Rapid Testing in Schools
You will be aware that the government has announced a programme of in-school testing for Covid-19. This is using the new, quicker Covid-19 tests known as “lateral flow tests.” The tests are not compulsory, but we do encourage you to take them. They are designed only for those without coronavirus symptoms. Anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste) should remain at home and apply for a Covid-19 test through the NHS here.
In order to support us with our planning for Covid-19 testing we are asking families to provide consent for their child to be involved in the testing programme. To provide that consent please click here. Pease be aware the DfE and the NHS have advised us that “people who decline to participate in serial testing will follow the usual national guidelines and are legally obliged to self-isolate following contact with a positive case of Covid-19 according to the advice given to them by the NHS Test and Trace service”.
This page has been designed to provide you with all the information require. If you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lateral Flow Testing
Government produced animation of the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do 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. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. We will inform the student of a positive or negative test result. Where participants are under 16, and where we think it is required, parents or carers will also be routinely informed of a positive test result. We will not routinely be informing parents or carers of a child’s negative result . Where relevant the student and parent\carer will also receive text or email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system.
What if my child tests positive?
If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by the school and 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. We will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) the person who tested positive will need to self-isolate.
If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. Students 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 students have been in close contact with someone in [school/college] who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the [school/college]. 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/college]. 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/college] and are participating in daily contact testing.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at Highgate Wood 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.
How can I support the school with the testing programme?
If you would like to sign up to volunteer your help for the testing programme please complete this form.
This guide is to inform Highgate Wood School students how the testing, and the self-swabbing works. Though a little uncomfortable it is a rapid test which will allow test and trace to be more effective (as well as allowing you to continue to study at school, even if someone in your bubble has tested positive for Covid-19).
Below is links to useful information from the government.
- Asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges – Public FAQs
- Data protection Covid testing FAQs for parents
- Privacy Notice – for supply of contact details by schools and colleges for management of Covid-19 testing
- Digital Handbook
- Schools Colleges How To Guide
If you require further information you may wish to make use of the Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and the PHE Advice Service (option 1) is available to answer any questions you have about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Please listen carefully to all of the available options before selecting the most appropriate option for your nursery, school, college or university.
You may also email the schools Covid19 testing helpline: email@example.com