Covid-19 Testing in School – Frequently Asked Questions
Hans Price Academy | Covid 19 testing in school
Frequently Asked Questions
When will my child have their test?
You will have been notified of your child’s test appointment time and date, either by phonecall or by text. Your child should arrive promptly for their test, but not too early as we cannot admit students into the school until the scheduled appointment time. Unless directed otherwise differently by staff on the day, students should arrive at the main school entrance.
Do I have to give consent for my child to have their test?
Yes – we cannot test any student without parental consent. A link to a form for this consent was included in the text to families on Sunday.
If you refuse consent for a test, your child will not be excluded from their learning. However, there may be additional risk assessment measures put into place for the protection and reassurance of other school community members. For example, lesson seating plan adjustments.
What happens during the test?
To see the NHS leaflet on the testing process, please follow this link: How to do your test
At Hans Price Academy, students arriving for their test will be met and registered by a familiar member of the school staff. For example, a college leader or learning mentor. Any member of the testing team that handles your child’s personal data will be a member of staff that has had full enhanced DBS checks.
What help will my child have with their test?
The test assistants will explain the process of the test as well as the method for self-swabbing. There are also written instructions and diagrams for a student to follow. The testing site is organised into individual ‘booths’ so that students can have some privacy whilst they swab themselves. The staff assistants will NOT swab your child. If your child is not able to swab themselves, you will be contacted to come to school to provide support and – if you think it is appropriate – to do their swab for them.
Can I accompany my child to their test?
The self-swabbing, lateral flow tests are extremely quick and pain free. Parents/carers are not invited to attend the tests with their children. However, if your child is especially anxious and you think they will not be able to swab themselves without your support, please contact the school to arrange an appointment in advance. It is a good idea for all parents take some time to talk through the testing process with their child ahead of the test appointment in order to provide encouragement and reassurance.
What happens to the result?
The lateral flow tests produce a result within 30 minutes. The result confirmation is sent by text to the 1st priority mobile number that the school has on record for your child. If your mobile number has changed, please let us know about the change of details using the SIMS Parent app. Parents should be aware that it is likely that your child will have been verbally informed of their test result by a member of the HPA staff just before you receive the text. Tempting as it will no doubt be, please do not attempt to contact your child on their mobile phone following the test result. Hans Price continues to be a mobile phone-free site for the children. We will only contact you in the event a positive result is identified – if your child’s test result is positive, you can expect a phone call from us within minutes.
What if the test comes back positive?
If a child’s test result is positive, we will speak to them privately to explain the next steps. According to our Covid 19 risk assessment, the child would be looked after in our assigned isolation room whilst we contact their parent/carer to come to collect. Since lateral flow tests are more prone to returning false positive results than the PCR tests carried out at NHS Covid testing sites, parents/carers should take their child to a testing site straight away to have a confirmatory test. For families that will struggle to access a testing site, we have a small number of PCR tests in school which we can issue to parents when they collect their child.
Students with a positive result on a rapid, lateral-flow test in school should self-isolate with their household until the PCR test result is confirmed. If the result is positive, the child’s self-isolation must continue for the full 10-day period. If the result is negative, the child may return to school. Any siblings in the home should be able to continue to come to school with a test in school every day for 7 days to confirm they remain negative themselves. If this is the case for your family, please do not send siblings to school until you have received confirmation of the daily testing arrangements.
How often will my child be tested?
On 04 January 2021, the prime minister announced a third national lockdown to include school closures. This effectively halted the plans for mass testing in schools which had been announced in December 2020. We anticipate that mass testing will be part of the plan to re-open schools, hopefully in the Spring of 2021. Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers that are attending school in bubbles during the period of closure will be tested in January as planned, as will the staff that are working on site. Staff that are on-site will then be tested weekly.
Once the period of mass testing is over, students will not be tested in school again unless they are identified as a close contact of a person that has tested positive. In that case, a child will be tested daily for 7 days in order that they do not have to self-isolate and miss out on being in school.
Parents/carers will ALWAYS be notified of a planned test for a child for whom we have received consent.