Government information on the testing programme.
Understanding lateral flow antigen testing for people without symptoms
Please follow the link above for an explanation of the technology behind asymptomatic testing and the role these tests play in the national COVID-19 testing programme.
How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test)
Government Update on Testing in Schools (10th March 2021)
Please see the information below, taken from the recent government update\clarification on the process (here)
All secondary school and college age pupils are eligible for twice weekly testing to help keep covid out of our classrooms as pupils return to education this week. This is how it works.
Who will get tested?
Tests will be available to pupils, students and staff at secondary schools and colleges – so pupils in year 7 and above. Their households and bubbles will also be able to get tested.
Primary school staff, their families and the childcare and support bubbles of pupils also have access to testing. Primary school pupils themselves will not take asymptomatic tests but should book a PCR test online if they develop symptoms.
How will the tests be administered and how often?
This depends on whether you’re a pupil, a member of a pupil’s family or a teacher or member of school staff.
Pupils, teachers and their families should all be tested twice each week.
For pupils, the first three tests will be done on site at schools and colleges under supervision. These will be lateral flow tests which provide a result in approximately 30 minutes. After that, pupils will be given lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits by their school or college to take home.
Upon returning to school or college, teaching and non-teaching staff should take twice-weekly tests using a home test kit provided by their school or college. This includes permanent, temporary and voluntary staff.
If you’re a member of a household, childcare or support bubble of a pupil, student or staff of a school or college, you can get a twice-weekly test:
- through your employer if they offer testing to employees
- at a local asymptomatic test site, managed by your local authority
- by collecting a home test kit from a test site
- by ordering a home test kit online
What happens if a test is positive?
If anyone’s test is positive, they should immediately start isolating in line with public health guidance. Members of their household should also start isolating.
Where a pupil’s test has been taken on site under supervision, the chance of it being incorrect is minimal so there is no need for a further test to confirm the result.
All pupils, staff, and their households who take their tests at home should report the results by calling 119 or through the online form.
If taken correctly, there is a very small chance of a home test being wrong but there is a slightly higher chance of it being administered incorrectly. As such, if a pupil, member of staff or a member of their household gets a positive result at home they should report the result and arrange to have a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test by following this link.
In the event that the PCR test is negative – that they do not have Covid 19 – this overrides the lateral flow test if it was taken at home and they should therefore return to school.
Robust evaluations from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show lateral flow tests have extremely low rates of false positives. LFD tests taken on test sites, such as on school and college grounds, do not need a PCR confirmation. This is because these tests are done in a supervised environment.
If a pupil tests positive, does their whole class or year group or other bubble then have to isolate as well?
No. It’s only people who live in the same household as someone with symptoms or who has tested positive or close contacts of people who have tested positive or have symptoms.
Close contacts are:
- People who have had face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within 1 metre
- People who have been within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact
- Sexual contacts
- People who have been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
- Travelled in the same vehicle or a plane
We are now beginning the programme for Rapid Covid 19 testing to prepare for school return.
We will send a text message to those who have provided consent and inviting them into school on the following days. Students will need to follow the instructions in this protocol.
Monday 1st March : Students from Year 11 and Year 10
- Tuesday 2nd March: Students from Year 10, 8 and Sixth Form
- Wednesday 3rd March: Students from Years 7 and 8
- Thursday 4th March: Students from Years 8 and 9
Please ensure that you only come at your allocated time. It is also important to maintain safe behaviours and social distancing. Remember that we are still in National Lockdown.
DO NOT COME FOR YOUR TEST IF YOU HAVE ANY COVID 19 SYMPTOMS
- A new continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss off, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange to have a PCR test if you have not already had one. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home self-sampling kit, a test site appointment or a test result. Do not use the rapid lateral flow testing service as this is only for people without symptoms.
Students must adhere to the following guidelines when coming in for their tests:
- Students coming in to school for testing during the week beginning 1st March do not need to wear school uniform.
- Please take particular care to maintain social distance and safe behaviours on your journeys to and from school.
- Students should arrive at the Montenotte Road entrance at their allocated time. If you are late we may need to postpone your test.
- Students should go straight to the testing location, following the signs. They should not go elsewhere in the school.
- Please ensure you maintain social distance from others during the process.
- Parents and other family members will not be allowed on the school site.
- Students must wear a face covering at all times (or provide information that they are exempt from wearing a face covering).
- After the testing process, which will last a total of 10 minutes, students should leave the site immediately and return home with their test information.
- Once home students should report their result to NHS Test and Trace either online or by telephone, following the instructions that will be given out.
Click here for original government guidance on rapid testing in schools (2nd February 2021) that is pending an update.
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