Covid-19 testing at QE – and your consent
January 11, 2021
January 11, 2021
In line with previous Government requirements, QE had expected to launch a mass Covid-19 testing programme in School in the first weeks of term. This has now been postponed because of the lockdown. However, it is still expected that such testing will form part of the measures to enable a safe return to School, whenever national policy makes this possible.
Planning for testing is, therefore, continuing. The aim is to ensure a smooth return to on-site classes, with as little disruption as possible academically, with full pastoral support for all boys, and with minimal risk to public health.
Participation in the programme to be held at QE is not compulsory – participating boys or their parents can opt out at any point.
The School is, however, encouraging everyone to join the programme, since it will remove anyone who has the virus but is asymptomatic from circulation, while reducing the numbers who need to stay at home where they have been close to a person with a positive test result.
This testing programme at QE will be for those with no symptoms. If anyone develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste), he must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
The QE mass testing programme will involve:
Initial planning was also conducted on the basis of offering daily testing – for seven school days – for those identified as a close contact of a confirmed case. This would mean that, provided these boys do not test positive themselves, they would not have to self-isolate at home, unless they would prefer to do so. This part of the government’s testing plans is currently paused, as further evidence on the impact of this form of testing is gathered. Our consent form still takes account of this daily close contact testing so that we are ready should public health advice be that it is resumed.
The lateral flow tests are quick and relatively easy, involving a simple swab of the throat and nose. The swab will be self-administered, but with advice and guidance from a trained test assistant. The specimen is added to a solution in a tube and this is then applied to a test strip by a test processor. The lateral flow device then clearly displays the result in the form of horizontal bars on the test kit (similar to a pregnancy test). The result is available in half an hour from testing.
Testing will in all cases be by appointment. Tests will be supervised by trained staff.
The test will be logged with the NHS at the point of registration. Registration is most easily done via a smartphone – as details, including a unique barcode provided upon arrival for each test, need to be entered online. For the purposes of testing, the School would therefore allow pupils to bring smartphones (including camera phones) with them. The results will be shared directly with those participating via notification from the NHS to the contact details entered in the registration process.
The School will only contact families in addition to the notification from the NHS if:
Please click below to fill in the testing consent forms. These include an option to decline consent. Consent can be withheld by a pupil at any time – no one would be forced to take a test against their will. Without a valid consent form, tests cannot, however, be administered.
For pupils under 16, parents should complete the form and should discuss testing with their sons. Pupils aged 16 or over should complete the form themselves.
The School will require a response for all pupils.