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Rapid Testing

We are just setting up but will be ready very soon….

As you know we are working to keep UCC as safe as possible. 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, these tests will help staff and students to remain in college 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 college open as safely as possible. The test is voluntary, but we would encourage everyone to take it.

We will be testing students in our key worker and vulnerable student provision who want to participate from the week commencing 18th January 2021.  Parents will be e-mailed in advance to confirm the date and approximate time of the first test.

Each student will take a second test, 3-5 days after the first.

For students who are currently working at home, we will inform you of plans for testing before they return to school, once we know more.

Attached is an instructional leaflet with some more information about the test procedure. Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a self-administered swab of your nose and throat. 

For every group, testing is voluntary, but those who are eligible for tests are strongly encouraged to participate to reduce the risk of transmission within schools and colleges.

In line with routine infection control practice, close contacts who decide not to be tested daily will need to self-isolate in line with guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

What if a student tests positive?

Participating students who test positive will be informed about their results individually and sensitively. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be notified. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results.

Students will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in local and regional testing sites) on the same day (or as soon as possible). UCC may be able to provide these PCR test kits to perform at home or you can go to or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test yourselves, you should choose to visit a drive-through test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test. 

During this time while they wait for the PCR result (via text / email) your son/daughter will need to self-isolate. 

If the PCR test returns a positive result you will have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace.  

What happens if the test is negative? 

They will be able to stay in UCC and resume their activities as normal. A student will only be told if they test positive on a ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative. A small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.

What if a close contact at school/college tests positive?

A close contact of someone in college who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to return to college if they agree to be tested once a day for 7 days and the tests are negative. If they do not want to take the test, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. This does not apply to household members or close contacts outside of college who will still need to self-isolate. Further details will be provided at the time, but if you would prefer to self-isolate instead of doing daily testing, you can.

What if my child develops symptoms?

This testing programme at UCC is for people with no symptoms. If your child 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 must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland) or visiting

Next steps:

There are a number of steps that need to be completed by both you and your son/daughter in order for the testing to take place:

  1. Complete the on-line Consent Form here .
  2. Read the Data Protection FAQs here and GDPR Notice Covid Testing Privacy Statement attached.
  3. Encourage your son/daughter to look at the 'How to do your test' document attached so they know what to expect.
  4. Read the 'Covid Related Student Absence' document attached to this e-mail.

If you would like more information on the Rapid Testing procedures:

  1. Watch this government produced video on Lateral Flow Tests here.
  2. Another government graphic video to mark the launch of rapid testing here.
  3. An interview with Professor Tim Brooks about the school testing pilot scheme here.

We will support our students throughout, but please contact us if you have any specific questions using this e-mail address