Plan for testing
In order to minimise the disruption to teaching and learning, the majority of pupils in GFM secondary schools will complete lateral flow tests using home testing kits. Pupils have been given full instructions and shown a training video in their tutor groups. Any pupils who cannot complete a test at home – or would simply prefer to complete a second or third ‘assisted test’ in school can book a slot using a form on their school’s website. Two smaller scale Asymptomatic Testing Centres (ATC) will be at both the Bay House and Brune Park school sites. This will additionally enable us to undertake sampling of pupil ‘bubbles’ if this becomes necessary.
How do the home testing kits work?
It’s a simple swab test you can do at home using a Lateral Flow Device (LFD). It takes around 30 minutes to find out if you are potentially infectious. The test detects viral proteins that are present when someone has Covid-19. Research from Public Health England and Oxford University shows that they pick up the vast majority of people in the most infectious stage of the disease. With up to 1 in 3 people who have the virus showing no symptoms – they could be spreading it without knowing.
Testing should take place twice a week, every three – five days, ideally in the morning. If your child tests negative, they can continue to go to school. They should still strictly follow all other current government guidelines and avoid all unnecessary contact. If they, or anyone in your household or bubble tests positive, you should all self-isolate immediately. Then the person who has tested positive should also take a confirmatory PCR test and follow latest government guidance.
- For more information visit gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing
Reporting your test
You should report your results online to the NHS straight away, even if your result is negative or void. It’s easy to do at: gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. If you have tested positive, you can also check to see if you are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.
You only need to report your test results to your child’s school if the result of an LFD or PCR test is positive. This can be done using the Google Form here.
When should my child self-isolate?
Pupils are only required to self-isolate when:
- They are directed to do so by the school or by NHS Test and Trace
- They have symptoms of COVID-19 and then should seek a PCR test