Secondary Communications


Covid Testing for Secondary Students during October Autumn Half-Term Break

Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for your continued support with Covid-19 home testing. We know how important it is for you to be able to send your children to school.

We ask that students continue to test twice weekly throughout the October half-term break and on the Sunday before we return to school. Please report any POSITIVE results only.

Your child can collect home test kits from their Head of Year or Main Reception. You can also order more online through or collect from your local pharmacy.

By testing your child twice a week over half term, you will help us to reduce transmission of Coronavirus, keep your child in school, help keep Bolton St Catherine's Academy open and minimise disruption to your child's education, to you and your household.

Thank you for your support.

Click here to view and print letter as pdf.






Covid-19 Update - 15th October 2021

A reminder and a plea. We have had very, very few cases of Covid in school since September, but please do not send in your children if they are displaying symptoms or if you are waiting for a PCR test result.  

What should I do if my child develops COVID-19 symptoms?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher)
  • loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

If your child develops any of these symptoms, you must arrange for them to have a PCR test as soon as possible. A PCR test can be arranged via the NHS UK ( website or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access. Your child should self-isolate immediately and they should not attend school.

Please contact the school by phone or Gateway app or email to inform us your child has COVID-19 symptoms and you are awaiting a COVID-19 test.

What should I do if my child is a contact of someone with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR test?

If your child is aged under 18 years and 6 months and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell) they do not have to self-isolate as a contact of COVID-19.

They are advised to have a PCR test unless they have had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days. As long as your child has no symptoms, there are not required to isolate while awaiting the result of their own PCR test. Children aged 5 and under are not advised to take a PCR test unless the confirmed case is someone in their own household.


Latest news - Changes to contact tracing in education and childcare settings - 16th July 2021

Banner - 19th July 2021.JPG

As you know, the Prime Minister announced on 12 July that Step 4 of the roadmap would go ahead on 19 July.

One of the key changes that will take place from 19 July is that education and childcare settings will no longer be asked to conduct routine contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts.

NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts.

This letter sets out in more detail below how that process will work and what you need to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

Self-isolating and taking a test

  1. If your child has symptoms, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a PCR test for them. If the PCR result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the PCR result is positive, they, other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
  2. If your child has a positive result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a confirmatory PCR test. If the confirmatory test is taken within two days and the result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the confirmatory PCR test is positive (or is taken more than two days after the LFD), other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the LFD test.
  3. PCR tests can be booked online through the NHS Test & Trace website or by calling 119.
  4. PCR test results will be recorded with NHS Test and Trace automatically, but you should also communicate the result to the education or childcare setting during term time or summer provision.

Contact tracing

  1. If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact.
  2. You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals – or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice (see below).

Self-isolation and/or testing of close contacts

  1. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a  non-household close contact by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
  2. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts.
  3. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they will not have to self-isolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take an PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as non-household contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts (see points 5 and 6 above). Further guidance on these changes to self-isolation will be provided shortly.

We recognise how difficult the past 18 months have been and the sacrifices that all families, education and childcare settings have had to make. This has been an enormously challenging time for everyone and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you have done.


Here is some more information for you:

RP150.0 Contact Tracing Journey

RP148 Contact Tracing FAQ



Latest news - Rapid LFD Tests now available for parents @ BSCA - 24th May 2021


Dear Parent/Carer,

You will have seen in the local and national press that Bolton has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases. Enhanced testing is taking place across difference areas of Bolton to try and identify positive cases and reduce transmission of the virus. The testing includes people who do not have any symptoms, but who could have the virus and can pass it on to others without knowing.

Rapid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Test are free, simple to carry out at home, and give you a result in about 30 minutes. They are intended for young people over the age of 11 years old (attending secondary school) and adults. Testing is voluntary, but to identify positive cases quickly and help reduce the transmission of the virus, we would strongly encourage everyone in Bolton over the age of 11 to continue carrying out an LFD Test twice a week.

BSCA have testing kits for staff and secondary students, but are now able to make them available to all primary and secondary parents, as well as all secondary students that have not yet taken part in home testing. These tests cannot be used on Primary aged children, they are only for age 11 and over.

Each kit will have enough tests for one person to do 2 tests a week (ideally every Sunday and Wednesday) for 3 and a half weeks. Here is how we will distribute the kits - maximum of 1 per person.

  • For Primary parents and carers - these will be available from the Primary yard at morning drop off and afternoon collection. We only have limited stock at the moment but are expecting a


     delivery from Bolton Council later this week.
  • For Secondary students already regularly testing at home - Year Leaders will hand out new packs on Thursday.
  • For Secondary students not currently testing at home - Year Leaders will be able to give them a pack on Thursday, parents and carers can make a request in their child's student planner - in the diary section, week beginning 24th May and Home/School comments section.
  • For Secondary parents/carers - parents and carers can make a request for themselves to receive one in their child's student planner - in the diary section, week beginning 24th May and Home/School comments section.

Please note that the Rapid LFD tests are for people with NO symptoms. Anyone who HAS Covid symptoms must book for a PCR test online immediately or call 119. 


Bolton Council Bolton Council - Let's Get Tested.png


Financial Support for Families

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their schools 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 is intended to ensure that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

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. 

We will provide a letter to all students who are asked to self-isolate, which will support an application to the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. Please note that you cannot make an application without this letter. 

To be eligible applicants must meet all 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:

  • 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 Covid-19.


Whole Academy Information and Letters


School Buses

School Bus Timetable - 2020-21

Bus Fare Increases Letter - July 2018  


General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is new legislation that all people and organisations must comply with by 25th May 2018. This replaces the 1998 Data protection Act. Even with Britain leaving the E.U. the government have adopted this legislation.

For schools this applies to ensuring all our stakeholders are aware of what data we hold on them, why we hold it and how long for. To ensure our stakeholders are aware of this we have published on the school website our privacy notices which inform students and parents of how we will use their data.  

Anyone is allowed access to the data that we hold on them as long as it is not against the public interest. As a school we aim to comply with the all the guidelines from the data regulator the Information Commissioners office.

GDPR Policy

Privacy Notice for Students

Privacy Notice for Parents/Carers


School Closure (due to adverse weather conditions) Process

The procedures that we will take should there be the need for any closure of the school due to extreme weather, or other emergency conditions. We will do all that we can to ensure that the school only closes when completely unavoidable and any decision to close the school will be taken from assessing local conditions, and an assessment of risk to the safety of students and staff after safety precautions have been taken.

If school is closed during school hours, we will need to know how your child is getting home, or to an alternative agreed location. Complete the form within the letter below or email us at 

Click below to read the process:

School Closure Process - Parent Letter


Privacy Notice

Every year we share our Privacy Notice with you, because under data protection law, individuals have a right to be informed about how the school uses any personal data that we hold about them. We comply with this right by providing ‘privacy notices’ to individuals where we are processing their personal data.

Please read the attached Privacy Notice explains which explains how we collect, store and use personal data about students. We, Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, are the ‘data controller’ for the purposes of data protection law.

Privacy Notice - Parents and Carers

Privacy Notice - Students


Student and Parent Information                              

It is essential we have the correct information for all our students on our systems for the health, safety, safeguarding and wellbeing of your child. It enables us to contact you when we need to either by phone, email, School Gateway app or letter home -

  • student home address
  • prime (parents/carers) contact details - address, mobile number and email address. Other phone numbers will need to be provided if you are unable to use your mobile at work i.e. home number and work number
  • other contacts - mobile number

We require a minimum of two contacts for each student including at least one prime contact (parents/carer).  To update your details either send a change request or message via the School Gateway app or email us at  .