Dear Parents and Carers,
As you will be aware schools are going to be operating a rapid lateral flow testing programme for pupils on their return to school. Along with our ongoing protective measures these tests will help staff and pupils remain in school safely.
Whilst opting for your child to participate in the programme is voluntary I would encourage you to do so as this will be an effective measure in slowing the spread of the virus. This testing is part of a national drive to reduce infection and help ease the lockdown restrictions.
Pupils will be required to administer the swabbing element themselves but will be supervised by a team of trained staff who will then carry out the processing.
I have also tried to answer any potential questions below and I hope this will give you a clear understanding as to what the process involves.
You will receive, via email, a consent form for you to complete and return. We need all responses returned to us no later than 9 a.m. on Thursday 4th March. If you have not received an email by Wednesday 3rd March, or cannot access email for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible.
Testing is not compulsory and no child will be refused admission into school because consent was not given for testing.
A copy of this letter, along with the privacy notice for testing is available on the school website.
For more information please go to:
1.How often will my child be tested and how does the testing work?
Your child will be offered the opportunity to come into school for a test in the week beginning 8th March. Once all pupils have returned to school, we will offer pupils the opportunity to have 2 further tests from the week beginning 15th March. All in school testing will finish before we break for the Easter holidays.
Once we have delivered the 3 tests in school, you will be offered the chance for your child to have a home test, supervised by parents/carers. More information will follow.
When your child arrives for their test, they will be registered and provided with a barcode which will be scanned once the test has been processed.
Once your child has registered, they will be sent to a testing bay to carry out the swabbing process. The bay will be supervised by a member of the testing team, who will guide your child through the process.
Once your child has carried out the test, they will wait in a designated area for the result to be processed. The processing takes approximately 30 minutes.
2. What happens when the result comes through?
We have set up a testing centre in school. Your child will go to this centre and be supported to administer the test themselves. It involves swabbing your tonsils and your nostrils. We will receive the result after 30 minutes and parents/carers will be informed of the result via a text message from the NHS.
The result will either be positive, negative or invalid. If it is invalid it will need to be taken again.
3. What happens if my child’s LF test result is positive?
We will inform and isolate your child immediately and contact yourselves to collect them. You will need to book a PCR test for your child, and your household should isolate until you receive the result. If the PCR result is positive also then you and your household should isolate for 10 days from the date of the original lateral flow test. If the PCR result is negative your child can return to school.
4. What happens if my child is identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive?
We will contact you if your child has come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Following further guidance from Public Health England, we will no longer be sending a year group home; we will only send pupils home who have been sat in close proximity to a positive case and the friendship group. You will receive a text message to inform you that your child has been in close contact with a positive case and should isolate for 10 days from the last time they were in contact. If your child develops symptoms, please book a test for your child through the NHS system.
Please do not contact us if you hear of a positive case in school; you will be contacted by us if your child needs to self-isolate. We are not required to inform parents/carers of positive cases unless your child is affected.
5. If my child takes part does that mean they no longer need to adhere to the Covid secure measures in place?
No. Your child must continue to adhere to all measures in school whether you sign up for the programme or not. This includes the wearing of face masks in lessons, corridors and other communal areas. You must ensure your child has a face covering for school each day.
6. Does my child have to take part in testing?
No it is entirely your choice. You must give your consent though if you do choose for your child to take part.
7. Does my child still get tested if they don’t have symptoms?
Yes. The lateral flow testing is for asymptomatic testing.
8. My child has developed Covid 19 symptoms. What do I do?
The lateral flow testing is for asymptomatic persons only. If your child has COVID 19 symptoms you will need to book a PCR test as normal, isolating with your household until the result comes through. You should also let the school know and your child must not come to school until you receive the results of the test.
9. What infection prevention and control measures will my child follow when having the LF test?
When your child comes to have their test taken they will be kept at 2m distances and be required to wear a face mask, sanitising their hands on entry to and exit from the centre.
11. Do I have to pay for these tests?
No they are provided free of charge
13. I have more questions. Where can I get the answers to these from?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your support
Miss H Burrows
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