COVID-19 Home Testing

The asymptomatic Lateral Flow Device (LFD) in-school testing programme has run smooth and efficiently, and we have been impressed by the students’ mature and calm approach to the testing programme.

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 in schools by carrying out tests at home twice every week. 

Today your son / daughter has be issued with 2 boxes of self test kits so that they can start completing lateral flow testing at home.   We are encouraging all staff and students to complete a test every Sunday and Wednesday night. We will send a reminder text message.  The guidance is for tests to be taken twice a week - 3 to 5 days apart.

Participation in asymptomatic testing is voluntary; however, testing will help break chains of transmission.  After reading the testing process information and privacy notice if you choose for your son / daughter to participate in the programme, you are commiting to:

  • Ensuring that your child completes the LFD test
  • Reporting the results to the NHS
  • Reporting the results to the school

Please ensure that your son / daughter has read the booklet explaining how the tests work. There is a useful video link below explaining the process for testing at home.

Video - Taking the Test

Step by Step guide for COVID-19 Self Testing

Please note that all test results must be reported to the school and to the NHS. 

Report your result to the school

Reporting results to the NHS

Please note that a negative lateral flow result still means your son / daughter needs to comply with current Covid guidance and a PCR test should still be booked if your son / daughter has any Covid symptoms. If a home lateral flow test is positive you will need to book a PCR test to confirm the result.

 


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 students 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 [pupil/student].

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.