NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing at the academy for students and staff
You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices’. This letter is to help give you more information about the testing programme in our academy.
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. We are therefore strongly encouraging those attending school to be tested.
We must have parent or carer consent before a student can be tested. We ask parents and carers to please complete this consent form.
How the tests work
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. The video below shows the steps a student will undertake when taking the test.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The academy will inform the student of a positive test result. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed. You will also receive a text/email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system. Tests are free of charge and I enclose a leaflet with further information.
What if my child tests positive?
If a pupil tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by the academy and 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. The academy will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) 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.
If you need to share COVID test results with us, please do so via email@example.com.
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. Pupils will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
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 academy. 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. 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 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.
We will support our staff and pupils throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions. You can contact the Team Leaders via academy reception.
Ruth Brice, Lee Davies, Jo Killey
Team Leaders for Academy Testing Centre