What should you do after the test? 

Anyone with a positive test result will need to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and:

  • self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance
  • book a further test (a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test) to confirm the result, whether the test was done at home, school or college

Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate. Don't forget to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the result of your PCR.

If the PCR test is taken within the 2 days following the positive LFD result, and is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test and your child can return to nursery, childminders, school or college, as long as they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.

If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, you will not be required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19. Please refer to Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection for more information.

Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and the college. 

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test. 

Do I need to give consent? 

Students and parents do not need to give written consent to take part in the home testing programme.  

Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and your tutor at the College, regardless of the result (positive, negative, or void).

Reporting problems or issues with testing  

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the College. 

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

What type of tests will be used? 

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.  

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.  

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms  

Are LFD tests accurate? 

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.  

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. 

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.  

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.  

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests? 

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus: 

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab; and
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - they give rapid results within 30 minutes. 

What does it mean if I have a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow measures to reduce transmission such as regularly washing your hands.

What if I have a void result?

If the result of the test is unclear (void), you should take another one. If the next test is also void, you should take a PCR test. You can book a test here.

All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and college

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test. 

How do you report the result?

Once you have taken the test, you will need to report the result online (whether it is positive, negative or void) using this service. You also need to tell the school the test result. You will receive a text or email from NHS Test & Trace confirming that you have reported your test result. 

All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and College. 

Can someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school? 

No, however your household members can test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels: 

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information.
  • attend 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 (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site or check your local council website).
  • collect tests to do at home. Find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder (test-and-trace.nhs.uk).

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests 

How will personal information and test results be shared?

To report your result, you will need to share some information about yourself, so that your test result can be traced.

You need to tell NHS Test & Trace:

  • your name
  • your test result
  • the reference number on the test kit

You will also need to tell your school or college your test result. 

Under UK law, your school or college collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. 

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They will share it with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer you health services and guidance if you need to self-isolate. They might also use your data anonymously (without your name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.