NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing home testing for students

22 March 2021

NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing home testing for students.

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following on from our programme of three Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests for students upon their return to school, we are providing LFD home testing kits for students today to start testing.   

A negative home test result should not be understood as a means to relax or ignore social distancing or other virus prevention measures intended to reduce transmission – home testing is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk. 

Written guidance will be provided with the home kits and an instructional video is available on YouTube for those taking the tests. 

The link for the video is: youtube link for COVID testing at home

The test kits come with instructions on how to carry out the test, or this can be found online at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957271/COVID-19-self-test-instructions.pdf  

Students should test twice weekly 3-5 days apart at home before coming into school, ideally in the morning. If they cannot take the test in the morning, they should take it as soon as possible before coming into school.  Each test kit box contains 3 test kits for the 2 tests per week and one spare.

When testing at home, students aged 18 and over should self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. Students aged 12-17 should self-test and report with adult supervision. The adult may conduct the test if necessary. Children aged 11 attending a secondary school should be tested/swabbed by an adult. 

Students (or the parent) are required to report the test result via the NHS Online reporting system  https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result or by calling 119 for negative, void and positive test results. 

They must also report positive, negative and void results to the school via the ‘Test Result’ Google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfiLwany9VhDkMEg-UG2w0G5bvvycvm57DwhLWlSEcfXtpMFA/viewform?usp=sf_link

If the result is positive the individual should isolate, and the school should help with contact tracing. The student will also need to have a PCR test to confirm the result. Those with a negative home test result can continue to attend school and use protective measures. If the result is void the individual should take another test. In the case of two void results the individual will need to take a PCR test. 

To request a PCR test visit : https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

It is a requirement to share results with NHS Test & Trace so that contact tracing (particularly outside the school environment) can take place and clinical evaluation of the testing programme can continue.  Results must be shared with school so that if positive, immediate contact tracing can take place. Void and negative results are useful information for their school both to monitor stocks of kits and to identify any issues that might need escalating to DfE or NHS Test & Trace. 

The home test will be handed to individual students for personal use and should not be used for anyone else. If family members experience COVID19 symptoms, they must follow standard Government guidance, including self-isolating immediately and booking a PCR test through the NHS Coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result (COVID 19) service or by calling 119.

Individuals who have been vaccinated should still take the test as we do not yet know whether vaccines prevent individuals transmitting the virus. The vaccine does not interfere with the home test or PCR tests. 

If you have tested positive by PCR for COVID-19, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease. However, it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will develop immunity, or how long it will last. It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection. Anyone who has previously received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19. 

The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the Government’s current requirements for those with symptoms. If your child has symptoms they should stay at home and you should book a PCR test via  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  or by calling 119.

We will support our students throughout, but please contact us if you need this information in any other language or format or if you have any questions. You can contact the office in the usual way.

Yours faithfully,

Sandra Short

Business Manager