Back to school

Please note: Every individual school and college will have Covid-19 rules and procedures specific to them when they re-open in September. Please get in touch with your school and follow their guidelines.

All schools and colleges in Newham have been working exceptionally hard to keep children and young people safe. We are grateful for the hard work of staff and teachers, who have helped to introduce a range of measures to try to help keep pupils safe. 


From Wednesday 1 September, Newham schools will reopen, welcoming back pupils and staff as the new school year starts. Exact reopening dates will vary. Please check with your school.

The learning experience and curriculum will be much closer to normal as bubbles are no longer required. However, all educational settings will continue to have  all necessary safety measures in line with national and local guidance including risk assessment and contingency arrangements in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, keeping everyone safe at all times. These measures will include:

  • Ensuring good hygiene for everyone
  • Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated
  • Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes
  • Following public health advice on self isolation and managing confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Schools and other settings must comply with health and safety law and put in place proportionate control measures.

Close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing but may still be involved in some circumstances.


Staff will undertake twice weekly home tests whenever they are on site until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.

Regular testing helps to keep your family, staff members and the community safe from Covid-19.

  • All secondary pupils and college students on their return to school will take lateral flow tests on site. Your school or college will provide more details.
  • The first two tests should be taken 3-5 days apart. All tests will take place in a supervised and safe part of the school and college with results ready in approximately 30 minutes.
  • Following this, all secondary aged pupils and college students will be given home kits to test themselves twice a week at home until the end of September when this will be reviewed. All kits will come with instructions and reporting results.
  • Results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace as well as your child’s school or college.
  • Schools and colleges will retain their own smaller testing sites for those unable to test at home.
  • For students aged 18 and over you can self-test and report the result, with assistance if needed. If your child is aged 12 to 17 they will need adult supervision to self-test and report.

If your child tests positive, they will need to:

Children under the age of 18 years old and six months will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case.

Anyone in Newham can get free rapid tests twice a week – whether you live, work, study or volunteer here. Find out more on our rapid testing webpage.  

Face coverings

Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.

If there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in a school, the director of public health might advise that face coverings should temporarily be worn in communal areas or classrooms (by pupils, staff and visitors, unless exempt). 

No pupil or student should be denied education on the grounds of whether they are, or are not, wearing a face covering.

These pages will be updated when there is additional information or guidance changes.

For information about Covid-19 in general please visit

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school or your college to talk them through.