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Fimatix Launches ‘Shield for Schools’ with UK’s First Leading Independent Boarding School to Implement an Independent COVID-19 Track and Trace System

Fimatix has launched a track and trace kit developed especially for schools, in time for the start of the autumn term. 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 infected students or staff members.

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Buckswood School in East Sussex is the UK’s first leading independent boarding school to implement an independent track and trace system of this kind. Shield for Schools will be available to roll out to other interested schools across the UK and around the world.

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 commented: “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 whilst at the same time providing an extra layer of reassurance for parents.”

Mark Taylor, Executive Director of Taylor Education, who are 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.”

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With students, teachers and staff wearing Bluetooth wristbands from the first day of term, and having been trained on the new system, 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, helping to protect the wider school community and minimise disruption to learning.

The Shield for Schools algorithm is designed by medical experts to comply with latest Public Health England guidance on social distancing and contagion prevention and only the schools themselves will have access to, and manage, data relating to pupils and staff.

While the first phase of Shield for Schools is being implemented in leading UK independent boarding schools, the system is also being made available to other interested schools. Fimatix are also implementing bespoke test, track and trace solutions for businesses and workplaces looking for additional reassurance and risk management as teams return to work in offices.

Fimatix is a leading Fintech and Govtech business. With a team of over 150 staff, partners and associates, Fimatix Group’s purpose is to enhance the productivity of business, governments and organisations to the benefit of economies, communities and people around the world.

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