Illness, Infections and Health (inc COVID-19)
26th March 2021
Lateral Flow Device Covid-19 Testing (LFD Tests)
As you may recall, the Government have made available LFD Tests to adults within households where children attend school or college. The intention was to work in parallel with secondary schools and colleges to test the community and identify cases where people were not displaying symptoms. The hope was to try and break community transmission in order to further reduce cases.
Unfortunately, the different types of test and what they can be used for has led to confusion in the management of primary school aged pupils, which we would like to address.
Lateral Flow Device Tests (LFD Tests)
- These tests are for adults or children within secondary schools/colleges. Although the instruction booklets may mention children under 12 years old, this is specifically referring to 11-year olds in secondary schools.
- LFD tests are not for primary school aged pupils.
- These tests are to be used by secondary school/college pupils and adults, twice weekly, where there are no symptoms.
- If anyone has symptoms, these tests are not to be used and, instead, a PCR Test must be organised (see below).
- If a positive LFD Test result is identified during asymptomatic testing, a PCR Test must be organised to confirm the result.
- It is important to understand that where a child has symptoms and has been tested with a LFD Test, this will not be a recognised result and we will not allow the child to return to school in line with the national guidance.
Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR Test)
- These tests are for people who have Covid symptoms
- These tests have the highest validity and are processed in a laboratory.
- Anyone with symptoms must arrange for a PCR Test and the whole household must isolate.
- Children can return to school after a negative PCR Test.
- If there is a positive PCR Test, the whole household must continue to isolate for up to 10 days and school bubbles may close.
Please note that if your child is isolating because they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case in their school, they should not have a PCR test unless they develop Covid symptoms. Tests cannot be used to end the isolation period of close contacts earlier than the date advised by the school.
A flow chart to help explain this accompanies this letter (accessible below)
Covid-19 - Is your Child Ill? (A Guide for Parents)
Illness/Infection - Information and Guidance on infections and Illness
Please click on the link below to access the Public Health England guidelines for further information regarding your child's absence due to illness or infection. It gives the recommended period for your child to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders. We use these guidelines to drive our own policy making*.
Diarrhoea and vomiting illness - period to be kept away from school, nursery or childminders...48 hours from last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting'