In January, secondary schools across the country set up testing sites in line with Government guidance, allowing schools to test staff and those students that have been on site. Testing staff and students helps us to identify cases of Covid-19 where someone does not have symptoms (‘asymptomatic’). As a school this has enabled us to keep Covid-19 out of our school community, helping keep our staff, students, and their families safe.
We hope that the information on this page provides you with some reassurance about the testing process and answers any questions you may have. At the bottom of this page, you can find a video that shows the testing process, as well as a visual guide to testing. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s form tutor.
Frequently asked questions
Why are students and staff being tested in school?
One in three people have the Covid-19 virus without symptoms (they are asymptomatic) so could be spreading the disease unknowingly. New technology that allows for rapid testing means that we can now introduce initial testing of staff and students who may be asymptomatic, helping to keep children in school and helping to keep our school as safe as possible.
What do I need to do as a parent / carer to support testing
Please ensure you have given permission for your child to take a test by responding to the message sent out via Weduc on the 1st March (this is the same message sent out before the start of term). On the day of testing, your child will also bring home a card that allows you to register their test directly with your contact details. We will also monitor the test results as a school and will contact you immediately if your child returns a positive test result.
Should I send my child to School if they have any of the Covid-19 symptoms?
No. Testing should only be for people that are asymptomatic (have no symptoms). If you child has a temperature, a new cough or change to taste and smell they should isolate for 10 days from the day the symptoms began. You should also book a test online or call 119 to book a test for your child. Please do not send your child to school if they have any of these symptoms. Please call the school to inform of this so that we are aware and are able to support your child and their learning from home.
What happens if my child has a positive test result?
We will call you and notify you if we are made aware of a positive test result. We will isolate your child from the wider community whilst reassuring them and the pastoral team will support them through what may be a potentially worrying and/or upsetting experience. We will ask you to collect your child from school. Students should then isolate for 10 days from the date of the test result. Your child’s form tutor will continue to remain in touch with you and we will continue to offer your child the opportunity to access lessons from home if they are well enough to do so.
How accurate is a lateral flow device test?
Lateral flow tests are very accurate, which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). If you test positive on a lateral flow test, it is likely that you are infectious at that moment. By using the lateral flow test we can identify people with a high viral load who are the most likely to spread the virus further. Those who receive a negative test result from an LFD test must still follow social distancing guidance, wear face coverings when appropriate and wash their hands regularly.
Who will be doing the testing in schools and colleges?
Pupils will self-swab to provide a test sample. Members of staff will not be swabbing students. We have an external team who have been provided by Royal Borough of Greenwich who have been specifically trained to support students and to process the test results. Staff members will also be on hand to support students who may feel anxious.
Does my child have to take the test?
You can choose not to permit your child to take a test, although we recommend that as many students take tests as possible. This is because the more people that take the test, the fewer the possible number of Covid-19 cases will enter our school community. If you have permitted your child to take the test, but on the day they do not want to take the test, they will not be forced to take the test. Any staff member, student, or pupil who does not take part in testing will still be able to attend school or college unless they develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a positive result.
If staff and students are being tested, why does my child need to socially distance and wear a face mask in School?
While we hope to test as many people as possible, it is not mandatory. Therefore, it is essential that we continue to keep in place the guidance put forwards by the Department for Education to keep children and staff as safe as possible from the risk of transmission.
Please click the link below to read a document detailing how you should do your lateral flow test
A video to explain how to complete your lateral flow test