Coronavirus – Lateral Flow Testing

Coronavirus – Lateral Flow Testing

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust is actively responding to ongoing developments with the Coronavirus outbreak. Throughout this time the health and welfare of our students and staff are our absolute priority. The content on this page will provide detailed information about lateral flow testing within our school. We are guided by the latest government advice and are working closely with the local authorities.


Why lateral flow testing and who is it for?

You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow tests’.

Along with the other protective measures we are taking throughout our schools, these tests will help school staff and pupils to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep our schools open as safely as possible. The test is voluntary, but we would encourage everyone to take it.

Secondary school implementation

Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) will take place in school from Friday 5th March.

During their first weeks of school students are offered three tests to take while supervised at school, though these are voluntary we encourage all students to take part as it’s the best way to ensure a safe return.

Once students have completed these 3 tests at school, home self-testing kits will be provided.

How the home testing works – Comprehensive guidance on self-testing is in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet which comes with the LFT kit, you will need to conduct the test twice a week. Results are ready in around 30 minutes as the LFTs supplied do not require laboratory processing.

Once the LFT has been conducted you will need to log the test result online and also, separately, inform the school of the result by email.

The Portsmouth Academy are part of a test group for Southampton University and will also be carrying out the saliva test alongside the LFT. The school are continuing to share additional information about the saliva test with their parents.  The saliva test will also be taken at home and then dropped off at the school the following morning.  The saliva test takes up to 48 hours for results to be known.



1 Who will be supervising the lateral flow tests in schools?

The test will be supervised by trained staff and there will be minimal disruption to lessons.  The test is quick and easy using a swab of your throat and nose. For under 18s, staff can assist with the swab.

Results will be shared directly with staff and pupils participating. Where participants are under 16, parents/legal guardians will also be informed.  For further information, please read the NHS ‘How to Guide‘ regarding testing in schools and colleges.



2 Is there a cost?

Testing is free and provided by NHS Test and Trace.


3 How do I register and give consent?

In order to process the test, we need to register and receive consent from all participating students. This must be done prior to any in-school testing. Please complete the relevant form below.


The Portsmouth Academy open form
The Victory Academy open form
The Rochester Grammar School open form
Holcombe Grammar School open form
Goodwin Academy open form
Plymouth High School for Girls open form



4 How long does it take for the results?

It takes around half an hour from testing for the results to be known.  The results will be shared directly with staff and students participating.  Where students are under 16, parents and legal guardians will also be informed.


5 What happens if the lateral flow test result is positive?

Results will be shared directly with staff and pupils participating. Where participants are under 16, parents/legal guardians will also be notified.

If the result of this test is positive, the pupil and household members will need to self-isolate for 10 days following Government guidelines.  The pupil will also need to order a confirmatory PCR test.  Please inform the school office as soon as you receive this test result. You will need to show your results to the school office.

We will continue to support pupils with their education remotely. We recognise this may be disruptive for your family but it is really important to isolate to prevent the spread of the virus.


6 What if the result is negative?

The person will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A student will only be told if they test positive in the first ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative.


7 What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

The school will contact you and you will be expected to self-isolate 10 days.


8 What if my child develops symptoms?

The lateral flow testing programme that will take place is for people with no symptoms.  If a member of staff or a student in one of our primary or secondary schools 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) they should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting or by calling 119.

Anyone who has previously received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.