COVID-19 Response

Students returned to face-to-face learning at Blackburn Central High School during the week commencing Monday 8th March 2021.

In order to ensure that their return to school is as safe as possible, we will maintain the bubble system and the same hygiene and safety procedures that we had in place last term.

In addition, students who are not exempt are required to wear a face covering in lessons where social distancing is not guaranteed. This is currently a temporary measure until the Easter break to support a safe transition back into school.

We have been directed to carry out three lateral flow tests with students during the first two weeks, three to five days apart, to support a safe return.

After the three lateral flow tests they take in school, students will be given their own testing kit that they will use at home under adult supervision. Students and staff will also be home testing during the Easter break.


Covid safe school systems

School will be run in the same way as last term.

If your child or anyone in your extended household has any of the key Covid-19 symptoms, please keep your child off school and follow the government guidelines. This will help to keep the community safe and ensure that we can keep school open to all students.

It is importance that all students have a clean mask with them every morning, and that they adhere to all the guidelines and are in full school uniform. The key focus for students is on hand sanitisation and social distancing wherever possible.

Students must bring their own equipment and PE kits on their timetabled PE days (Year 7 students should attend school wearing their PE kit on days with PE). Unfortunately, we are not able to loan equipment to students due to covid restrictions.


Lunch times at Blackburn Central High School

After the Easter Break we will be offering a limited hot meal service.

  • Year 7 - 12:15pm to 12:45pm - Queue along Drama wall, eat in Heart Space, then outside to lower yard
  • Year 8 - 1:15pm to 1:45pm - Queue along Drama wall, eat in Heart Space, then outside to lower yard
  • Year 9 - 1:15pm to 1:45pm - Queue along Voc wall, eat in canopy, then outside to upper yard
  • Year 10 - 12:45pm to 1:15pm - Queue along Voc wall, eat in Heart Space, then outside to upper yard
  • Year 11 - 12:15pm to 12:45pm - Queue along Voc wall, eat in canopy, then outside to upper yard


Twice weekly COVID-19 testing at home for students

Students are moving to twice weekly, rapid COVID-19 testing at home, following their first three supervised tests at school.

Up to 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing. Getting into a regular habit of testing twice a week will help stop the virus spreading, keeping family and friends safer.

We are sending COVID-19 testing kits home with students from 15th March 2021. Students must test themselves twice a week, ideally on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the morning before school if possible, or if not, the evening before.

Students should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter holidays.

This does not replace testing for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.


A step-by-step video guide to covid-19 self-testing


Reporting results

It is very important that results of test are reported online straight away, even if the result is negative or void. It’s easy to do at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm.

It is important to keep a note of test results and share positive results with school, by phoning the school absence line on 01254 505700 (and select Option 1) and emailing a screenshot of your test result to info@bchs.co.uk


Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week

Regular rapid testing is now also available for parents, their households and support or childcare bubbles. The government is encouraging all families to participate in twice weekly testing to help stop the spread. Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by:

  • Ordering tests online at www.gov.uk/order-school-household-tests
  • Getting an assisted test at work, if it is available
  • Attending a test site to get tested (where you will be able to see how to take the test) or pick up tests to do at home

Remote Learning

If a student is required to isolate, remote learning will take place using Google Classroom, if a student does not have the equipment to access Google Classroom please contact their Pastoral Manager, who will endeavour to provide equipment from school.

Information for Parents about Remote Learning Provision


Expectations for Remote Learning

A comprehensive guide to Remote Learning and associated policies can be found on elsewhere on this website.

Students will:

  • Access Google Classroom to retrieve resources for each lesson (note the resources provided may be allocated to a series of lessons)
  • Access and remain in Google Meet for each lesson

Staff will:

  • Ensure resources are uploaded in advance of a lesson/series of lessons
  • Engage students in ‘live lessons’ where possible. This might not always be possible depending on staffing

The School will:

  • Provide a free school meal for all eligible students. Order forms can be completed online. Meals can also be picked up at reception
  • Provide a tutor or teacher for each remote lesson to engage the students and answer queries. This may not be possible in extreme circumstances 
  • Complete a register of students accessing Google Classroom for each lesson
  • Report any absences to parents

Free School Meals

If a student is entitled to Free School Meals, a voucher will be sent home every week if they are isolating.


Are face masks needed?

All students and staff must wear face masks whilst in communal areas, in classrooms and on the corridors, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so. Face masks must also be worn on public transport. 

Washable facemasks are available to buy from the finance office for £1.40 each. It is important that they are washed daily after each use to avoid infection.

If a student is ill with coronavirus symptoms in school, anyone looking after them will use appropriate PPE until the student is able to return home.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing a face mask:

  • If they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability
  • Speak to or provide assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate 

Do students need to wear school uniform?

Students are expected to wear full school uniform, which parents should wash regularly. Due to increased ventilation in school students have permission to wear a plain black hoodie under their blazer.


Behaviour Expectations

Our home-school agreement has been updated to include COVID-Safe Guidance. If a student chooses to not follow this guidance the pros and cons will be explained to them, if they still refuse their parents will be contacted and if they cannot reason with their child, they will be sent home and their absence recorded as unauthorised.

We are working within very tight guidelines and have to keep the majority of our community safe.

Parent Visits, Pick Up and Drop Off

Parents must remain outside of the school building during pick up and drop off.

We are unable to have any face-to-face meetings or visits from parents without prior appointment. Please ensure you phone school for an appointment if you need to arrange a meeting.


What if someone in my household is clinically vulnerable?

People with pre-existing conditions might be especially at risk of catching COVID-19 and so the people living with them must take some additional precautions.

If your child is in the clinically vulnerable category, you should seek the advice of a doctor before deciding to send your child back to school or not. If your child is living with someone who’s clinically vulnerable, they’ll still be encouraged to attend school while adhering to strict social distancing.


What if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If a student or staff member is unwell, they must not come to school and school MUST be informed as soon as possible.

When a student or staff member develops ANY coronavirus symptoms, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate and arrange to be tested, by visiting NHS.UK or phoning 119. If they test negative, they can return to school.

If the student tests positive their "bubble" may need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Our Local Health Protection Team is PHE Cumbria and Lancashire Health Protection Team,Lancashire County Council, Pitt Street Reception County Hall,Preston,PR1 8XB

Grab bags are available for students on free school meals who are isolating, please use this form to order their lunch, and collect from the community entrance of school between 12:00pm and 1:30pm each day.


Changes to the Test and Trace support payment for parents

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by district and unitary local authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

Parents and carers should apply to their local authority to receive a payment. Applications for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are made via the local authority in which the parent or carer resides, not the local authority where the setting is situated, if these are different.

To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria that:

  • They are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
  • They are employed or self-employed
  • They cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • They meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment

That their child or young person:

  • Is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • Has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

We will provide a letter to parents or carers of children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Parents or carers will then be able to provide this letter to their local authority as evidence that their child is required to self-isolate.

Once an application for a payment has been received, the local authority will be in touch with your setting to verify the details of the child provided on the application. This will include a check of the child’s name, age, address and days of self-isolation. This check is to minimise the event of fraudulent claims. It may be conducted before or after a payment is made, depending on the arrangements the individual local authority has chosen to put in place. The letter you give to parents and carers should explain to them that their local authority will conduct a check with their child’s setting if they apply for a payment.


Wellbeing Support

The Blackburn with Darwen Help Hub has been set up to offer support with any issues that arise during the Coronavirus outbreak. You can phone 01254 588111 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday or 9:00am to 12:00pm Saturday and Sunday.  You can also fill in the online form at www.blackburn.gov.uk

Other sources of support:

  • Kooth - online support and counselling for young people
  • Childline - counselling support for young people. Call 0800 1111
  • Mind - mental health information and support 
  • Healthy Young Minds - mental health information and support

COVID-19 Response Documents & Policies

Government & Local Authority Guidance