We have said that being in school and early years settings is vital for protecting young people’s education. We have set out the ways we are protecting education and regular testing is a key mitigation to ensure children do not miss any face-to-face education or fall behind.
Here we outline what you need to know about testing and how daily testing for COVID-19 contacts will safeguard education.
What is daily testing of contacts and why is it needed?
From 14 December, a new national daily testing of contacts of Covid policy was introduced due to rising Omicron infections. This applies to everyone aged 5 and above so includes those in schools, colleges, universities and early years settings.
This means that if someone is a contact of any positive Covid-19 case they should take an LFD test each day for 7 days (or ten days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for Covid-19 if this is earlier), and report the results via the online reporting system.
This will help protect education settings by identifying cases earlier, reducing transmission helping keep pupils and students in face-to-face education.
Ok so how will it work?
The process for identifying contacts has not changed and will continue to be managed by NHS Test & Trace.
Once an individual is notified by NHS Test and Trace that they are a contact, they should take an LFD test each day for 7 days (or ten days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for Covid-19 if this is earlier), and report the results via the online reporting system.
It is advised that the daily LFD test is taken before leaving the house for the first time of that day. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting, but they should follow national guidance and remain cautious around vulnerable people.
Who does daily testing apply to?
The Government has introduced daily contact testing for those adults, including education staff, who are:
- fully vaccinated (those who have had two doses of an approved vaccine or more)
- people who can prove they are unable to be vaccinated for clinical reasons
- people taking part or who have taken part in an approved clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine.
It has also been introduced for:
- Children and young people aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, regardless of their vaccination status.
Is taking part in daily testing mandatory?
As with all testing, daily contact testing is voluntary although strongly encouraged to help keep everyone safe.
Schools and colleges are not responsible for monitoring which students have been identified as a contact and whether these pupils are undertaking daily testing of contacts of Covid.
Pupils with special educational needs and disability (SEND) identified as close contacts should be supported by their education setting and their families to agree the most appropriate route for testing including, where appropriate, additional support to assist swabbing.
For more information on DTCC, please visit:
- Daily Testing of Contacts of Covid FAQs for information relating to primary education.
- Daily Testing of Contacts of Covid FAQs for information relating to secondary education.