Thank you for agreeing for your child to take part in Lateral Flow Testing, this is an additional measure in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. However, the most effective method to reduce the transmission is by the following:
- Whilst on the school site, all pupils, with the exception of those medically exempt, will be required to wear a mask at all times, both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Pupils must keep 2 metres apart where possible as they move around the school and follow the one-way system at all times. When they enter and exit a building and classroom, they must hand sanitise, using sanitiser which will be made available.
- When pupils are in the classroom, they will not be required to sit 2 metres apart, however, they will be expected to sit forward facing and wear a mask at all times. Masks have already been provided to all pupils; therefore, it is essential that they bring these to school with them. Failure to do this, will result in your child being sent home.
- It is also essential that all pupils adhere to the current health and safety guidance at all times. This includes:
- Cleaning hands thoroughly more often than usual with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser if soap and water are unavailable.
- Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
Along with the primary infection control measures we have implemented, such as social distancing and good hand hygiene, testing will allow us to provide some additional reassurance to the wider school community.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 have the virus without symptoms so could be transmitting the virus unknowingly. Part of controlling the spread of the virus requires identifying those infectious individuals who aren’t showing and symptoms and asking them to self-isolate. Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. The speed and convenience of LFD tests supports detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise be tested. They are clinically approved and are crucial in the fight against the virus.
As the tests are more sensitive with higher viral loads, there is a risk of returning a negative result when viral loads are low (e.g. in the early stages of infection). This is why it is recommended that two LFD tests are taken 3 to 4 days apart, on a Monday and Wednesday morning (at least 1 hour before school), to enhance detection by picking up any cases which were not detected during the first test and to catch any new infections.
If you test positive using a LFD, it is likely that you are infectious and you must self-isolate immediately and book and take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 24 hours of your positive LFD test result. Contact tracing will be triggered following a positive LFD and your close contacts will be required to self-isolate until you receive your PCR test result, if the PCR test result is positive you and your close contacts will have to self-isolate.
A negative LFD result should not be read as a means to relax or ignore social distancing or other virus prevention measures intended to reduce transmission – LFD is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk.
How the tests work
Tests should be take 3 to 4 days apart and ideally the tests should be taken as close to coming into school as possible. The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result in around 30 minutes. Comprehensive guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet which comes with the test kit.
Once the test has been conducted each test result must be logged online at www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and also the schools official link below.
Purpose of testing
It is important to highlight that the purposes of the testing policy in education and childcare in Wales is to complement the primary control measures (such as social distancing and face coverings) that have already been put in place to enable face to face learning / care to continue and to:
- Rapidly identify those who are regularly on site during learning/care hours, who are unknowingly carrying the virus and ask them to self-isolate to reduce disruption to face to face education / care.
- Complement symptomatic results data with asymptomatic results data to provide a picture of infection rates as marker for the effectiveness, and implementation of, primary control measures and to assist in the early identification of clusters. In addition to a range of other data and public health advice this information can be used to inform national policy decisions.
The testing policy for education and childcare should not be viewed as a ‘test to enable’ or ‘test to return’ to face to face learning i.e. it is not a condition of coming on to the site or accessing learning/care. Additionally, this testing offer is entirely voluntary.
Consent / Privacy
All individuals wishing to take part should familiarise themselves with the testing process and privacy notice, if you choose to participate, you are committing to self-administer the test and provide results for all tests (negative or positive).
With our primary protective measures and testing, we will help to reduce the spread of the virus. However, anyone who chooses not to participate should still attend school if they are not displaying symptoms.
People who decline to participate in this testing programme should follow the usual national guidelines on self-isolation and anyone should get tested if they show symptoms.
Please ensure that you follow the guidance provided in the test kit to ensure you support your child administering the test correctly. Tests must be completed every Monday and Wednesday morning (at least 1 hour before school). If your child’s test is negative, they are welcome to attend school as arranged. If the test is positive, your child and all family members will need to self-isolate immediately and arrange for a PCR test to be undertaken. In the event of a positive test, please contact the school immediately.
Test kit packs will be distributed weekly by Form Tutors during Tutorial.
Mrs D Gill