School FAQs

Page updated on: 21/04/2021

Our key priority has always been the safety of children, their families and school staff and this will continue to be our main consideration as we begin to enter the recovery period.

Please be assured that we have been working hard to put plans in place for our schools. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

Please visit this page for all information, it is being continually updated. The following FAQs should answer any queries that you may have about schools and Covid-19. Get in touch via the "Ask a question" tab if there is anything you need additional information about.

Lateral flow testing

All school staff and secondary school pupils are being offered lateral flow testing that they can carry out at home twice a week.

The aim is to quickly identify those who are unknowingly carrying the virus so that they can self-isolate. Many people with COVID-19 have mild, or even no symptoms, but can still spread the virus. With regular self-testing we can slow the spread and help protect the most vulnerable in our families and communities. 

Self-testing for COVID-19 is simple, quick and can be carried out at home without the need to attend a test centre or post samples to a lab for analysis. Lateral flow devices (LFDs) are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.

Testing is voluntary, but individuals are strongly encouraged to take up the offer to further reduce the risk of transmission in those that do not show any symptoms.

It is important to remember that the purpose of the testing is to complement the safety measures that have already been put in place in schools to allow face-to-face learning, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings. Furthermore, a negative LFD result should not be read as a means to relax or ignore social distancing or other measures to help reduce transmission – lateral flow testing is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk.

The testing kits can be collected from your school, who will also provide you with further information on when and how to carry out the tests and how to record the results, and what you should do if you test positive.

Further information on lateral flow testing in schools including some useful FAQs can be found on the Welsh Government website.

More information and FAQs

 

No, all the other safety measures must remain in place. The purpose of the testing is to complement the safety measures that have been put in place in schools to allow face-to-face learning to continue, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings. Furthermore, a negative LFD result does not mean that pupils should relax or ignore social distancing or other safety measures. Lateral flow testing is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk.

Yes, consent, either from pupils themselves if over 16, or from parents/carers or guardian if under 16, is required for participation. If you would like to take part you should familiarise yourselves with the testing process and privacy notice, if you choose to participate, you are committing to self-administer the test and provide results for all tests (negative or positive).

Individual pupils can opt in or out at the point of collecting kits each week. Testing remains voluntary.

Testing is voluntary. Furthermore, it should not be viewed as a ‘test to enable’ or ‘test to return’ to face-to-face learning, that is, it is not a condition of coming on to the site or accessing learning.

Those who choose not to participate should still attend school if they are not displaying symptoms. It is also important that they follow the usual national guidelines on self-isolation and get tested if they show any symptoms.

Your school will advise which two days to carry out the tests, please stick to the same days and times each week. Please note that each school will be different, and it may also be that different year groups within the same school test on a different days.

It is very important that you record your test result correctly on the online portal.

If you record a positive test result in error, do not attend school and wait to speak to a contact tracer who will be able to advise you further.

If you record a negative test result in error, then you will need to phone 119 to inform them of your mistake, and inform your school immediately. You will need to follow the self-isolation guidance and book a PCR test within 24 hours.

 

 

No, testing is to be carried out during term-time only and does not need to be carried out during school holidays.

If your child has been in close contact with a pupil who tests positive using a LFD (within two days of the positive test being taken), you will be notified and your child will need to self-isolate.

If the pupil who has tested positive has a negative PCR test result, then your child can stop self-isolating and return to school.

If the PCR test comes back positive, then your child will need to follow the self-isolation guidance and self-isolate for 10 days.

The main aim of the testing is to quickly identify those who are unknowingly carrying the virus so that they can self-isolate to prevent more people from catching the virus. However, with regular testing it is likely that we will see an increase in the number of positive cases linked to schools in the first instance.

No, the tests are for those working in education, childcare and play settings, and pupils in secondary schools (years 7 to 13) and students in Further Education. This means that tests should not be used for other family members including younger children, as they are currently not included in the testing approach.

Furthermore, lateral flow tests should not be used on anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. If you develop symptoms, please book a PCR test. You can arrange a test by booking online or by calling 119.

The aim of lateral flow testing is to quickly identify those who are unknowingly carrying the virus so that they can self-isolate and stop the spread. The tests need to be carried out regularly, on a twice weekly basis in order to be effective.

Primary head teachers will not accept a negative lateral flow test result as a means to enable a child to return to school if they have been sent home with symptoms.

Education & Schools