The asymptomatic testing programme offers all staff working in primary school, schools-based nursery and maintained nursery school settings home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits for twice weekly testing. This helps to break the chains of transmission of coronavirus in education settings by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive then self-isolate in accordance with the relevant guidance, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.
Children in primary schools and nursery settings
Children under the age of 11 are not included in the rapid, regular asymptomatic testing. This therefore applies to primary schools and nursery settings.
Primary school aged children should only be tested if they are symptomatic, in which case their families should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and book a PCR test for the child. Schools may also offer a PCR test kit to the parent or guardian of any primary school child who becomes symptomatic onsite, if they believe that the child faces significant barriers to testing through the usual routes.
Rapid lateral flow device tests should not be offered to individuals who develop symptoms, regardless of their age. If an individual becomes symptomatic while taking part in the asymptomatic testing programme, they should isolate immediately, follow national guidance and book a PCR test.
Testing is voluntary but staff, secondary age, college and further education pupils and students are encouraged to participate as testing regularly helps to reduce the spread in school and college settings through asymptomatic transmission.
Parents/carers and those in childcare and support bubbles
The government has confirmed twice-weekly testing using LFDs for free to all adults in households with early years, primary, secondary school and college aged children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles. More information can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff.