School near Hastings first in UK to implement independent coronavirus trace and trace system

A school has become the first to implement an independent trace and trace system.

Thursday, 6th August 2020, 11:04 am
Buckswood School, Guestling. SUS-160218-104555001

Buckswood School in Guestling will be using Shield for Schools in time for the autumn term, a system developed by Fimatix.

Shield for Schools uses Bluetooth wristbands linked to a desktop control system to allow schools to immediately detect and isolate anyone in school who has been in contact with students or staff members infected by coronavirus (Covid-19).

Tim Howarth, managing director for financial services at Fimatix, said: “We created Shield for Schools to play a positive role in the management of risk and to give pupils, families and schools additional reassurance and peace of mind during these challenging times.

“By allowing real-time contact tracing of the entire school community, we’re helping to ensure that everything possible is being done to make the most of a Covid-19-free learning environment.”

Kevin Samson, from Buckswood, said: “We believe that this technology provides a key component in our school’s ability to manage Covid-19, enabling us as a school to instantly identify and isolate students who have been in close contact with anyone who tests positive.

“Additionally, Shield for Schools is an extremely useful tool in being able to quickly provide important information to Public Health England and the NHS should there be a need to track and trace individuals outside of our school community.

“It allows us to minimise wider isolation of staff and students, thus minimising the impact on education for all while at the same time providing an extra layer of reassurance for parents.”

Mark Taylor, executive director of Taylor Education, which is closely involved in Shield for Schools, added: “We have worked in partnership with independent schools over the last 10 years, assisting in their strategic planning.

“This is certainly the most challenging time schools have ever experienced. Working with the Boarding School’s Association, independent schools have developed policies and procedures that can give students, parents and staff confidence that independent schools are doing everything possible.

“A robust strategy of testing for the virus coupled with Fimatix’s track and trace Shield for Schools, complements and builds on the BSA guidance and allows schools to demonstrate that they are creating the most virus-free learning environments possible.

“By introducing the track and trace systems, schools are given the edge in making risk based decisions, based on clinical assessment.”

Shield for Schools follows three steps.

Should a student or member of staff report feeling ill or have positive Covid-19 test results, the system administrator will be notified, log the data and the individual will be isolated as part of the first step.

Step two involves cross checking the wristband ID with other wristband IDs on the Shield for Schools dashboard. The school will then perform isolation, retesting and safety protocols as part of the third step.

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