COVID 19 - Lateral Flow Test Info
Please see below a link to a tour of our Test Site set up ready for the return to the UTC on the 8th March 2021. Current guidance indicates that 3 tests shall be taken on site before home test kits are issued by the Government for testing to be conducted prior to the UTC day. Further support shall be shared on this after this phase of testing is complete.
Please also watch this video from the NHS about how to take the swab on the day of testing, any questions from this see the FAQs below, or contact us.
NHS Video Swab info is Step 1 (1m 30s) to Step 3 (3m 10s)
Please remember that we test to make the UTC as safe as it possibly can be for us all.
We have added some FAQ's which we have had come to us over the past few weeks which we hope will reassure you and our students if required.
"Who will be testing the students?"
Students will swab themselves and will be fully supported by the GPUTC Test Team. The Test Team are made up by our own members of staff who will make sure that the student is conducting the swab correctly, and are there to help them every step of the way.
"What if we can't do the swab?"
The test team will support and show you a number of different techniques in which the swabs can be taken. For anyone who really struggles, Test Team members are able to take the swab from you if you really struggle to do so.
"Does the testing hurt?"
No, absolutely not. It certainly is not a pleasant experience (some find the throat swab worse than the nasal and others vice versa), however once you have done the test a couple of times it really does become quite straightforward and takes around 25-30 seconds. You can help your child prepare for what is required of the swab by watching this NHS Video in advance.
"What if I don't want to take the test on the day?"
As we have mentioned, the Government Guidance has stated that participation is voluntary, therefore even with parental consent we will not force students to participate if they really do not want to. We reiterate again though, for the safety of all staff and students we encourage the bravery and community effort that this requires.
"How competent are GPUTC staff who are now testing us for COVID-19?"
Very! Back in December 2020 plans were being made to create a test site, and a full training package for staff who volunteered as per the NHS Guidance. Training was conducted, staff were then to display and demonstrate their competence before being signed off on a number of roles in the testing process they may be asked to undertake. Also, the test team have been testing themselves routinely and for training purposes since January, so know exactly what to do and how to help you.
"Do we have to swab the throat and the nose?"
The whole test is voluntary, so naturally the answer to this question is no. However, the effectivity rate of the LFT detecting a positive case increases exponentially when both swabs are taken, so we are asking ours staff and students alike to be as brave as they can, for the safety and benefit of us all. There are some medical exemptions where one of the swabs cannot be taken, we will of course honour these and thank such cases for continuing to volunteer and conduct the test in a manner which is safe and appropriate for them.
"Will anyone see me doing the test?"
The only person who will see you doing the test is the Test Assistant who is a member of staff who will be known to you. This is only to make sure that the swabs are being taken effectively and to support you if you need it. Each test bay (where the swabs are taken) are completely shielded from each other. The External windows to the room have been covered to ensure absolute privacy.
"How will we find out our results?"
Once the entire year group has been tested, all those with negative results shall be informed and then are free to leave the room in which you are asked to remain. In the first week we will utilise computer rooms so that online learning can be accessed whilst we await results.
"What will happen if there is a positive case?"
Firstly, the person(s) identified as positive will be carefully handled by a member of the Senior Leadership Team and all other procedures and protocols followed. This will include contacting home for collection and advising that a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) should be booked The testing will be taking place in mentor groups so the contact tracing will be conducted considering locality of students, the seating plans, use of face-masks and close contact. It is a possibility that one confirmed case within a mentor group may result in the immediate isolation of that entire mentor group, but this will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
"How long will the whole process take?"
One key to speeding the process up will be punctuality on the mornings of testing, so please make sure on a morning of testing that students are with us at 0900 at the very latest. Further hold-ups may be dependent on the students and how long the actual swab process takes. We will try and streamline the process as much as we can to reduce affecting the learning timetable, but we don't want to rush anyone and make them feel uncomfortable.