Testing is important because you could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. Testing will break the chains of transmission.
Testing all staff and students of secondary age and above (11+) without symptoms will support schools to continue to operate.
Simple and quick tests using antigen Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) enable the rapid testing of staff and students from their home, without the need for a laboratory. Ravens Wood School has been provided with these test kits to distribute to students so that testing can be carried out at home.
IMPORTANT: Tests are only for the use of the person assigned the test kit. They should not be taken by anyone else.
This asymptomatic testing programme does not replace current guidance for those with symptoms or those identified as a close contact of a positive case. Anyone with symptoms, whether they are involved in this programme or not, should book a free NHS test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the results of their test are known. Testing also does not replace basic preventative measures such as regular handwashing, PPE and social distancing.
Q. Why are we testing people without symptoms of COVID-19?
A. Up to one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) do not display any symptoms.
Q. Is this compulsory?
A. Testing is voluntary, and you should not be prevented from going into the education setting if you do not take part. The success of this public health measure depends on as many people participating as possible.
Q. Can children and young people swab themselves?
A. Children below the age of 11 should not be tested. Secondary pupils aged 11 should have the test administered by an adult, and pupils and students aged 12-17 should be supervised by an adult but can swab themselves.
Q. How often do staff and students need to test?
A. Staff and students will test at home on a regular basis (twice per week, 3 to 4 days apart) usually before they come into school.
Q. How effective are these tests?
A. LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise have been tested. LFD tests are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The tests are highly specific, with low chances of false positives. They are also very sensitive and able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. It is important to remember that these tests are an additional layer of health protection measure in addition to hand washing, face coverings and social distancing.
Q. Where do I get my test kits?
A. Students will be provided with home test kits in school following 3 tests in the Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS).
Q. Do test results get affected by brushing teeth, eating or drinking water?
A. Avoid eating or drinking half an hour before the test. A small amount of water is acceptable. There is unlikely to be an adverse impact of brushing teeth prior to testing but it might be prudent to wait a while before testing.
Q. What happens if I test positive with a home test kit?
A. Students and staff should inform the school of the positive test result (this should be recorded) and must book a confirmatory PCR (lab-based test). https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Students and staff should self-isolate while they await the results of the PCR test.
We have received a new version of the Instructions for Use (with a plain blue cover, and dated 15 January 2021 v 1.3.2 or v1.3.3) which will be provided with the test kits. The old instructions are inside the box and should be disposed of.
Note: The old instructions are inside the box of test kits and should be disposed of and replaced with the separate document as shown below.
Schools are required to record who takes test kits and we will record the following:
You are required to report the results of your tests online, or by phone, every time you take a test, even if the result was negative or void. https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
NHS Test and Trace are continuing to develop and improve the process for self-test reporting. Currently, if a parent is submitting results through their account on behalf of a child, they have to enter the child’s details every time they report a result.
As a result of feedback from parents, NHS Test and Trace have introduced household accounts. This allows parents to save their children’s details to their own user accounts so parents can report results for multiple members in the household more quickly and easily.
When reporting self-test results parents will now be offered the opportunity to create a household account, which should take no more than 2 minutes. Parents can then add all household members to their account, enabling them to save time when reporting all future self-test results.
If there are any issues with the tests that could potentially impact the quality or safety of testing, raise a ‘yellow card’ using the following link: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk
Examples of clinical issues are a swab breaking in the mouth, bleeding, and allergic reaction on using the kit etc. whereas an example of a non-clinical issue would be missing items from a test kit.
NHS Test and Trace have announced that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Test kits can either be collected or ordered online. For further information click on the link below.
Please contact our Medical Coordinator, via email@example.com.
Isolation, Symptoms & Testing - August 2021 - Guidance for Parents and Carers regarding when a person should self-isolate can be found by clicking here.