Home testing letter to parents March 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you to everyone who has consented to participate in the lateral flow testing. Our testing is identifying a small number of cases. The procedures for close contacts of positive cases remain the same – isolation and learning from home. Self-Isolation regulations.  I appreciate having just returned to Shire Oak and a sense of normality being told your child must self isolate is really frustrating.

Positive cases and isolation: We have asked for clarification on isolation and positive tests. This is what the DfE have said:

“As schools return to full attendance, we understand parents’ frustration when their child is asked to isolate at home either after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or because of being in close contact of someone who has tested positive.

However self-isolation is one of the most important things we can do to help stop the spread of the virus and help protect our friends, family and our community. Around one in three people with coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms, and so finding and isolating these hidden cases quickly will help to stop outbreaks before they get a chance to develop.

If your child has tested positive having been tested using a lateral flow device (LFD) test at school, they do not need a PCR confirmation because these tests are done in a supervised environment. Lateral flow device tests are at least 99.9% specific, meaning the likelihood of a false positive is extremely low – less than 1 in every 1,000. PCR testing will always carry a risk of producing false negatives. At the moment, carrying out LFD tests in supervised conditions and not carrying out confirmatory PCR testing means we capture the maximum possible number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections during the initial return to school period.

Once your child starts testing at home using lateral flow tests, positive results must be followed up with a confirmatory PCR test (as these tests are not conducted in a controlled environment).”

Home testing: 

  1. Once your child has had three lateral flow tests at school, we will be sending them home with a supply of home testing kits. The DfE has published a step-by-step guide on YouTube to support the transition to home testing. There is also a leaflet Leaflet – how to test
  2. Please make sure your child tests themselves twice a week 3-5 days apart, in the morning before school if possible and, if not, the evening before. Your child should also continue testing twice a week, at home, throughout the Easter school holidays. We will be sending home extra kits for Easter holiday before term ends.  
  3. If your child has not been tested at school yet, then please get in touch with us so that we can arrange a time for them to be tested on site, before beginning home testing. 
  4. This does not replace testing for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines. 

Reporting results and wider testing:

5. Reporting results It is really important that results of a test are reported online straight away, even if your child’s result is negative or void. It’s easy to do a www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Results can also be reported via telephone by calling 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm.

6. It is important to keep a note of your child’s results in the guidance booklet and share a positive case through the link on our website Reporting a positive case

7. Testing for parents, households and bubbles twice a week A reminder that regular rapid testing is now also available for parents, their households and support or childcare bubbles. The government is encouraging all families to participate in twice weekly testing to help stop the spread. Parents and other adults in the household can access tests by:

a. Ordering tests online www.gov.uk/order-school-household-tests   

b. Getting an assisted test at work, if it is available

c. Attending a test site to get tested (where you will be able to see how to take the test) or pick up tests to do at home.

Yours sincerely 

Annabel Stoddart