Schools and colleges to reopen from 8 March with asymptomatic COVID-19 testing

On 22 February 2021 the Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP published a press release spelling out how all students will begin to return to face-to-face education on 8 March 2021.

The press release clarified what testing measures would be put in place:

  • All primary school children will return on Monday 8 March 2021. Primary school staff will continue to take 2 rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home.
  • All secondary school and college students will take three COVID-19 tests as they return to the classroom from the 8 March 2021 at existing school testing facilities. Schools and colleges will have discretion on how to test students over that week to enable their return to the classroom. After the initial programme of three tests in school or college, students will be provided with 2 rapid tests to use each week at home.  Secondary school and college staff will also be provided with 2 tests to use each week at home
  • University students on practical courses who need to access specialist facilities and equipment can return to in-person teaching and learning from Monday 8 March 2021. Twice weekly testing will continue to be available for all on campus. For the remaining university students, the government will review, by the end of the Easter holidays, the options for timing of their return.  Students and institutions will be given a week’s notice ahead of any return.
  • All staff at private, voluntary and independent nurseries will have access to tests to use twice weekly at home, building on the testing already available to maintained nursery schools and school-based nurseries. Childminders can continue to access community testing.

The full press release can be accessed here which includes advice on wearing face coverings in schools.

Local VCSE organisations supporting children and young people and parents may find this of interest.