COVID-19 Testing for Schools/EYC

As part of the package of COVID-19 risk reduction mitigations in schools and early learning and childcare settings, the Schools/EYC Asymptomatic Testing Programme is being implemented.

The schools/EYC asymptomatic testing programme will initially be available to:

  • all primary, secondary and special school staff (including school-based EYC and childcare staff); and
  • all senior phase pupils in Scotland.

Its purpose is to contribute to the reduction of COVID-19 related risks in schools and EYC settings, and in so doing to enhance the confidence of our school/EYC communities. It will do this by helping to identify asymptomatic individuals in school and EYC environments at the earliest possible opportunity and asking them and their close contacts to self-isolate, thus minimising the likelihood of them passing on the virus.

The testing involves the following:

  • Schools will be provided with packs of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits for staff and senior phase pupils.
  • Schools will then be asked to distribute these test kits to consenting staff and senior phase pupils. Settings will be asked to keep a log of which kits have been distributed to which individuals.
  • Staff and senior phase pupils will take test kits home and, twice weekly, following clear instructions for use, perform the tests on themselves or with the support of a parent or guardian. They will then register positive, negative and void results on a web-based portal, with the results shared with NHS Test and Protect. The processes that should be followed by individuals depending on a positive, negative or void result are clearly explained in the supporting materials.
  • Schools will be able to reorder test kits when they need to do so.

This programme is voluntary – nobody should be required to undergo testing without consent, and nobody should be excluded from school if they do not wish to test. However, we are asking that school/EYC staff and senior phase pupils be strongly encouraged to participate, in order to contribute to the wellbeing of their school communities.

NB: It is important to note that this regular testing is only for individuals without symptoms. Those with symptoms must continue to follow the usual guidance. They must self-isolate and book a PCR test at a test centre or via a home test kit at the earliest opportunity. People with symptoms must not rely on a negative LFD result to continue to attend school.

Supporting Information

Staff in schools and early years centres will be given a letter and information leaflet; a copy of the privacy notice and a consent form. 

Their school or centre will communicate the arrangements for collecting the testing kit. 

Only those staff, who are required to be in school should be given a testing kit;  this should include staff who it is anticipated will be in school from week beginning 22 February to support the phased reopening of schools.

A letter, information leaflet, privacy notice and consent form for senior phase pupils will be issued.  Kits will be issued to pupils when they return to school.

How to take a Lateral Flow Test 

Lateral Flow Test kits come with clear guidance and instructions on how to carry out the test and what to do with the results.

This NHSGGC Lateral Flow Test Guidance was initially developed for healthcare staff but it applies to all employees who are regularly testing.

This NHS poster is a helpful summary of the Lateral Flow test process:

And this NHS Lateral Flow Device Test video, again originally developed for health care workers, is applicable to anyone self-testing in this way, and shows key points on the correct technique for testing.

Recording your Lateral Flow Test Results 

Once your test is complete please enter the results into the following link, selecting Rapid Testing:

If you have a positive LFD test, you must self-isolate and then book a PCR test to confirm the result.

Guidance on Self-Isolation

NHS Inform has Guidance for staying at home with Coronavirus infection and there is also detailed Coronavirus: General Advice on the NHS Inform website.

There is also information and support in the Employee Zone Covid-19 information pages.