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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Testing for secondary school and college students, their families, and staff - here’s what you need to know

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Coronavirus, Further education, Secondary schools

Thanks to the efforts everyone has made over the last few months, Covid rates have started to go down and we have offered vaccines to the people who need them the most.

This means that from Monday, schools and colleges can welcome back pupils in all year groups. Staff have set up testing stations in secondary schools so that students can have supervised testing three times in the first two weeks and then there’ll be testing twice a week for all school staff, secondary school pupils and their families.

Although testing isn’t compulsory , we encourage everyone that is eligible for testing to do so. Testing people who don't show symptoms will help to identify positive cases more quickly and break the chains of transmission. As many as one in three people who contract the virus show no symptoms, so could be spreading the disease unknowingly. The more tests we do, the safer we’ll all be.

The process is simple and millions of pupils and staff across the country have already been successfully tested while schools have remained open to children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

After an initial programme of 3 tests in school/college, whereby pupils will be asked test on-site, students will then be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home.

Schools should offer pupils tests three to five days apart to manage the number of pupils passing through the test site at any one time. Staff in secondary schools will also be supplied with test kits to self-swab and test themselves twice a week at home.

When home testing begins then there will be still be testing at school under supervision available to help those pupils who haven’t been able to do their tests at home.

Further information on testing is available on

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