COVID-19 asymptomatic testing

Woman taking COVID-19 swab

March 2021

The Scottish Government is working with local authorities, schools and other key partners to put in place a testing programme for people without the symptoms of coronavirus as part of the package of coronavirus risk reduction mitigations in education settings. Its aim is to contribute to the reduction of coronavirus-related risks in schools and, in so doing, to enhance the confidence of our school communities. It will do this by helping to identify asymptomatic individuals in school 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 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 staff and senior phase pupils be strongly encouraged to participate, in order to contribute to the wellbeing of their school communities.

As well as all school and ELC staff in local authority, independent and grant-aided schools, testing is also currently available to all senior phase pupils who are currently attending in person at local authority, independent and grant-aided secondary and special schools. We understand that this is completely new to not only pupils, but also to their parents and carers who may need to support their child when undertaking their test at home and so the Scottish Government has produced the attached fact sheet on Asymptomatic Testing in Scottish Primary, Secondary and Special Schools, and ELC Providers which contains lots of helpful information.  Parents and carers may also find the section on the Parent Club website on this subject helpful in answering any questions and alleviating any concerns that they may have.