COVID-19 testing over May half-term
As lockdown eases, taking a rapid COVID-19 test twice a week, even if you do not have symptoms, will help us stay ahead of the spread of the virus, particularly as new strains appear. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are spreading the virus without knowing. This includes those who have had their vaccine.
We want to thank you for your continued support in testing. Over 40 million tests with staff and students have now been conducted as part of the education testing programme.
Please continue to encourage your staff and secondary school or college students to test twice-weekly over half-term and test before returning to school or college after the holiday. The result of a rapid test could be positive, negative or even void. But whatever it is, it should be reported straight away, every time. Recording all test results helps scientists stay ahead of the virus by spotting new outbreaks quickly and advising how to respond.
Reporting results is easy. Go to report a COVID-19 lateral flow test result or call 119 free from a mobile or landline. Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. Support is offered in 200 languages as well as British Sign Language and Live Video Assistant.
Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by the school or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment for a discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD)
Rapid home testing for pupils
All pupils at New Siblands School will be able to participate in a simple and quick LFD test for Covid-19 at home from Sunday 14th March, without the need for a laboratory. Testing is voluntary and pupils are strongly encouraged to participate to prevent the virus being spread to others.
This asymptomatic testing programme does not replace current guidance for those with symptoms or those identified as a close contact of a positive case. Anyone with symptoms, whether they are involved in this testing programme or not, should book a free NHS test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the results of their test are known. Testing also does not replace basic preventative measures such as regular handwashing, PPE and social distancing.
Pupils will need to carry out and complete twice weekly testing at home as follows:
- Sunday evening or first thing on Monday before 7am,
- Wednesday evening or first thing on Thursday before 7am.
The test should take no longer than 5 minutes to undertake, with a 30-minute wait for results.
Please read more information below about the testing process, and if you would like your child to participate in the home testing, and have a LFD testing pack, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Upon receipt of an email from a parent/carer requesting their child’s participation in home testing, a LDF test pack will be allocated to the pupil to take home if they are currently in school, or the test pack can be collected from the school office by the parent/carer. The individual LFD lot number will be recorded in a school log against the pupil’s name.
- The test will come in packs of 7 and should be enough for 3 - 4 weeks, when the school will receive more for distribution.
- Tests are only for the use of the pupils assigned the kits, they should not be taken by anyone else.
Families and households with primary school, secondary school or college-age children, including childcare and support bubbles, are encouraged to test themselves twice every week from home. Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Testing for families and childcare bubbles of students, pupils and staff is now available via home test kits for collection at testing sites Covid Test Finder (test and trace) or through an online ordering service. More information on ordering home test kits can be found here.
Schools can only give test packs for use by pupils, and cannot give packs for use by parents, carers or household members.
5. Please follow this link to a step by step guide to Covid-19 self-testing. We have been advised that the instructions in the box are incorrect, but the most up to date instructions will come in a separate document (V1.2.3) issued with the test kit.
6. If a test is void, you will need to take another test. If you receive two void tests in a row, you should book a Free NHS Test.
7. It is a requirement for parents/carers to report their child’s test result, whether positive, negative or void, to both:
- NHS Test and Trace online here. This is a statutory requirement
- School via email by 7am on Mondays and Thursdays at email@example.com
8. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for positive home lateral flow device (LFD) tests
From 31st March, NHS Test and Trace is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for all staff, and pupils who get a positive LFD test at home. The PCR test should be booked immediately either online or by calling 119 and should be undertaken within 2 days.
Staff and pupils who had a positive LFD test result, and their close contacts and other members of their household, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance and while awaiting the PCR result. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the LFD test and the staff member or pupil can return to school, and their close contacts can end their self-isolation.
9. Parents/carers must read and understand the School Privacy notice to understand data protection for testing, and the questions and answers sheet.
10. The school has been in touch with health care colleagues who will be supporting the school in signposting resources for pupils to help with understanding the process, and we will share these links as soon as available.