Testing at home is important because your child could be carrying the virus without knowing about it and may spread it to others. Around a third of people with Covid-19 have no symptoms. Testing will help to break chains of transmission.

All participation in testing is voluntary. People who decline to participate in this testing programme should follow the usual national guidelines on self-isolation and get tested if they show symptoms. If they choose to participate, your child should carry out twice weekly testing at home. They should do this on a Sunday evening and a Wednesday evening.

IMPORTANT: Tests are only for the use of the person assigned the kits. They should not be taken by anyone else.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Your child will have their test kit logged (so it is identifiable as theirs) and receive their test kits from school (see the end of this letter for details).
  2. Your child performs the test. If they are 12-17 years old, they can do this themselves with supervision. If they are 18, they can do it entirely themselves. If they are 11, the government guidance is to have an adult supporting them. Ignore the instructions inside the box (with a picture on it) as they have been replaced with a new version. Use this new version (without a picture on it) instead.
  3. Check their results at 30 minutes. Set a timer so they do not forget. After 30 minutes, the results are invalid.
Picture 1

The test will look like one of the following

Picture 2

If they receive a positive LFD result you should book a confirmatory PCR test: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test The government advise visiting a community or drive through test site as this is the quickest way to get tested, or you can order a home test kit. It is important that they self-isolate until the result of your PCR test. If they test negative, they must continue to follow national and local rule and guidelines including regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing face coverings, where required.

4. You are required to report the results of their tests online, or by phone, every time they take a test, even if the result was negative or void:

Follow this link https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result/ and look for this button:

Picture 3

We at school are not able to view the results that have been uploaded to the online service so you will also need to report these results to us using THIS LINK. You will need to enter your child’s unique 4 digit code to identify the test as theirs. This number will be on the box containing their test kits.

It is essential that you also report any positive results to us immediately via email: postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

If you experience any repeated issues with your testing kits, such as multiple repeat void tests, unclear results or leaking/damaged tubes, please report this to the government by phoning 119 and inform us via the postbox e-mail address stated above.

When will my child receive their tests?

Your child will be given their kits in form time. The date each year group will receive their self-test kits is listed here:

Year 7 - Friday 19th March
Year 8 - Thursday 18th March
Year 9 - Thursday 18th March
Year 10 - Wednesday 17th March
Year 11 - Tuesday 16th March
Year 12 - Thursday 18th March
Year 13 - Thursday 18th March

We know that self-testing could be a challenge so, if you require support, please do not hesitate to contact us: postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

Testing over the Easter Holidays

If your child develops symptoms within 48 hours of being at school and tests positive (on a confirmatory PCR test) within 6 days of being in school then it is very important that you email postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk, telling us your child’s name, their form, when they started to develop symptoms, when they were last in school and the best number to contact you on. This is so we can identify close contacts and inform them that they must self-isolate.

If your child tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. You should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.

Example 1

Your child finishes school on Thursday 1st April. They develop Covid symptoms on the morning of Saturday 3rd April. They do one of their self tests and it is positive. They book a confirmatory PCR test and that is also positive. You must inform us postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk because they developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school.

Example 2

Your child finishes school on Thursday 1st April. They develop Covid symptoms on Sunday 4th April. They do one of their self tests and it is positive. They book a confirmatory PCR test and that is also positive. You do not contact us. You follow the instructions of NHS Test and Trace instead. Although please do remember to report your positive lateral flow test result on our usual Microsoft Forms link.

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Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week.

The government is encouraging all families to participate in twice weekly testing to help stop the spread.

Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by:

·       Ordering tests online www.gov.uk/order-school-household-tests   

·       Getting an assisted test at work, if it is available

·       Attending 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.

To find out more on school household testing visit Households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools and colleges: get rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

FAQs

Below is a set of Frequently Asked Questions compiled by the government:

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice https://www.matrixacademytrust.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/MAT-Covid-19-Privacy-Notice.pdf

Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and the school regardless of the result (positive, negative, or void).

Students aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if they need it.

Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the [pupil/student] to take the test if they need support.

Students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

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:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus.

LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

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.

When your child takes a Lateral Flow test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):
● your child’s name
● your child’s test result
● the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school or college their test result.

Under UK law, your child’s school or college can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’. This means that your child’s data helps us to stop the spread of the virus, and to keep your children in school. For example, we will tell your child to self-isolate if they get a positive test result.

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. This will ensure that testing is accurate and helps keep us all safe.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice https://www.matrixacademytrust.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/MAT-Covid-19-Privacy-Notice.pdf