Lateral Flow Tests (LFT)
Children at nursery or primary age are not required to participate in regular Lateral Flow Testing (LFT). However, it is recommended that if a child displays any symptoms or there is a concerned then the parent/carer may take the decision to carry out a LFT.
If the LFT is positive or if symptoms are obvious then a family member may take the child for a PCR test for confirmation and follow the current isolation information.
As COVID is highly contagious, children must not attend school if they have symptoms and/or test positive. Please inform the school to clarify the reason for absence and the recommended return date provided by the NHS.
Staff will not be required to carry out LFT on children. It is the responsibility of the parents/carers.
How rapid lateral flow tests work
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.
Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.
The test usually involves taking a sample from your tonsils (or where they would have been) and from your nose, using a swab.
You can get a result in 30 minutes.
Primary schools: twice-weekly home testing for staff
Staff in primary schools, including school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools, will be offered lateral flow device coronavirus tests to self-administer at home twice a week.
Staff are strongly encouraged to participate in testing, though it's not mandatory.
Staff must report their result to NHS Test and Trace.
They should also share their result with school to help you with contact tracing.
If the test is:
- Positive, they need to self-isolate and take a 'standard' PCR test to confirm their result
- Negative, they can continue to attend school or nursery in person. They don't need to show you proof of this
Your step by step guide to COVID self testing
How to self test a video by Dr. Amir Khan
Test yourself poster for staff