From January 2021 Schools have been asked by the Department for Education to provide Rapid Testing for staff using a test called the Lateral Flow Test.

These tests are to be used in two ways:

  1. Weekly testing to discover any staff who may be asymptomatic positive cases.
  2. Serial Testing (daily) of close contacts to avoid staff having to self isolate for 20 days.

Participation in these tests is optional and a staff consent form is required to participate in testing.

The information below is for staff to be able to make an informed decision before providing consent required to participate in testing at New Forest School.

DFE Information on Lateral Flow Testing

Up to a third of individuals who test positive for coronavirus have no symptoms at all and can therefore spread it unknowingly. That is why the testing of people without symptoms is so important. Identifying those who unknowingly have the virus will save lives. This is known as ‘mass testing’.

By testing staff once a week we will be helping to keep schools and colleges as safe as we can.

We will also be able to keep more teachers, support staff and pupils/students in education. Previously, close contacts had to isolate if one student or staff member tested positive. Now, those who are close contacts can return to school/college if they agree to be tested once a day in the morning – known as ‘serial testing’.

Both staff and pupils/students will be eligible for serial testing in the initial phase, though only staff will be eligible initially for weekly testing.

Swabbing and processing of these tests will be conducted at a dedicated testing site in school / college once a week either by trained personnel or as a self-test with supervision from trained personnel, with results in around 30 minutes.

Lateral Flow Test Video

Testing Process Flowchart

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Administering a self test

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