In line with government guidance, London South East Academies Trust is rolling out an onsite COVID testing programme for pupils and staff.
Along with the other protective measures we are using, testing will allow us to take further measures to help keep our pupils and staff safe and reduce the spread in College settings through asymptomatic transmission.
The testing is voluntary, but we actively encourage pupils to consent to take part in the programme. Those taking part in the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral’ flow tests are quick and easy using a swab of the nose and mouth.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the pupil. Where a pupil is under 16, parents or legal guardians will be informed.
Below we have included a Frequently Asked Questions section based on information provided by NHS Test and Trace and associated documents.
- COVID-19 Testing Consent Form
- COVID-19 Testing Letter to Parents 8 January 2021
- COVID-19 Testing Letter to Staff 8 January 2021
- Privacy Notice - LSEAT COVID-19 Testing
Frequently Asked Questions
How do 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.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with the individual participant. The college will inform the pupil of a positive test result. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed. The student will also receive a text/email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system. Tests are free of charge.
What happens if a pupil tests positive?
If a pupil 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. During the time while waiting for the PCR result (via text/email) they will need to self-isolate. 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?
While a small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, pupils who test negative will be able to stay in [school/college] and resume their activities as normal. Pupils will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
What if staff or students have been in close contact with someone in college who tests positive?
The staff member or pupil will be notified that they are a close contact by the school/college. 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 college. 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 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 school/college, who will still need to self-isolate.
What if my child develops symptoms?
What happens if a school cannot get the consent and the child turns up to school?
Participation in the programme requires active consent from the person being tested, or, if they are under 16, their parent or /legal guardian. Any staff member, student, or pupil who does not take part in testing will still be able to attend school or college unless they develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a positive result. People who decline to participate in daily/serial contact testing will follow the usual national guidelines and must self-isolate for ten days
What consideration is given to administering the test for SEND students or those with coordination issues who physically will not be able to manage this due to poor fine motor skills? Will the Test assistant be able to do the test for them?
Is there to be priority testing for SEND students?
The asymptomatic testing programme will help to keep education settings open and ensure as many pupils as possible receive a high-quality face to face education by helping break the virus' transmission chains. The Department expects schools and colleges to prioritise testing the most vulnerable pupils and students, including those with additional needs.
What if staff or students need to travel to college on public transport – should they still attend college if they are in the daily/serial testing window?
After being identified as a close contact of a positive case within an education setting, an individual receiving daily/serial testing will not need to self-isolate, follow social restrictions, or travel arrangements beyond the rules and guidance issued for The tier they are living in. If the individual cannot take a test during this time, i.e., weekends or holidays, they must self-isolate. If the seven-day period ends over the weekend, the individual would need to take a further LFD test on the following Monday.
What happens if, in exceptional circumstances, the parent is unable to collect a student who has tested positive?
Parents or carers should arrange for their child to be collected as quickly as possible following a positive test. The pupil or student should wear a face covering and keep a safe distance from others in a designated location education setting. If possible, the child should walk, cycle or scoot home. Pupils who have tested positive must not travel home using public transport.