Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing our staff and students we will help toreduce the spread in school through asymptomatic transmission.
Plan for testing in schools
We will be aiming to test all students on site before they return to their classrooms and once more time within 3 – 5 school days. Students who test positive will need to self-isolate in line with the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.
How the tests work
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. An information leaflet is provided at the end of this letter. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The school will inform the student of a positive test result. We will also inform parents or carers immediately so that they can make arrangements for their child to return home to self-isolate. An email or text notification of a positive or negative result will also be sent from the online NHS system. Notification of negative results may be delayed significantly so please assume a negative test result unless you are told otherwise directly by the school.
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for any reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in school unless they have individually been advised otherwise by NHS Test and Trace, Public Health Professionals or the school (for example as a close contact).
What if you develop symptoms?
This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms. If symptoms develop 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.
Consenting to COVID-19 lateral flow testing in school
In order for a test to be performed consent must first be given and relates to the following groups of students as follows:
- Students younger than 16 years – must be completed by the parent or legal guardian.
- Students over 16 who are able to provide informed consent – can complete this form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent / guardian if under 18.
- Any student who does not have the capacity to provide informed consent – this must be completed by the parent or legal guardian.
The consent for lateral flow tests that was given in March is still valid and does not need to be given again, however for students joining the school from September consent from a parent is required for a test to be carried out.
The registration of consent informs the school whether or not you want your child to take a lateral flow test in school. We want to encourage all parents to consent to testing but will only conduct a test if a ‘yes’ consent is given. All students will attend the test centre but the consent will be checked when they register and the test will not take place if consent has not been given. Consent has to be given for each individual child in a family. If consent has already been given for your child because they have been attending school during lockdown you do not need to consent again. Our privacy notice explaining the way this data will be used can be viewed under the Covid tab on the school website. To register your consent electronically (‘yes’ or ‘no’) please use the link provided below: