All students to commence Home testing

NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 Home Testing for Students


Dear Parent / Carer,


All students should now have completed 3 in school covid lateral flow tests and are now able to move on to the home testing provision. The home tests are the same Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests that we have been using in school so the students should be capable and comfortable with doing them.


Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing regularly we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. I am therefore strongly encouraging all students to take part in the mass testing.


Students will each be given 2 boxes, each containing 3 individual tests. This will mean students will have a total of 6 tests which is enough for testing twice a week for 3 weeks. These will be given to students by their crew leader on Wednesday 31st March. Further tests will be supplied at a later date. 


Please keep testing kits at room temperature and do not store below 2 degrees or above 30 degrees and out of direct sunlight. 


Testing using lateral flow device (LFD) tests

LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. No test is perfect, but 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 (for example, in the early stages of infection). This is why Public Health England recommends two LFD tests 3 to 5 days apart (or 3 to 4 days for home testing), 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 an LFD, it is likely that you are infectious at that moment, whereas people testing positive on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or lab-processed test could be in the less infectious early or late stages of disease. This means that 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. 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.


Testing of students

For the first week we would like students to test on Saturday 3rd April and then the evening of Tuesday 6th April so that all students have tested before returning to school the following morning. After this we would like students to join our staff testing days of Sunday and Wednesday evenings starting Sunday 11th April and continue until advised otherwise.


The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result within 20 to 30 minutes. Please refer to the additional instruction booklet rather than using the instructions inside the boxes. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test. This can be found here.


All test results need to be uploaded to the NHS Test and Trace app as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone as per the instruction booklet. You will also need to register your result with school using the test result google form. The link is on the right at the top of the web page.


We will continue to run a small testing site at school as a provision for those students who are unable to or do not wish to test themselves at home.


Due to year 11 having to isolate they still need to do a 3rd and final test in school before receiving their home test kits. This will be done as soon as they arrive at school on Wednesday 7th April. Further information will be sent direct to parents and students regarding this.


Consent / Privacy 

Once you have understood the testing process and have read the privacy notice, you are committing to self-administer the test and report your results (whether positive, negative or void) via the NHS Test & Trace digital platform and to school.


Students who decline to participate can still attend school if not symptomatic. If they begin to show symptoms, they should get tested and follow the usual national guidelines on self-isolation. 


We will support all our students throughout this process but please get in touch with your crew leader if you have any further questions or concerns.


Yours faithfully,


Jamie Portman