Asymptomatic Testing for Schools
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
From Monday 21 February 2022, the Government is removing the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic testing.
Settings which are still advised to continue twice-weekly testing include:
- Staff and students in SEND settings who are secondary age and above are advised to continue twice-weekly testing. This also alternative provision settings and SEND units within mainstream settings or equivalent in further education colleges.
- Staff in residential units in children’s social care (open and secure children’s homes) and children of secondary age and above in open children’s homes are also advised to continue twice-weekly testing.
- Children and young people arriving in secure children’s homes should test on arrival.
What to do if your child tests positive
From Thursday 24 February 2022, there will be changes to the legal requirements on self-isolation.
You will no longer be legally required to self-isolate at home if you test positive for or have symptoms of COVID, however, it is recommended that you do isolate if you are able to.
After 5 days, you may choose to take a lateral flow test followed by another the next day - if both are negative and you do not have a temperature, you can safely return to their normal routine.
If you test positive, you should avoid contact with anyone in an at risk group, such as an elderly relative or someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, including if they live in the same household.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
IF YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange to have a PCR test if you have not already had one.
Do not use the rapid lateral flow testing service as this is only for people without symptoms.
What if my child has other symptoms?
If your child is feeling under the weather and you’re not sure if they should go to school or nursery, you can check what you should do on the Healthier Together website. The website provides a comprehensive guide to common child illnesses and the symptoms to look out for.
As we begin to live safely with COVID, if your child has any symptoms of COVID-19, including a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a change to their sense of smell or taste, you should keep them at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.
HOW TO GET A RAPID LATERAL FLOW TEST (LFD TEST)
There are different ways to get a test for pupils, students and staff of schools and colleges, and members of their households, childcare and support bubbles in England who do not have symptoms of coronavirus.
COLLECT TEST KITS
You can collect packs of home test kits at a local collection point including Rotherham libraries, leisure centres, and pharmacies. Anyone 18 or over can collect.
You can check online if the location is open or busy before you go. You do not need to make an appointment.
Do not visit a collection point outside opening hours, as it may be used to test people with coronavirus symptoms outside these times.
ORDER HOME TEST KITS ONLINE
You can order 1 pack of home test kits for home delivery. Your tests should arrive within 2 days.
WHAT TWICE-WEEKLY TESTING INVOLVES
You will be asked to:
- take a test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days apart)
- report every result to NHS Test and Trace on the same day you take the test, either online or by calling 119.
If anyone tests positive or gets coronavirus symptoms, they should:
- self-isolate immediately
- get a PCR test to confirm the result
- follow the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
- Pupils, students and staff should also tell their school or college if they test positive.
A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus. But this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you should keep following all coronavirus advice including:
- regular handwashing
- social distancing
- wearing a face covering where recommended
INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS
This guidance applies to all schools in England, including:
- primary schools
- secondary schools (including sixth forms)
- special schools, special post-16 providers and alternative provision
- 16 to 19 academies
- infant, junior, middle, upper schools
- boarding schools
If any of the above applies to your organisation and you have an enquiry about LFD Testing, please contact the DfE helpline on 0800 046 8687. The line will be open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Someone is in an occupation related to early years childcare providers, nurseries, schools and colleges if they do at least one of the following:
- support students and staff returning to schools and nurseries, and expect greater contact following the return
- are in close contact with childcare providers, schools, nurseries or colleges as part of a household, support or childcare bubble
- provide essential care putting them in close contact with nursery-age children, primary and secondary-age pupils or college students
CHILDREN’S SOCIAL CARE – OPEN RESIDENTIAL HOMES
Open residential homes are the full-time households of the children who live there. The care staff who look after these children are their main ‘family’ social bubble.
Care staff frequently come and go from the home, and the children have regular face-to-face contact with professionals and birth relatives.
All foster carers with responsibility for primary and secondary pupils, and nursery and early years age children.
CHILDMINDERS AND WRAPAROUND CHILDCARE STAFF
‘Wraparound childcare’ is childcare provided outside of normal school hours, such as breakfast clubs or after-school childcare. Wraparound childcare staff and childminders should continue to get tested by either their employer, by collecting tests to use at home or order tests online for home delivery.
SEND SCHOOL TRANSPORT
Drivers and passenger assistants providing transport to pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) may be able to get tests at the school of the pupils they support. If not, they can collect a home test kit to use at home or order one online.