the government had said that no students should be allowed to come on site to have a test prior to coming back to school but they have now reversed that decision, allowing testing to be carried out from the 1st March, providing students arrive in time for their test and leave site afterwards. We have considered all the options and permeations of what is best for students, families, staff and the school community in general.

We are really keen to get students back to school and enjoying face to face learning without disruption while also recognising that some will feel anxious. Our priorities for the student return are that:

  • Everyone is safe, safety remains our top priority.
  • Learning can take place uninterrupted.
  • Students feel supported through positive relationships and strong, clear and simple routines. 

We have carefully considered all options available to us and managed to find a solution that addresses all three key priorities.

From Monday 1st March we will begin testing students who have consented and we intend to have tested all students three times before the whole school returns on Wednesday 10th March at 8.45am. The advantages of this model are that we minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission before anyone returns, therefore keeping everyone as safe as possible, all students return at the same time, learning is not disrupted by any testing moving forward and routines and staffing can be maintained without any interference from the testing procedure. You will receive a detailed letter with information about booking appointments at your convenience for your child(ren) to be tested. All students who consent will be invited in for their three tests on:

1. Monday 1st March, Thursday 4th March and Monday 8th March (one test each day; it has to be on these days to meet the expectations of testing being 3 – 5 days apart).


2. Tuesday 2nd March, Friday 5th March and Tuesday 9th March (one test each day; it has to be on these days to meet the expectations of testing being 3 – 5 days apart).

The letter will contain all the details you will need regarding testing and, I hope, will answer any questions you may have. Please be assured that remote learning will still take place over these days, although it will be more of a blended approach with some live lessons and some independent learning being set. There will be two occasions when staff will be required to do some training to prepare ourselves for our return, when independent learning will replace live learning. Also, please note that Supervised Remote Learning on site, for those children who are children of key workers or who are considered vulnerable, will still take place. Places for this provision can still be booked in the usual way.

Many thanks for your support.

 Mrs J Veal

Executive Head teacher