Testing in schools

Schools in Trafford are supporting the national drive to reduce Covid-19 transmission through a number of measures including testing using lateral flow devices. We encourage you to support this programme where possible.

Who is school asymptomatic testing available for?

To support schools to stay open, asymptomatic testing is available for:

  • primary school teachers - information available through school
  • secondary school teachers - information available through school
  • secondary school pupils - information below
  • families of all school pupils - information below
  • families of school staff - information below

If you need information on testing for the wider community or people with symptoms visit: Coronavirus testing in Trafford.

Testing secondary school children without symptoms

From 8 March, all secondary schools pupils and students in colleges should take a test 3 times on site at the school or college’s testing site. The first 3 tests should be taken 3 to 5 days apart. Once pupils and students have had one negative test result they can return to school or college.

After this, all secondary aged pupils and college students will be given home test kits and will be asked to regularly test themselves twice a week at home and report results to NHS Test and Trace, as well as to the school or college. The home test kits will include instructions for testing and reporting results. Schools and colleges will retain their own small testing sites so that pupils who are unable to test themselves at home can still participate.

Your child's school will provide more information allowing you to make an informed decision and will ask you for consent for your child to take part in the testing programme.

You can read the full guidance on testing in schools on the government website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges

Why do we test children without symptoms?

Rapid testing using lateral flow devices (LFDs) will support ongoing face-to-face education by helping to identify people who are infectious but do not have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. 

Those who test positive will self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus and keeping other pupils and students in face-to-face education. Testing remains voluntary but is strongly encouraged.

Testing in nurseries and primary schools

Pre-school children and primary aged pupils do not need to be regularly tested. However, staff will be taking part in the asymptomatic testing programme to help reduce transmission of the virus and keep everyone safe. Public Health England has advised there are currently limited public health benefits to testing primary aged pupils without symptoms.

If your pre-school or primary aged child has symptoms of COVID-19 please visit: Coronavirus testing in Trafford.

If a child tests positive

If your child tests positive, they will need to: 

  • self-isolate in line with the stay at home guidance (if they test positive at school, you should arrange for them to be collected)
  • book a further test (a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test) to confirm the result, if the test was done at home

You can view our full self-isolation advice: Schools self-isolation advice.

What if a secondary school child does not want to be tested?

Your child will not be stopped from returning to school or college if you or they choose not to be tested, and will return to face-to-face education in line with their school or college’s arrangements. Anyone with symptoms, whether they are involved in this programme or not, should book a free NHS test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the results of their test are known.

Testing for families of school pupils and school staff

Members of households, childcare or support bubbles of school staff and pupils are also able to access LFD home testing kits.

This can be done by going to a collection point to receive 2 packs of home test kits (each pack contains 7 tests). Find out your nearest collection point on the NHS website.

If you are not able to go to a collection point then you can order kits to your house. Order kits to your house on the government website. These tests should also be undertaken twice weekly.

You can read the full guidance about testing for households and bubbles on the government website.