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Lateral Flow Tests In Schools

Children and school staff are in contact with lots of different people during the school day. It is really important that children and staff are tested regularly to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

Rapid lateral flow tests are used to help keep students and staff as safe as possible at school. This will improve attendance and make sure your child has as much face to face teaching time as possible. Other swab tests need samples to be sent to a lab for analysis so take at least a day to get a result. Lateral flow tests get results much faster (within 30 minutes).

These tests are not compulsory. You and your child can choose if you would like to use them. The government recommends that secondary and high school children and staff do tests twice a week. Children aged under 11 do not need to do rapid tests twice a week.

To see the up to date guidance *click here*.

  • You can get regular rapid Covid-19 tests by;


  • Tell your child about the test. Keep the explanation short and simple to suit their age. If they are older explain to them how important it is and how it could save peoples lives.

    Why the test is needed.

    • To check if they have the virus, make sure they get the right care and make sure the virus doesn’t get passed around. Even though your child may feel fine, explain that the test is to protect other people.

    What happens during the test.

    • Tests all involve swabbing the nose and / or tonsils. These are soft and do not hurt and its over very quickly. 
    • Depending on the test you are given, it may involve just the nasal swab, just a tonsil swab, or both together. 
    You could watch this video with your child so they know what to expect.
  • Lateral flow testing involves a swab of the nose and tonsils to collect a sample.

    Other swab tests need samples to be sent to a lab for analysis so take at least a day to get a result. Lateral flow tests get results much faster.

    by using the faster tests people will find out more quickly if they have the virus or not, and that will make it easier to control the spread.

    Remember - if you have symptoms of coronavirus you should order a standard test online or call 119.


  • If your child develops coronavirus symptoms, you should tell the school or college. You should then:

    Other household members do not need to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 if;

    • they are fully vaccinated
    • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
    • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
    • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

    Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR Test.

Who Can Help?

If you are worried or have more questions about using the home testing kits speak to your child's school.

You can also contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 



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