LATERAL FLOW TESTS
As you will know, the Secretary of State and the Department for Education have directed schools to undertake testing for staff and students. Guidance from the Secretary of State and the DFE is that the purpose of the Lateral Flow Test in our school is to improve the chances of detecting the presence of the virus, even where there are no symptoms.
Schools will be launching a programme to ensure that all students whose parents have given consent will receive three tests in school. We aim to do these 3-5 days apart wherever possible but these could be up to a week apart in some cases. More details of when your child will receive their tests will be sent to you over the next 2-3 weeks (link available below).
You do not have to consent to these tests, however we strongly urge you to do so to prevent the virus spreading and keep students safe.
For these students who have had consent given and completed the three tests in school, they will then be given a pack of home test kits to use as they will then be used to the testing process. Parents should supervise these tests and more details will be given over the coming weeks.
The lateral flow test used will be self-administered, but trained staff will be on hand to ensure that your child follows the correct procedure. We are unable to administer tests on pupils and students directly as we are not health-care professionals. The lateral flow test is used because it produces a result within 30 minutes. However, we are aware that the level of accuracy of these tests can vary. Accordingly, if the virus is detected, you will be notified immediately, your child will be sent home and you will be requested to take your child for the more sensitive PCR test, which will confirm whether or not your child has the virus.
Your child will not directly be notified if the test is negative. However, due to the accuracy level of the test, the fact that they are not notified does not mean that they are free of the virus. You should continue to look out for the symptoms of the virus and take appropriate action if any are noticed.
Update on positive cases in the school community:
There has been no incidences in the last week of students or staff having to isolate due to coming into contact with a positive case in the school community. Robust measures are in place and will be reviewed and updated after March 8th when students can return into school.
It is important that we remember to follow national guidance to maintain these reduced numbers – Wash hands, Cover face, Make space – and also continue to engage with the Test and Trace process.
There is a general letter for all parents below regarding advice following positive cases, how to guides and information on the school risk assessments. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific testing-based queries.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Ellis Guilford COVID Strategy Group