Regular Covid testing to help children get back to school

View the webinar we hosted on Wednesday 3 March to find out more about the return to school, testing and the measures that have been in place to keep students safe. 


Older children will be expected to take regular Covid tests as part of new government measures to ensure pupils safely return to schools from 8 March.

Students in secondary schools, who will see a phased return, will be tested initially in schools before using home tests every three to five days. These tests will be provided via schools. 

Children at primary schools will also have a phased return to school, but will not be tested. 

All school and nursery staff in the borough will be tested twice a week using home testing kits. 

As before, to ensure all children can continue learning and to protect others from coronavirus, households must self-isolate if their child receives a positive test result. 

While Hackney now has among the lowest coronavirus rates in the capital, additional Covid-secure measures such as mask-wearing in corridors and classrooms for secondary school students and primary and secondary staff will also be in place unless children are exempt. 

These are in addition to the safety measures that were in place during the autumn term, which includes comprehensive Covid-secure risk assessments to ensure that students can return safely to school. 

Hackney Council’s education and public health teams are also hosting a webinar on Wednesday 3 March at 5pm for parents who wish to find out more about the return to school, testing and the measures that have been in place to keep students safe. 

A recent survey suggested that parents are most worried about their children losing focus on studying while learning at home, with concerns about lack of contact with classmates and a loss of motivation their next highest worries. 

Schools will return to the full curriculum once students are back on site. In addition, schools will be planning how best to use the catch up funding and national tutoring funding to support students who need particular help over time.

Arrangements to replace the summer examinations for older students were announced by the Government on Thursday. Schools will be putting in place robust procedures to fairly assess their pupils.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on education, particularly for children whose circumstances mean it is much harder to learn at home. This is why it’s so important to get schools open in as safe a way as possible. 

This also means that it’s vital that students complete their regular testing and isolate with their household if they receive a positive result. This is so we can keep as many students at school as possible so they’re able to see friends and carry on learning.  

We’re working closely with all schools across the borough and I’d urge parents and students to follow the guidance given to you by your school so we can start to enjoy learning as soon as possible.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney

For more information, visit: https://education.hackney.gov.uk/content/coronavirus-advice 

Parents should contact schools for school-specific information about the return. 

Parents are also being urged to take part in regular coronavirus testing at one of Hackney’s four rapid test sites. Adults without symptoms are being encouraged to get tested at least once a week, as data shows that 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 in London do not show symptoms and are risking spreading the virus in the community. Find out more about testing here or book a rapid test appointment.