Schools testing guidance

In line with the Government roadmap of easing COVID-19 measures, schools testing has been introduced to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks in these settings.



Remember! You must book a confirmatory PCR test if you test positive using a lateral flow device.

Primary education

Children of primary school age or younger will not be asked to test at this time as there is no proven Public Health benefit of doing so.

Secondary and further education

Students in secondary school or college will receive home test kits, to self-test and report results online. If your child is aged 12 to 17 they will need adult supervision to self-test and report.

Students aged 18 and over should self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. If your child is aged 11 and attending a secondary school, an adult should assist to conduct the test.

Adults in contact with children or staff working in education settings

LFD Tests are also available to the following people through the Community Collect scheme:

  • households, childcare and support bubbles of early years children, nursery children, primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of staff of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and colleges
  • anyone who works in an occupation related to a childcare provider, school, nursery or college, and their household, childcare and support bubbles

See more information about Community Collect.

Confirmatory PCR tests

From 30 March 2021, anyone who has had a positive result with an LFD test will be encouraged to take a follow-up PCR.

This means that, if you have a positive LFD test and then a negative PCR within 48 hours of this first positive you will no longer legally need to isolate and you and your contacts will receive messages informing you of this.

Following positive LFD test at home, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked online or by calling 119.

Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the pupil or student and their close contacts should self-isolate. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the LFD test and the child can return to school.