NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for Staff and Students

Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. 

Plan for testing

Staff are already undertaking home testing twice a week in secondary schools.

All secondary students, where parental consent is in place, have now undertaken testing in school and have been issued with home testing kits.

Students will now need to test twice a week at home and report the results directly to NHS Test & Trace and to the school.

The easiest way to report to school is by using the Arbor Parental App.  Information has already been sent to parents to advise how this works. 

How the tests work

The lateral flow tests 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.

They are easy to sue and give results in 30 minutes.

Further information: www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms 

What if my child tests positive?

If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, their household and any support bubbles they are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance.  A confirmatory PCR test will be needed if testing at home.

What happens if the test is negative? 

A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site or check your local council website) 
  • collect tests to do at home,find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder (test-and-trace.nhs.uk) 

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests 

There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in school who tests positive?

The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the school and will be expected to follow Government Guidance.

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 www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

 Further assistance needed?

We will support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions. You can contact the COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing Co-Ordinator at the relevant school:

In order to stop the spread of the virus, the key factors are ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and then regular testing with vaccination as soon as possible.  As CEO of the Trust I feel it our civic responsibility to carry out the tests to help protect our students, our staff and our local community.

Thank you for your continued support.