1. Why are we providing Lateral Flow testing? 

About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms is important to help stop the virus spreading and protect the school community. 

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. Stay at home while you are waiting for a home self-sampling kit, a test site appointment or a test result. Do not use the rapid lateral flow testing service as this is only for people without symptoms. 

2. Who can be tested? 

The following individuals will have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing made available to them: 

  • secondary school pupils in year 7 and above 
  • primary and secondary school staff 
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils 
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary staff 

Primary school pupils in year 6 and below will not be asked to test at this time. 

3. Where can I find more information on Lateral Flow Testing? 

The Government have produced the following advice. 

4. What tests are the school offering for pupils? 

All pupils will be offered three LFD tests at school, before being provided with a home test kit.  The home test kit will allow pupils to test themselves twice a week at home and report the results to the NHS Test & Trace and to the school. 

5. When are the tests scheduled? 

For boys in Years 7 and 8, Fourth Form, Remove Form and Lower Sixth, the first test will be on either Thursday 4 March or Friday 5 March, boys and parents will receive an email with his test time.  Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the test to complete the online registration process and minimise waiting time. Boys will need their phones with them in order to register themselves before taking the test. 

Boys in the Fifth Form and Upper Sixth will be tested on Monday 8 March, and once again an email will be sent with further details including an exact test time. 

The second and third tests will take place w/c 8 March and w/c 15 March while the boys are at school.  Details of when they should report for these tests will be communicated in due course. 

6. Should boys go to lessons before their LFD Test? 

Asynchronous lessons are scheduled for the Fourth Form on Thursday 4 March (am) and for the Lower Sixth on Friday 5 March (pm) so that boys can continue their learning around travelling or taking the test. Remove Form tests are scheduled for Thursday 5 March in the afternoon during Games. 

Boys in Years 7 and 8 are due to be tested on Friday 5 March (am) during their Enrichment Day and separate arrangements have been made to allow for coming and going around the tests.

Asynchronous lessons will also take place for boys in the Fifth Form and Upper Sixth on the morning of Monday 8 March. Boys should arrive in time for their test and can return to lessons afterwards. In exceptional circumstances, and only if there is no alternative option, boys will be permitted to arrive at the beginning of the school day and will be given a place to wait safely in advance of their test. Please email the Bell Room in this instance and inform them of your circumstances.

7. What should boys wear to come to school for the first test? 

Boys do not need to wear uniform for the tests on Thursday 4 March or Friday 5 March.  Once school reopens on Monday 8 March, uniform should be worn.

8. I have two sons at school who need to be tested. Can I bring them along to the same slot to save me coming into school on two separate occasions?

Yes, this is fine. Please bring both boys to one of the two slots you have been allocated and let us know which you have chosen via coronavirustesting@bedfordschool.org.uk.

9. What should I do if I cannot bring my son to school for the first test appointment? 

Having the test at school is preferable as this will reduce the pressure on NHS resources and the community testing centres. We would therefore encourage everyone to do this wherever possible. 

However, if your son is due to be tested at school on the Thursday or Friday but is unable to attend, then the NHS has set up LFD test sites where you can take a supervised LFD test as well as local collection points where you can collect home tests. 

Option 1: Take a test at a local lateral flow test site 

You can take a lateral flow test at a local site. Testing at these sites is assisted, which means you will swab yourself under the supervision of a trained operator. 

 You may need to book an appointment. 

Find your nearest rapid lateral flow test site. 

Option 2: Collect home test kits and test at home 

You can collect 2 packs of home test kits at a local collection point. Each pack contains 7 tests. 

Anyone 18 or over can collect. You can check online if the location is busy before you go. 

Find your nearest home test kit collection point. 

In both cases, if you take a test at home or at an LFD test site, you need to let the school know the result (see below for details on how to do this). 

9. Once he has taken three tests at school, how will my son get the home test kits for follow up testing? 

The school is due to receive home testing kits for boys w/c 8 March and we will arrange distribution at school as soon as is practical after their arrival. 

10. How do I get home test kits for my family? 

The government has announced here that home testing will be available to family members. This can be booked through an LFD test site or collection of home testing kits from collection centres (see question 9 above or the government information here). 

11. How do I report a test result to the school? 

Boys or parents should use the form here to report results of boys’ tests taken at home or at a local LFD testing site. 

12. Why does the school need to know my son’s test result? 

In the event of a positive case, the school is responsible for the close contact tracing to identify further individuals who may need to self-isolate to help contain the infection. 

We also have to keep a track of the number of tests taken so that we can re-order further tests kits for boys and staff. 

13. I have had a positive PCR test for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. Do I need to take a LFD test? 

If your PCR test is positive you DO NOT need to self-test using the LFD for 90 days from the date you tested positive. 

14. I have had a negative PCR test recently, do I need to take a LFD test? 

A test result is only valid for when the test is taken. The government guidance is that individuals should test themselves twice a week, every 3 to 4 days.