COVID-19 Schools National Testing Programme - Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 22nd January 2021
What are the government asking schools to do?
The government are asking schools to provide and staff a testing facility where asymptomatic students and staff can self administer Lateral Flow Tests. There are three phases to this:
Phase 1. During School Closure. Regular weekly testing for staff and students in school.
Phase 2. When School Reopens. Mass Testing Phase. The governments' aspiration is that we are able to offer all students and staff the opportunity to have two tests (3-5 days apart) using the self administered Lateral Flow Tests.
Phase 3. Serial Testing. The intention is that staff and students who are identified as a close contact of an infected indivudual in school can take daily tests instead of self isolating for 10 days. On the 20th January the DfE advised schools not to use serial testing as an alternative to self isolation. This means that if a member of staff or student is identified as a close contact of an infected individual in school they will need to self isolate for 10 days.
How will this actually help ensure face to face education?
This will help identify asymptomatic cases – which make up a third of all cases – limiting the spread of the virus.
How do I consent to my child taking the Lateral Flow Test?
Consent forms will be sent out to parents and students before any testing takes place
How can I find out more about how my data is used for testing purposes and by NHS Test and Trace?
What type of test will be used?
Lateral flow tests will be used in the first instance. These deliver a result in approximately 30 minutes.
How is the test carried out?
The test is a self administered however students and staff will be guided by a trained member of staff. Instructions can be accessed here.
Will my child be forced to take a test if I don’t want them to? What if teachers and staff don’t want to be tested?
The tests aren’t compulsory. However, staff and students who experience COVID-19 symptoms must continue to follow government guidance as normal, including immediate self-isolation and should book a PCR test at an NHS Testing Centre.
What will happen if my child’s Lateral FLow Test result is positive or if a teacher tests positive?
They and their household will need to stay at home for 10 days and follow the government's self-isolation guidance.
And what if the Lateral Flow Test is negative?
Pupils will be able to carry on going to school and teachers will be able to carry on working.
How will the testing be carried out?
Testing will be provided through sites on school and college grounds.
Will students have to prove they have had a test to go back to school or college after the staggered start in January?
Proof of a negative test result will not be required to return to education.
Will teachers be conducting these tests?
Teachers will not be expected to administer tests. School leaders and administrrative staff will be asked to help with the logistics, administration and supervision. Classroom teachers and support staff who work with chidren will be providing face-to-face and remote education for their students
I would like to volunteer to help with the supervision and administration of the testing?
We would welcome volunteers who have a school, medical or administrative background who is able to attend school for one or more days a week. If you are interested please review this advert and then complete this online form. We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All volunteers must share this commitment and must consent to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Where can I find out more?
More information can be found via these links