In-school testing (LFT)
As part of NHS ‘Test and Trace’, all students will be offered two lateral flow tests, three to five days apart on their return to school from Thursday, 2nd September as an important additional control measure against coronavirus.
Participation rates amongst students for in-school testing are much higher than home testing – therefore, more likely to detect positive cases and prevent circulation in school. Although voluntary, we strongly encourage all students to participate in this testing programme.
As we did in March, students’ first test will be a ‘pre-test’ taken before returning to school full-time. The second test will be taken over the course of the day students’ return to school full-time.
When will students return to school?
Students will return to school as follows, whether they take part in lateral flow testing or not:
- Friday, 3rd September, 9am – Years 7 and 11;
- Monday, 6th September, 9am – Years 8, 9 and 10.
Remote education for all years will begin at 9am on Thursday, 2nd September.
When will students take a pre-test?
Families must book their child’s pre-test for the following days:
- Thursday, 2nd September – Years 7 and 11 (8.30am to 4.30pm);
- Friday, 3rd September – Years 8, 9 and 10 (8.30am to 4.30pm).
Siblings in different year groups may need to test on different days due to the strict testing schedule.
How do I book a pre-test?
Appointments are made online:
- If you are new Year 7 or have not submitted previously, complete the online consent form (one per child).
- Book your pre-test by midday on Wednesday, 25th August.
- Ensure your child arrives in plenty of time for their appointment wearing a face covering.
How am I tested?
Testing is held in the main hall and typically takes around 10-15 minutes. Everyone taking a test is asked to self-swab in a discrete part of the testing area. Self-swabbing is quick and easy.
Students must leave site once the test is complete. The car park will be open during the hours of testing. All results are shared with parents via text and/or email using the national ‘test and trace’ system.
We are aware new Year 7 students will not have experienced in-school testing before so we will be providing additional support for these students on their two testing days.
Why is consent necessary?
Consent must be given by young people and colleagues to be tested in school. Taking part in the programme is voluntary, so individuals must consent to their test results being shared in accordance with the ‘Privacy Notice’.
What happens after the pre-test?
Pre-testing will allow students to return straight to the classroom on the day of their return. Families should therefore plan to minimise any possible exposure to coronavirus over the weekend.
What about home-testing?
After two in-school tests have been taken, students should resume twice-weekly home-testing. The continued need for lateral flow testing will be reviewed by UK Government at the end of September.
All testing is free of charge.
Home testing (LFT)
Who is being tested and why?
Home testing is voluntary but strongly recommended. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, testing plays an important role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other. All students will be offered access to home testing.
When to do the test
- Tests should be done twice a week, 3 – 4 days apart, typically on Monday and Thursday mornings.
- Tests should ideally be done before coming into school, if this is not possible then the night before. From opening the box to seeing your result, it takes about 40 minutes, so make sure you give yourself enough time. Swabbing only takes about 10 minutes.
Taking a home test
- If you are 11, the test must be done by a parent – the parent must do the swabbing.
- If you are 12 to 16, the test must be supervised by a parent – but the child can self-swab. Students are well practiced in self-swabbing through the onsite programme.
- You must report the results to NHS ‘Test and Trace’.
- You must report either a ‘positive’, ‘negative’ or ‘void’ result. If you take the test, you must report the result.
- You must also report ‘positive’ or ‘void’ results to the school using email@example.com.
If your child tests ‘positive’, you should contact the school office immediately.
Using a confirmatory PCR test
- If your LFT result is ‘void’, you need to do another LFT. If that is also ‘void’ then you must get a confirmatory PCR test and self-isolate until the result is known (Get a free PCR from the NHS).
- If your LFT result is ‘positive’, you must get a confirmatory PCR test (Get a free PCR from the NHS). You must self-isolate and members of your household must also self-isolate.
- If the PCR test is ‘negative’, and the PCR was test was taken within 2 days of the LFT, then you and your household can stop self-isolating and you can return to school.
- If the PCR test is ‘positive’, you and your household must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the LFT home test. You must follow government guidance in Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection. Again, you must tell the school of the outcome of the confirmatory PCR test using firstname.lastname@example.org.
Household testing (LFT)
Test kits sent home by school are for student use only. However, if you are a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble for a student or colleague, you can get your own twice weekly test.
This can be through workplace testing, attending a test site, collecting tests from your nearest collection site, or, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for those who need them the most. Further details are available at Get a home test kit for your household.
Please note tests cannot be ordered through the school.