Student Home Testing Information
The Government has recently announced that all secondary aged students will also be offered regular asymptomatic COVID-19 testing to take at home. All secondary aged students will be offered tests to take at home twice a week, so that we can reduce the spread of the virus.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by asking pupils to undertake tests at home twice every week.
Testing pupils/students at home
Students will collect their home test kits, when they visit the school’s testing facility to undertake their final “in school” lateral flow test on week beginning the 15th March 2021
Tests are free of charge. Pupils will receive a pack of 3 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results. The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. (The instruction leaflet that students will receive upon collection of their testing kit will provide detailed guidance on how to do this)
Pupils will also need to tell the school the result of each test. This can be done by logging their test results via a Microsoft form, the link to this form will be sent by email and text to parents.
This link is for Students to log their first home test result which will need to be taken on Sunday 21st March 2021. Following this, students must test themselves every Wednesday and Sunday evening for the remainder of the term, and up until the Easter Break. A new link will be sent every Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon to students in preparation for results to be logged on Wednesday evening and Sunday evening, after they have completed their home test.
If a pupil has a positive test result, they will need to stay home and self-isolate. If the result of the test is unclear (void) they will need to do another one.
Taking part in testing is voluntary and all pupils will still be able to attend School whether they take part in testing or not. I am strongly encouraging all Students to take part in the national testing programme. Please contact the School if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.
Thank you for your support.
Some frequently asked questions
What type of tests will be used?
We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and
simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may
still be spreading the virus. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms
Are LFD tests accurate?
Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.
These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.
The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.
It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.
How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?
There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample – you send the sample for processing at a lab
- Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus – LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test
How will personal information and test results be shared?
When pupils take a Lateral Flow test, they need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that they need to share some information about the pupils.
They need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
- their name
- their test result
- the reference number on the test Kit
They will also need to tell the school or college their test result. Under UK law, a child’s school or college can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.
Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.
When a person reports test results online, they are sharing information with DHSC, who may then share the information with a GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer health services and guidance if someone needs to self-isolate. They might also use data anonymously (a person’s name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.
For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the
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