COVID-19 testing for return to school

Information on the return of pupils and students to schools and colleges

On Monday 8 March, students will return to Bexley’s schools and colleges in step 1 of the Government’s new roadmap.

We are working closely with local schools and colleges to ensure that their return to face-to-face education is as safe as possible.

All secondary school pupils, college students and those in their support bubble need to be tested on their return to school. 

Current Government Guidelines stipulate that parents, carers and families with primary school age children, including childcare and support bubbles, should have rapid no symptom tests twice a week. See below information. The guidelines state that primary school children do not need to be regularly asymptomatically tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children but they will continue to need to come forward for tests if they have symptoms.

No symptom rapid tests are a simple swab test that can be self-administered. Results are available within 45 minutes.

Tests for secondary school pupils and college students

  • Secondary school pupils and college students will take three COVID-19 tests as they return to the classroom either at school testing facilities or at the rapid testing site at Civic Offices, Bexleyheath. Schools and colleges will have discretion on how to test students over the first week back and will advise on how this can be done to enable a safe return to the classroom
  • after the initial programme of three tests, secondary school pupils and college students will be either provided with rapid tests regularly, to use at home, via their school or given details of where they can collect these from
  • University students on practical courses who need to access specialist facilities and equipment can also return to in-person teaching and learning from Monday 8 March. Twice-weekly testing will be available for all on campus

Tests for people in pupils support bubble

  • Parents and carers in the support bubble need to take regular no symptom rapid tests. They can collect home testing kits from the four sites below from 1.30pm to 8pm. Please note that you cannot collect testing kits from these sites in the mornings:
    • 221 Erith Road, Bexleyheath DA7 6HZ
    • Felixstowe Road car park, Abbey Wood SE2 9RZ
    • The Vine Christian Community Church, Axminster Crescent, Welling DA16 1HF
    • Westwood Car Park, Welling DA16 3QS

You can find out more about these sites at COVID-19 testing centres in Bexley.

Tests for school and college staff

  • all primary school staff will continue to take two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home
  • Secondary school and college staff will be provided with two tests to use each week at home

What happens if I test positive?

If you are testing at home and have a positive result you will need to take a confirmatory PCR test.

A PCR test can be booked at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 free of charge.

If you take an assisted test at Civic Centre or in a school or pharmacy and have a positive result you do not need a confirmatory PCR test. 

Stay safe

Students, parents and staff should continue to follow the current public health advice:

  • those over the age of 11 should wear face coverings in all areas where social distancing cannot be maintained, including in classrooms, shops and on public transport, unless they are exempt
  • remain in their bubble groups in school or college
  • follow the rules on social distancing before and after school, when school bubbles do not apply and avoid gatherings outside school
  • wash their hands regularly
  • use dedicated school bus services where possible and following our guidance on safe travel to and from school