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Mass Testing

As part of the safe return to face to face education, in order to break the chains of transmission, the Department for Education have requested that schools administer lateral flow tests for students to identify any students who might have coronavirus but do not show any symptoms.

Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By rapidly identifying and containing any asymptomatic cases, this will help avoid individuals carrying the infection unknowingly and spreading it. 

Testing is voluntary and no child will be tested unless informed consent has been given by the appropriate person. No one will be prevented from receiving face-to-face education if for any reason they are not tested.

Further information on the testing process is below.

Frequently Asked Questions on Lateral Flow Testing

What does the test involve?

Students will attend our testing centre which is based in the drama rooms. They will register at the registration desk and then go to a booth where they will self-administer a swab with guidance from the testing staff. This involves using a mirror to direct the swab to their tonsils and then place the same swab up their nose. They then take the swab to the processing station and place it in a testing tube. At this point the student leaves and our fully trained test processors complete the tests. Parents/Carers will be informed of a positive result and instructions for self-isolation.

Why do I have to give consent? What happens to my child’s data?

You will need to give medical consent for your child to take the test. Your child’s data will be uploaded to the DfE and processed as part of testing and comes under UK GDPR legislation. The data is processed using Public Task data protection legislation where it is necessary to process personal data to ensure we meet our obligations in education legislation to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of pupils. This legislation also allows the sharing of personal data with DHSC, Local Government, Test and Trace and the NHS.

Will my child be able to attend school if they are not tested?

Yes, all students will return to school for face to face teaching from the week beginning the 8th March regardless of if they have a lateral flow test. More details have been sent via MyEd to parents/carers regarding the dates and times students will return to school.

What happens to my child’s test results?

We will use the contact details you provide on the consent form to register your child for the test and to send the result to the parent identified. You will not be informed of a negative test.

If your child test positive, we will contact the named parent/carer and your child and your household will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Who are the results shared with?

In the event of a positive result, in addition to sharing with the parent/carer, we will only share the result with the appropriate contacts such as our own contact tracing team (to alert other pupils who have been in contact with your child that they need to isolate) and our attendance team. All results – both positive and negative – are shared by us with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) who will also share the results with the NHS and Public Health England to assist them with contact test and tracing.

What if my child tests positive

If a student tests positive using an in school lateral flow test, they will not be allowed to attend face to face lessons and must self-isolate, along with their household, for 10 days. You are not required to book a PCR test. However, if your child tests positive using a home test kit, they will need to self-isolate, along with their household, for 10 days and must follow this up with a PCR test.

What if my child’s test is void?

If your child’s test is void, we will ask them to take the test again.

How long will my child’s data be kept for?

We will keep the data used for testing up to 14 days.

The DHSC, NHS and PHE will keep it for as long as it is required to support initiatives to fight COVID-19.

Can my child have a lateral flow test if they have tested positive for Covid-19 within 90 days?

If a student has recently (within 90 days) had a positive PCR test for COVID-19, they are likely to have developed some immunity. Individuals are exempt from testing by both PCR and LFD within 90 days of a positive PCR test, unless they develop new symptoms.

Should someone who has been vaccinated take an LFD test?

Yes, we do not yet know whether vaccines prevent individuals transmitting the virus. If staff have been vaccinated, they should continue to follow the steps set out in this guidance. The vaccine does not interfere with the LFD or PCR tests.

Please see videos below for further information on the lateral flow testing process.

Testing in school