Here we are aiming to provide information about the School based Lateral flow Testing.
Please Note: everything on this page is currently draft and subject to change.
Testing in schools is a fast changing area at the moment with latest advice for special schools and alternative provision being issued at 7.30pm on New Years eve, and no clear date for tests to be delivered. The information provided here is so that we can get some feedback on the plans we are developing.
Introduction from Government guidance
The government is delivering a programme of rapid asymptomatic testing from the start of January for children and young people in year 7 and above in secondary schools, FE colleges, special schools and specialist colleges, AP academies, PRUs and registered independent AP.
The objectives of this programme are to:
- keep education settings open
- ensure as many pupils and students as possible are receiving high quality, face-to-face education
- help safeguard the health of the staff of education settings and their pupils and students
- break chains of transmission of the virus
All these settings will receive an initial delivery of lateral flow device test kits to support asymptomatic testing from the start of the spring term.
Rapidly identifying and containing any asymptomatic cases, which comprise up to a third of all cases, will help avoid individuals carrying the infection unknowingly spreading it. This is all the more so in the settings covered by this guidance, where education often involves close proximity between children or young people and staff and social distancing can be harder to observe.
Testing is voluntary and no child or young person will be tested unless informed consent has been given by the appropriate person.
No one will be prevented from receiving face-to-face education if for any reason they are not tested.
Testing is similarly voluntary for members of staff.
A simple diagram about testing
Informed consent to testing
Testing is voluntary, but those who are eligible for tests are strongly encouraged to participate to reduce the risk of transmission within schools and colleges.
The person giving the consent (parent or legal guardian or the young person) needs to have a sound understanding of the risks and benefits of testing. The setting is responsible for communicating the purpose of the testing.
Even if the child or young person and/or the parent or legal guardian has given consent, if the individual at any point is not willing to participate in testing then that choice should be respected.
Government information - downloads
Testing at Priory
A short video where Mr Chapman takes you through the test process.
Mr Chapman has a registration card that we will sort for students at Priory. Parents will need to complete a consent form.
Testing at Stone Lodge
Thank you to Mrs Vobe for filming the testing at Stone Lodge
Question 1 how often will the tests be offered?
Answer 1. Currently we are being asked to test secondary aged students twice 3 to 5 days apart. They will then be offered 7 days of testing as an alternative to isolation if they are in contact with a positive case. Staff will be offered weekly testing and 7 days of tests if they have contact with a positive case.
Question 2 What training have the staff providing the test been given?
Answer 2. So far we have completed the governments online training for administering these tests. this involves several units with assessments that you have to pass. We are hoping that Suffolk CC may offer some medical staff to special schools to help with testing, but this has yet to be sorted out.
Question 3 Can the tests be sent home?
Answer 3 Currently this is not allowed for the Lateral flow tests. You can use https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to request a home test kit for the full test.
Question 4. What are the risks of the test?
Answer 4. As far as we have been told the main risks are a gagging feeling and sneezing. the test feels uncomfortable if done correctly and may even make some vomit. In addition there will be anxiety as the testers are in full PPE with mask, visor, apron and gloves.