Pupils at a Hillingdon secondary face a staggered return to school next week and will be asked to wear masks in classrooms.

In accordance with Government guidelines, students at Park Academy will need to be tested three times over a two-week period from March 8th.

A designated testing area has been set up in the hall of the school with 4 individual areas.

It is estimated that around 15 students will be tested in each area every hour.

Three year groups will be tested each day from March 8th. They will then be sent home and will return on Tuesday (as long as they test negative) to start school full time.

Three other year groups will be tested on Tuesday and return to school on Wednesday provided test results are negative.

Children of key workers or those classed as vulnerable will continue to attend school each day as normal.

Juan Delgado, Principal of Park Academy

Juan Delgado, Principal of Park Academy, told the Hillingdon Times: ‘’All staff have received the appropriate training and have been carrying out the testing since it came into effect this half term.

‘’Everyone will be tested three times in the first two weeks and this measure will then be replaced by testing at home twice a week thereafter.

“The main aim is to get students back into the classroom as quickly as possible and once this initial testing process is complete in school, we can 100% focus on engagement and immersing students back into the life of the academy and to engage in the extracurricular activities and clubs that will once again be on offer.”

Mr Delgado said a decision has also been made that students should wear face masks inside classrooms because social distancing is not always possible.

He explained: “It is essential that at this point in time we focus on all the small details that together contribute to a safe environment.

“We are asking students to use masks in classrooms because social distancing of two metres is not always possible. It may be possible for some Sixth Form students to not wear masks if they are able to sit two metres apart.

“By taking this step now and asking students to wear masks in classrooms, I have no doubt that in the near future infection rates will decrease even further and we will be in a position to allow students to remove face coverings.

“I want to reassure parents and students that in addition to the wearing of face masks in the lessons, the academy will still be promoting the regular washing of hands, good ventilation in rooms, social distancing where possible and bubbles.”