Due to the saliva testing programme being suspended, we are moving temporarily to LFD Home Testing
Schools are being provided with LFD home-testing kits. This is a viable alternative while we await the saliva testing programme to get back on track. Public Health England and the local authority are aware of this alternative plan and they are happy with the changes we are making as a result of the suspension of the saliva testing programme.
These tests are administered at home and come with everything that is needed to complete the test.
The results appear in 30 minutes and parents or students will then need to let NHS and the school know the outcome of the test.
Tests kits will be collected from school by students during school time. Parents do not need to come in to get them.
Tests are free of charge. Each student will receive a pack of 3 or 7 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results. We strongly encourage an adult to support all students in taking this test, especially younger students and especially at first.
The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Families will also need to tell the school the result of each test by clicking here.
If a student has a positive test result, they will need to stay home and self-isolate. If the result of the test is unclear (void) they will need to do another one. Students have the option to take the test the evening before school, but no earlier. Test results should always be reported.
Taking part in testing is voluntary and all students will be able to attend St Anne's whether they take part in testing or not. We are strongly encouraging all students to take part in the national testing programme.
Some frequently asked questions
What type of tests will be used?
We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.
The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.
Are LFD tests accurate?
Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.
These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.
The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.
It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.
How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?
There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test
How will personal information and test results be shared?
When students take a Lateral Flow test, they need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that they need to share some information about the student.
They need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
● their name
● their test result
● the reference number on the test Kit
They will also need to tell the school or college their test result.
Under UK law, a child’s school or college can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.
Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.
When a person reports test results online, they are sharing information with DHSC, who may then share the information with a GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer health services and guidance if someone needs to self-isolate. They might also use data anonymously (a person’s name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.
For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice below.
Training for students in school
Years 10-13 will have their training on Wednesday, 10th March and will be able to pick up their test kits in school on Thursday, 11th March.
Years 7-9 will have their training on Monday, 15th March and will be able to pick up their test kits in school on the same day.
Webinar for parents
A webinar for all parents will be take on Wednesday, 10th March at 19:00. Parents will be able to ask questions at that webinar, and an FAQ will be sent out to parents after the event based on questions from parents.
The following link will take you to the webinar, and after the event, to a link to its recording.