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COVID testing in school

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NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for students

Dear parent or guardian,

Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement, schools will be reopening to pupils from 8th March 2021. I am sure that you are as pleased as we are about this!

In order to welcome pupils back safely, Government guidance states that all secondary aged pupils should take part in asymptomatic testing upon their return to school. Asymptomatic testing is an important tool for helping break the chains of transmission of the virus.

Up to one third of people who have coronavirus do not experience any symptoms themselves yet may spread the virus to others. A new test – the lateral flow test – is now being used across the country for those without coronavirus symptoms.

We will be carrying out asymptomatic COVID testing in school from Wednesday 3rd March (for those who give consent). By doing so we will help to stop the virus spreading and to keep the school open and as safe as possible.

Further information about the date and time of when your child’s year group will be invited into school for testing will be shared with you shortly by their Head of Year.

You will receive a consent form by email that will need to be completed electronically and emailed to Please be advised that if you do not wish for your child to take part in the asymptomatic testing, you still need to complete the consent form stating this. They will still be able to attend school on their designated return date but will not need to attend school on the testing date.  

Frequently Asked Questions can be found below.

Yours faithfully,

Mr P.V. Sutton OBE


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is the test compulsory?

The test is voluntary. We will not test anyone who does not give consent.

Taking the test

In the left hand column of this page you will find a leaflet, which shows how the test should be taken. Students will take the test themselves, supervised by trained staff. For under 18s, staff will oversee the swab process.

When do I get results?

Results take around half an hour from testing.

Do the tests work?

In validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, the tests were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently.

What if a student tests positive?

Students who test positive will be informed about their results individually. Where students are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be notified. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results.

Students will then need to take a further PCR test on the same day or as soon as possible. You can book a test by calling 119 or visiting

During this time, while they wait for the PCR result, they will need to self-isolate. If the PCR test returns a positive result they will have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. 

What happens if the lateral flow test is negative?

Students will be able to return to school on the day of their year group’s designated return date. A small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test is invalid or void for some reason.

What if a close contact at school tests positive?

A close contact of someone in school who has tested positive for COVID-19 will still need to self-isolate in the usual way, even if they have chosen to have the test and it is negative. Further details about self-isolation will be provided at the time.

What if my child develops symptoms?

This testing programme is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as 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

We will support our staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you need this information in any other language or format or if you have any questions. You can call the office on 020 8609 0100, email, or complete the Contact Form on our website

From the left-hand column of this page you can download a privacy notice, which explains how we use the personal information you give us.


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