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Article date - 08 March 2021
With support from community volunteers and St Helens Borough Council through training, schools have completed high-levels of lateral flow symptom-free tests on staff and pupils - with parental consent - to ensure school is as safe as it can be for students to resume face to face learning from Monday 8 March.
Among those to lend a helping hand in the operation was St Cuthbert’s cleaning legend, Lil Mea, who returned to her old stomping ground, where she gave 40 years’ service, to assist with the roll out of more than 900 tests.
Meanwhile, nursing students played an important role during Cowley International College’s testing programme, demonstrating a whole school community coming together to keep everyone safe as possible.
Over at Rainhill High School, 24 community volunteers answered the school’s call for help, resulting in the completion of two tests per student, giving reassurance to families and staff before they return to learning. While De La Salle High School, Haydock High School, Hope Academy, St Augustine’s and Penkford have also recorded successful testing programmes.
Praising schools and volunteers for their contribution, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Business Cllr Kate Groucutt said:
“It’s really important that we get young people back to school for their education and wider well-being, and this might not have been possible without the incredible efforts of schools and selfless volunteers who have given up their time to help out with testing. Once again showing the #StHelensTogether ethos in action.
“The new arrangements for testing staff, pupils and families, and the vaccination programme which continues at pace, will help to keep rates falling in St Helens Borough, but we can’t afford complacency if we want to keep our community safe and keep children in school.”
With school and college attendance once again mandatory, St Helens Borough Council has relaunched a campaign in a bid to safely get pupils back into the classroom.
All In’ has been developed to stress the importance of children and young people returning to a learning environment - and to assure parents and carers that a range of measures have been put in place at education settings to keep pupils and staff safe.
For more information, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/backtoschool