You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID‑19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices’.
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing, we will help to reduce the spread in school through asymptomatic transmission.
Plan for testing
We are looking to test all staff and secondary school age pupils as they return to school.
In addition, any staff member or pupil who has come into contact with a positive case in our school can be tested daily for seven days to allow them to remain in school.
How the tests work
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. The school will inform the pupil and their parent/carer of a positive test result only.
If aged 13 and over, the pupil can create a NHS ‘Lite Registration’ account which is the digital solution for matching Test Subjects to their LFD (Lateral Flow Device) result. With this account, the pupil will also receive a text notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system. Test Subjects aged 12 and under should not create an NHS account.
What if my child tests positive?
If a pupil tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by the school and isolated from others. Parents and Carers will be notified so that immediate collection of their child from school can be organised. The pupil will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ to confirm the result. This should be on the same day or as soon as possible afterwards using a regional testing centre.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) they will need to self-isolate at home.
If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to continue to self-isolate at home and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, pupils who test negative will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. If they are signed up to the NHS Lite Registration online service, pupils will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or carers will also be informed.
What if staff or pupils have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?
The staff member or pupil will be notified that they are a close contact by the school. If close contacts agree to be tested each day for a maximum period of 7 days, and they test negative every day, they will be allowed to remain in school. There may be instances where close contacts are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace. In this instance they should notify NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact through school and are participating in daily contact testing.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our staff and pupils throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions using firstname.lastname@example.org