Friday 12th March 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
Lateral Flow Device Testing
I am writing to provide you with the information about the next steps and processes required to be able to successfully complete the LFD tests at home. This is so important to maintain safety in our community and students are gaining confidence in the swabbing process.
Testing at S6C and at home
Despite some anticipated nerves about taking a lateral flow test, students in both year groups have taken it in their stride and have dealt with the process calmly and with maturity. The process has been led by support staff and volunteers from Wiltshire Council, and more details are explained in the weekly college update.
By Tuesday 16th March, the majority of students will have completed their 3 lateral flow tests, which is the recommended expectation before students are issued with test kits to complete at home. They are only licensed for students that have had adequate trained supervision, so it is important that all students inform us if they have missed a test opportunity so that we can reschedule this promptly and issue their tests. Year 13 students will receive them on Monday after their third test and Year 12 students will receive them on Tuesday.
Students will be provided with an information guide with their test kit, but an electronic copy of this information is attached here:
Students and staff are asked to complete 2 tests each week thereafter, 3 to 5 days apart. We would recommend that the first test is taken 3 – 5 days after their third test in college. For many students a test in the evening may be more manageable and less time pressured than early morning before college. We have not yet received a timescale of how many weeks we are asked to undertake the tests, so we will update you when we know.
When to have a confirmatory PCR test
The Department for Education has confirmed to schools and colleges that when secondary aged students receive a positive LFD test at an Asymptomatic Test Site set up such as at S6C, then the student and other members of their household must self-isolate. A confirmatory PCR test is not advised.
When secondary-aged students begin to test themselves from home, a positive LFD result should then be followed by a confirmatory PCR test. If the student then tests negative on the PCR test, this will override the test they took at home, and they will be able to return to college.
The DfE state that this is because LFD tests taken on test sites have extremely low rates of false positives, because these tests are done in a controlled environment and trained staff read the results.
It is important that all students record their results in the final step of the process on the NHS site either using their phone or computer. This is explained in the booklet and is a quick and straightforward process. Not only does this allow large data sets to be analysed by the scientific community to review rates in the local area, but it also provides an accurate usage count for the next distribution of test kits arriving on site for staff and students.
The Department for Education has also asked S6C to keep our own records of test results for staff and students. A google form will be shared on the google classroom for students to record the result, it is designed to be simple and quick . All results need to be reported to the college so that we can determine what steps we may need to be taken . A copy of the form can be found here. Student Home LFT Results Form