Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for your support with the lateral flow tests which have taken place in school. The next step in our protective measures for the safety of our school community is to transition to home COVID-19 testing for students.
The Government has recently announced that all secondary aged students will also be offered regular asymptomatic COVID-19 tests to take at home. All secondary aged students will be offered tests to take at home twice a week, so that we can reduce the spread of the virus.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this in our school by carrying out lateral flow tests at home twice every week. These tests are an additional risk mitigation step to ensure we keep students and our community safe in school. The more asymptomatic students we can identify, the more chance we will have to minimize the spread.
Once students have had their three lateral flow tests on their return to school, home testing kits will be given to them to take home. Students will receive two boxes of test kits – both containing 3 tests - with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results. There are enough tests to take students up to the Easter break. Tests are free of charge.
We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their routine; others will find it more challenging. Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend Ivanhoe whether they take part or not – however, we would strongly encourage all students to take part. The more students and staff tested, the safer our community school is.
The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result .
Parents and carers will also need to tell the school the result of each test by using the following MyEd link: https://myeds.co/f/j4KHlWNRwMrC or by scanning the QR code below:
We would recommend that tests are taken on a Sunday evening and a Wednesday evening. If testing in the morning before school, sufficient time must be left for the test result to be received and reported to both the NHS and school, before students leave home to attend school.
Administering the tests
There are a number of helpful videos which guide you / your child through administering the tests.
How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test)
This video is from the Department of Health and Social Care and shows Dr. Khan showing you how to test yourself for coronavirus (COVID-19) using a self-test rapid antigen test kit, as well as how to read your result and report it to the NHS.
COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test demonstration for school pupils
This video is from Cumbria County Council and shows a school pupil, Abi, demonstrating what to expect from a lateral flow test.
If a student has a negative test result, they can continue to attend school as normal. The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result . Parents and carers will also need to tell the school the result of each test by using the following MyEd link: : https://myeds.co/f/j4KHlWNRwMrC or by scanning the QR code below:
If a student has a positive test result, they will need to:
If the result of the test is unclear (void) students will need to do another one.
Taking part in testing is voluntary and all students will be able to attend Ivanhoe whether they take part in testing or not. I am strongly encouraging all students to take part in the national testing programme.
Please contact your form tutor or Head of Progress if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.
Thank you for your support.
A child or young person may find it difficult to take a throat swab due, for example, to their having difficulty in understanding instructions, needing to keep their mouth open during the period of swabbing or they are having a strong gag reflex. In such cases, where a combined nose and throat swab is not possible, a nose swab from both nostrils can be taken. Similarly, if a nasal swab is not feasible, a throat swab alone will suffice.
Help and support is available for students, parents and carers, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.
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. Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms
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.
There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:
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 will need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
● child’s name
● child’s 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 someone reports test results online, they are sharing information with DHSC. DHSC may share the information with your 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.
This testing programme at Ivanhoe 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) your household must immediately self-isolate. You should book your child a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
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