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St Thomas Aquinas

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Lateral Flow Testing

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing for Staff & Students

On 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister announced some measures regarding the lifting of some current restrictions and the government has now published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. Schools will continue to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. From the 8th March, we will welcome all our students back to school and roll out a testing programme in line with government guidance.

More details are due to follow in the coming days. We know already that there is an initial programme of three tests in school for students. After the three tests, students will be provided with two tests to use each week at home.

We are positive about the potential for the mass asymptomatic testing of students and staff in schools as a way of reducing the spread of the virus and enabling fewer students and staff to have to self-isolate. Our hope is that every child in school is tested.

Further information & guidance

Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep our school open as safely as possible. The test is voluntary, but I would encourage everyone to take it.

The following leaflet provides a brief summary of ‘lateral flow testing’.

Lateral Flow Testing Information

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. For under 18s, staff can oversee the swab process. The leaflet below gives a summary of how the test is conducted.

How to do your test

Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with those participating. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.

The following leaflet provides information on what to do if a student tests positive for COVID-19 on a lateral flow device test and also some information on serial contact testing of close contacts.

What to do if a student tests positive

Further information from the DfE on results of ‘lateral flow tests’ can be accessed via this link.

DfE Additional Information 

In validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, these ‘lateral flow tests’ were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test.

Testing will be offered free of charge.

Students will not be required to have had a ‘lateral flow test’ as a condition of being allowed to return to school.

Consent Form & Privacy Statement

We hope that all our families, will engage with the mass asymptomatic testing programme. In order for your son/daughter to take part, we require consent. No tests will be administered without consent.

To provide consent for lateral flow testing, please follow the link below. There is further information on this registration form and a detailed explanation of exactly who can consent and what you are consenting to. Please note that you will need to complete a separate consent form for each of your children.

Consent Form

Please also read our privacy statement which explains how personal data will be processed and stored.

COVID-19 Testing Privacy Statement

The link below provides some answers to frequently asked questions on data protection in relation to COVID testing in schools.

Data Protection FAQs 

Next Steps

Setting up this rapid testing programme, even for reduced numbers, is still an exceptionally complex and challenging operation. We thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. Once we have received consent, our intention is to begin testing from Monday 11th January.

 

Many thanks for your continued support.

We continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by this pandemic.