COVID-19 Testing for Pupils at Woodfield School
NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 Testing for Pupils at Woodfield School
Dear Parent, Carer or Guardian,
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 school.
Up to one third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic. By testing we will help to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission. I am therefore encouraging those returning to Woodfield School 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 school and agreeing strategies to help reduce anxiety and putting in place any reasonable adjustments (if the individual has a disability). Parents and carers may want to look at the Mass Testing Guidance for Specialist Settings for further information
Plan for testing
We will be looking to test all staff and as many pupils as we can as they return after the Christmas break. After the updated government guidance of January 20th, daily testing has been suspended.
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. The school will inform the pupil of a positive test result. Parents or legal guardians will also be informed. The pupil (and parent) will also receive a text and/or email notification of a positive or negative result from the online NHS system. Tests are free of charge and I enclose a leaflet with further information.
What if my child 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. Woodfield School will be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home.
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 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 at Woodfield who tests positive?
The staff member or student will be notified that they are a close contact by the school and they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. After the updated government guidance of January 20th, daily testing has been suspended.
What if my child develops symptoms?
This testing programme at Woodfield 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 on 0300 303 0610 .