Rapid Testing in Schools - Department for Education notification
SERIAL (DAILY) CONTACT TESTING IN SCHOOLS HAS BEEN PAUSED FOLLOWING ADVICE FROM THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION
Who is being tested and why?
Testing is important because staff, students and pupils without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others. Testing staff and students will support schools and colleges to operate as safely as possible. New, simple and quick tests, known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, enable us to rapidly test pupils, students and staff, without the need for a laboratory. Secondary schools and colleges will be provided with these test kits to conduct the testing.
We will keep schools and communities safer by working together to: • Test as many secondary pupils and students on their return to school and FE colleges for the spring term as possible. This means two LFDs tests three to five days apart. • Carry out weekly testing of school and college staff • Carry out daily contact testing for seven days of pupils and students and staff who are close contacts of a positive case
The components of rapid testing
- Test as many secondary pupils and students on their return to school and FE colleges as possible. When returning to their school or college, pupils and students will be offered two Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests spaced three to five days apart (minimum three days). A positive confirmatory PCR will be required for all positive cases.
- Carry out weekly testing of school and college staff. Staff will be offered one LFD test starting from 4 January and on an on-going weekly basis thereafter. A positive confirmatory PCR will be required for all positive cases.
- Carry out daily contact testing of pupils, students and staff who are close contacts of a positive case. Those identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive will be provided with daily testing for seven days. If they test negative on a daily basis, they can continue to attend school without having to self-isolate.