Lateral Flow Testing FAQs
Below are the answers to questions you may have. If your query is not found here, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the plans for testing?
We will be looking to test all staff and key worker or vulnerable students who attend school during the lockdown.
In addition, any staff member or student who has come into contact with positive cases in our school can be tested daily for seven days to allow them to remain in school, rather than self-isolating at home.
The government had planned on school’s mass testing all secondary aged students on their return after the Christmas break. With the constantly changing situation, we do not know if this will still be the case once lockdown is over. If the requirement of the government is still to mass test students, this programme will be implemented when there is a full return to school.
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 take around half an hour from testing. The school will inform the student and their parents/carers of a positive test result. The parent will also receive a notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system.
How are the tests taken?
Students will administer the tests themselves. The test is a throat and nose swab, the same as the PCR test. Details of the test process can be seen on this sheet.
Students will be supported throughout the process by trained staff, as well as House Managers. No child will be forced to take the test and staff will not administer tests for students.
Do I have to give consent to be tested?
Parents/carers will need to give consent to students receiving the tests. This can be done on this online form. Only one form is required for each child. Results of the test will be sent to the parent who completes the form. Consenting to your child having the test does not mean they have to take the test. However, not giving consent means we will be unable to test your child.
Will my child be made to take the test?
No. Tests are optional but strongly recommended by the school, to ensure the safety of students, staff, families and the wider community.
Consenting to your child having the test does not mean they have to take the test. However, not giving consent means we will be unable to test your child.
However, if your child is found to be a close contact of a positive case, they will have to self-isolate at home for 10-days rather than attend school if they do not take a test. As a close contact they could attend school if they agree to testing for 7-days following identification.
What if my child tests positive?
If a pupil tests positive on a lateral flow device, they (and their parents/carers) will be informed immediately by school and will need to be taken home. They 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. School will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result they 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. Parents should contact the school to confirm the positive PCR result. If the PCR test is negative the child can return to school.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, pupils who test negative will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. Parents/carers will be informed of negative test results by the NHS via text/email.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the school. 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. For those that do not want to take the daily test, they will be required to self-isolate at home as per the national guidelines.
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 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.
Should I perform this test if I have had a positive COVID-19 PCR result in the last 3 months?
No. You should not do the LFD test if you have had a positive Covid-19 PCR in the last 90 days. The LFD may give a false positive result if you have recently had Covid-19.
If, however, you tested PCR positive for COVID-19 more than 90 days ago, then you are encouraged to be involved in the testing, since re-infection after 3 months has been described, although sporadically.
Should I use the test if I have any symptoms of Covid-19?
No. You should not use this test if you have developed Covid-19 suspect symptoms, since the LFD may give a false-negative result and hence provide a false re-assurance.
The test is intended for asymptomatic testing only.
Will this LFD test find all staff/students with asymptomatic Covid-19?
The test has an overall sensitivity of 76.8% for all PCR positive individuals but detects over 95% of individuals with high viral loads.