Testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices’. The information below gives you information about the testing programme at The Grange School.
Plan for testing
We are looking to test all students currently in school, as up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing, we will help to reduce the spread in our school setting through asymptomatic transmission. Therefore we strongly encourage those attending school to be tested. However, testing will not be mandated and students will be allowed to attend school regardless of whether a test has been undertaken.
We aim to provide 2 tests per student within 5 days starting Wednesday 13th January. To enable us to do this we need parental consent, contact details and other data we are obliged to collect for NHS track and trace. (see bottom of this page for the privacy and data protection notices).
We would be grateful if parents/carers could fill in the consent form as soon as possible so we can start testing at the earliest opportunity.
In addition, any student who has come into close contact with positive cases in our school can be tested daily for seven days to allow them to remain in school.
How the tests work
The lateral flow tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat. The testing will be supervised by trained staff and in most cases the student will be expected to conduct the test themselves. However, help will be available for anyone who finds the test difficult.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. If the student tests negative the NHS test and trace system will send a text/email to the contact details provided on the consent form. If the student tests positive the school will inform the student and parent directly. This will be followed up by a text/email notification of a positive result from the online NHS system. If you do not hear from the school that means the test is negative.
What if my child tests positive?
If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by the school and will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ to confirm the result. This should be on the same day or as soon as possible afterwards. We will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) they will need to self-isolate.
If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?
The student will be notified that they are a close contact by the school. If close contacts agree to be tested each day for a maximum period of 7 days, and they test negative every day, they will be allowed to remain in school. There may be instances where close contacts are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace. In this instance they should notify NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact through school and are participating in daily contact testing.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions.