NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 Testing for Staff and Students
Dear Parent or Carer
You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow devices.’ This letter is to help give you more information about the testing programme in our academy.
Up to one-third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing, we will help to reduce the spread in the academy through asymptomatic transmission. We therefore strongly encourage those returning to the academy to be tested.
We recognise that the self-swabbing part of the test may cause significant concerns for some children and young people with SEND and their families. Some of these concerns may be alleviated by discussing them with the academy and agreeing strategies to help reduce anxiety and putting in place any reasonable adjustments. Parents and carers may want to look at the Mass Testing Guidance for Specialist Settings for further information - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings/mass-asymptomatic-testing-in-specialist-settings
Plan for testing
We will be looking to test all staff and secondary age students from 18th January 2021.
In addition, any staff member or student who has come into contact with positive cases in our academy can be tested daily for seven days to allow them to remain in the academy.
For us to be able to test your child you need to give you consent via the following link by 9:00am on Friday 15th January 2021.
How the tests work
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff and volunteers. The lateral flow devices are easy to undertake, using a swab of your nose and throat. For those who are unable to self-swab please refer to the Mass Testing Guidance for Specialist Settings for further information about options. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. Results will be shared from the online NHS system to the email and mobile number provided on the consent form. Tests are free of charge.
What if my child tests positive?
If a student tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ to confirm the result. This should be on the same day or as soon as possible afterwards. Bradfields Academy will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
During the time while waiting for the PCR result they will need to self-isolate, along with the rest of the household.
If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to continue to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.
What happens if the test is negative?
Whilst a small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, students who test negative will be able to stay in the academy and resume their activities as normal. Negative test results will also be provided to the email & mobile number provided.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in the academy who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the academy. If close contacts agree to be tested each day for a maximum period of 7 days, and they test negative every day, they will be allowed to remain in the academy. There may be instances where close contacts are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace. In this instance, they should notify NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact through school/college and are participating in daily contact testing.
If they do not want to take the tests, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. The option of daily testing does not apply to household members or close contacts of a positive case outside of the academy, who will still need to self-isolate.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at Bradfields Academy 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 https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support our staff and pupils throughout, but please contact us if you have any questions. You can contact the office by emailing email@example.com