In-school testing at start of Autumn Term
Schools are being asked to prepare to test secondary age students (Years 7-13) on their return to school after the summer holidays.
The tests will take place on-site twice, three to five days apart using our Asymptomatic Testing Site.
This will help to identify cases of COVID-19 and stop transmission to support the return to education - particularly as most students will not be testing for a long period over the summer and will need to re-establish the habit of regular twice weekly testing. It will also give new students the opportunity to get used to swabbing in a supervised environment before moving to twice weekly testing at home.
Following the two initial tests on site, students will collect home kits and start testing at home on a regular basis. A positive confirmatory PCR will be required for all positive cases.
Timetable for start of term testing
Background to asymptomatic testing
Up to one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) do not display any symptoms. On its own asymptomatic testing will not prevent the transmission of COVID-19 but used with the other tools available to us it will help us to identify and prevent staff and students without symptoms from transmitting and spreading the virus unknowingly. It also helps our school to operate as safely as possible by isolating those that are the most contagious as soon as is practical. No test is 100% accurate but, the Lateral Flow Device (LFD), when done as part of a testing regime, is very good at picking up those with high viral loads (i.e. those that are the most contagious)
The information and guidance which follows is based on advice and guidance from the Department for Education and Department of Health & Social Care.
The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace current testing for those with symptoms. If your child has symptoms, they are expected to book a test online or visit a test site to take a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to check if they have the virus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is testing compulsory?
Testing is voluntary and individuals will be allowed to attend school even if they decide not to take part in testing. However, we would like to encourage everyone to join in the asymptomatic testing programme to help break transmission links by identifying those that may be carrying the virus unknowingly.
What age should students be to participate in testing?
Children aged 11 and above attending a secondary school or college should be tested.
Why do students need to do 2 test on site when they return in Autumn?
Testing on return is the most effective way to reduce the risk of transmission and support the continuation of face-to-face education. Identifying positive cases on return in the autumn is important, given that most students will not be testing over the summer and will need to re-establish the habit of regular twice weekly testing. Testing on site on return will also give new students the opportunity to get used to swabbing in a supervised environment before moving to twice weekly testing at home. For example, primary pupils in Year 6 transitioning into Year 7 in secondary school who do not have experience of the education testing programme.
Can students swab themselves?
Yes, in an Asymptomatic Testing Sure all students 11 and above, can swab themselves if they are able to. When testing at home, students aged 18 and over should self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. Students aged 12-17 should self-test and report the result with adult supervision. The adult may conduct the test if necessary. When testing at home, children aged 11 (who attend a secondary school) should be tested/swabbed by an adult.
Click on the image link below to access TestRegister to report your home test results
The information below is intended to answer frequently asked questions from students, parents and staff about the coronavirus testing programme in schools.
Testing is important because you could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. Testing will break the chains of transmission.
Testing all staff and students of secondary age and above (11+) without symptoms will support schools to continue to operate.
Simple and quick tests using antigen Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) enable the rapid testing of staff and students from their home, without the need for a laboratory. Our school will be provided with these test kits to distribute to staff and students so that testing can be carried out at home.
Students and staff will need to:
* carry out twice weekly testing at home (3 to 4 days apart) before coming into school in the morning
IMPORTANT: Tests are only for the use of the person assigned the test kit. They should not be taken by anyone else.
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 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.
Why are we testing people without symptoms of COVID-19?
Up to one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) do not display any symptoms.
Is this compulsory?
Testing is voluntary, and you will not be prevented from going into the education setting if you do not take part. The success of this public health measure depends on as many people participating as possible.
Can children and young people swab themselves?
No children below the age of 11 should be tested. Secondary pupils aged 11 should have the test administered by an adult, and pupils and students aged 12-17 should be supervised by an adult but can swab themselves.
How often do staff and students need to test?
Staff and students will test at home on a regular basis (twice per week, 3 to 4 days apart) usually before they come into school
How effective are these tests?
LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supporting the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives. They are also very sensitive and able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. It is important to remember that these tests are an additional layer of health protection measure in addition to hand washing, face coverings and social distancing.
Where do I get my test kits?
Students will be provided with home test kits in school following the testing programme at the start of the Autumn Term in the Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS). If students have not received a home testing kit to start home testing, they should report to Student Reception. We will make arrangements for students to receive further test kits via tutors.
Do test results get affected by brushing teeth, drinking water?
Avoid eating or drinking half an hour before the test. A small amount of water is acceptable. There is unlikely to be an adverse impact of brushing teeth prior to testing but it might be prudent to wait a while before testing.
What happens if I test positive with a home test kit?
Students and staff should inform the school of the positive test result (this should be recorded) and must book a confirmatory PCR (lab-based test). https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Students and staff should self-isolate while they await the results of the PCR test.
How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test)
Schools are required to record who takes test kits. We will record the following:
Name of school
Name of person issuing the test
Date of issue
Lot number of test kit
Receipt of new Instructions For Use
Name of person using the test
Instructions for use
We have received a new version of the Instructions For Use and we will provide kits with the correct Instructions For Use.
Instructions For Use (with a plain blue cover, and dated 15 January 2021 v 1.3.2 or v1.3.3)
The old instructions are inside the box of test kits and should be disposed of and replaced with the separate document as shown below.
How do you report your test result online?
You are required to report the results of your tests online, or by phone, every time you take a test, even if the result was negative or void.
The school is not able to view the results that staff and students have uploaded to the online service. You should therefore also communicate results separately with the school so that we can respond accordingly.
Schools are required to record the results of all home testing (whether the result is positive, negative or void). We therefore ask that you additionally report your child's test result by clicking on the appropriate button below and completing this quick form.
Thank you for your support with this.
If there are any issues with the tests that could potentially impact the quality or safety of testing, raise a ‘yellow card’
Examples of clinical issues are a swab breaking in the mouth, bleeding, allergic reaction on using the kit etc. whereas an example of a non-clinical issue would be missing items from a test kit.
Can I access home testing for other members of my family?
NHS Test and Trace have announced that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Test kits can either be collected or ordered online. For further information click on the link below.
Asymptomatic testing for parents and adults in households with children at school
For any queries:
Please contact Mrs Berry (Covid-19 Co-ordinaror) email@example.com