COVID-19 and Lateral Flow Testing

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Letter to parents - COVID-19 Update - Return to school March 2021. 

Lateral Flow Testing

Please watch our short video of how testing is conducted in school. 


All secondary schools in the country will be using what are known as ‘lateral flow tests’ (LFT's).  These have proved very successful and easy to use in pilot studies, which students and staff in other United Learning schools took part in last term.

Importantly, the test can be carried out regularly and return results in a very short space of time, which means that anyone who is infected is identified much more quickly and effectively. 

The test will involve a throat and nose swab and will only take a few minutes.  It is proven to be perfectly safe and the test will tell you if your child is carrying the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they are not showing any symptoms.  We know that this will be of reassurance to many parents particularly at a time of cases increasing nationally.

Why do asymptomatic testing?

We must use all of the tools available to us to combat the transmission of COVID-19. These tools range from vaccination, symptomatic testing, improving medicines, self-isolation regulations and non pharmaceutical interventions like hands-face-space.

Asymptomatic testing is a further and critical tool to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

On its own Asymptomatic testing will not prevent the transmission of COVID-19 but used with the other tools available (to us) it will help us to:

  • Identify and help to prevent staff, students and pupils without symptoms from transmitting and spreading the virus unknowingly.
  •  Allow schools and colleges to operate as safely as possible by self-isolating those that are the most contagious as soon as is practical.

Asymptomatic testing is done via simple and quick tests, known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They enable us to rapidly test pupils, students and staff, without the need for a laboratory. No test is 100% accurate, but the LFD, when done as part of a testing regime is very good at picking up those with high viral loads (i.e. those that are the most contagious).

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