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COVID-19 Rapid Testing

COVID-19 Rapid Testing

To safeguard the health of the school workforce and keep as many staff and pupils in school as possible, the government have made rapid-result coronavirus (COVID-19) tests available to schools.

This will help identify asymptomatic cases, which make up a third of all cases, helping to limit the spread of the virus.

Testing, along with other infection prevention and control measures such as social distancing, can ensure pupils are given the best chance of face to face education.

The main schools and colleges testing programme, using rapid lateral flow tests to find asymptomatic staff and pupils and those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) but do not have symptoms, is playing an important role in breaking chains of transmission and is continuing.

Following new advice from NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England (PHE), we are temporarily pausing the daily contact testing element of the testing programme, which was in place as an alternative to self-isolation for those who came into contact with positive cases in schools.

Students who have tested positive for COVID 19 should not test again within 90 days.

Government guidance for schools can be accessed below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges - GOV.UK (


Confirmatory PCR testing following a test at home

Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms. By rolling out rapid testing to schools and universities at pace we are helping to uncover hidden cases of the virus, break the chains of transmission and stopping outbreaks before they get a chance to develop.

Students in secondary schools and colleges are currently testing on site – 3 tests, each 3 to 5 days apart – using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) as part of the rapid asymptomatic testing programme. LFD tests taken on test sites, such as on school and college grounds, do not need a confirmatory PCR test. This is because these tests are done in a controlled environment and trained staff read the results.

If a pupil or student received a supervised school-based LFD test, as part of the rapid asymptomatic testing programme, and it was positive then they and other members of their household must self-isolate. PCR testing is not advised if you have received a positive result from an LFD test at a school or college test site. If a parent was to do this and it returned a negative result, the policy remains that the pupil or student, their close contacts, and other members of their household must still self-isolate.

All positive results from rapid tests undertaken at home do need to be confirmed with a standard PCR test. This is because these tests are not conducted in a controlled environment and will not have trained staff on hand. Following positive LFD test at home, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked online or by calling 119. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the pupil or student and their close contacts should self-isolate. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test (at home only) and a child can return to school.

Brooke Weston Academy and The Brooke Weston Trust will continue to monitor guidance and will adopt a dynamic risk management approach to ensure the operation of the asymptomatic testing remains as safe as possible.

After 3 tests within school, students will move to home testing and packs of home tests will be issued in tutor times. The results from these home tests must be reported to the NHS track and trace and to assist with contact testing recorded for school information too. 

A video explaining the testing process can be found here Video guide to self testing

For more information about COVID-19 testing and the results of our risk assessment, please see the documents below:

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