College insists students will get through exams in face of Omicron

Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich, on students returning to the classroom

Corrienne Peasgood, principal of City College Norwich, on students returning to the classroom - Credit: Archant/City College Norwich

A city college has insisted it is business as usual in the face of rising Omicron cases this term – and is determined to see students through a vital exam period. 

The principal of one of the largest schools in Norwich said that both students and teachers are happy to be back, despite new rules like wearing masks in the classroom.  

Corrienne Peasgood, principal at City College Norwich, said: “Our Covid cases fall in line with the rest of Norfolk.”

But with mock GCSE’s, A-Levels and BTEC exams all being taken over the next few weeks she added “measures are in place to pick students up” should Covid-19 have an impact on their ability to sit an exam. 

Contingencies are also in place for staffing levels, she said, with two main priorities taken into consideration.

She explained: “The first is being able to keep the school running safely and the second is teaching – should someone test positive and is unwell, we can revert back to online.” 

And students are so keen to be back in the classroom there have been no recorded instances of kids reporting false positives in a bid to bunk off at a rigorous period in the school calendar.

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But all of these efforts were put under threat due to increased confusion over faint positive lines appearing on lateral flow tests. 

So schools and the county council have pulled together and clarification was quickly provided. 

She said: "After a meeting with the director of public health and a senior epidemiologist we were told that if it showed as even faintly positive, it was positive and should be treated as such."

Ms Peasgood added: “The level of cooperation and collaboration is impressive and not something I’ve necessarily seen in other counties.

“We are sticking to the guidance provided to us by the county council.

"I am optimistic that if we all stick to the measures and adhere to the controls to keep us safe, we can carry on teaching face to face as this is best thing for all of us and our absolute priority.”