Covid-19 Advice and Support

Back to school

Please note: Every individual school will have Covid-19 rules and procedures specific to them when they re-open. 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 Monday 8th March, all children and young people should return to school or college and attendance will be compulsory once again from this date.

Secondary aged pupils (year 7 and above) should take part in asymptomatic testing upon their return in the week of 8th March. Pupils can return to school or college following their first negative test result. This will normally be by Monday 15th March. You can learn more about asymptomatic testing on the website.

If your child is not testing, they should attend school in line with return arrangements set out by the school or college. If you are a parent of a child who is vulnerable or if you are a critical worker, your child should continue to be able to attend school throughout, unless they receive a positive test result.

Where a secondary age pupil is not expected to attend due to their school’s testing programme during the week of 8th March, no action will be taken by the school for non-attendance.

Testing is voluntary and will take place in a safe space in the school. Your child will not be tested unless they (if they are aged over 18) or you (or another parent/carer) have given informed consent. We encourage you and your child to take part, to help keep staff, pupils and members of the community safe from Covid-19, and help lower infection rates.

For Newham’s Secondary Schools and Further Education Providers

Testing for students 

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

  • All secondary pupils and college students will test on-site before switching to home testing, using a home test kit.
  • The first three tests should be taken 3-5 days apart, all test will take place in a supervised and safe part of the school and college with results ready in approximately 30 minutes.
  • After the third test all secondary aged pupils and college students will be given home kits to test themselves twice a week at home. 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 if you’re 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:

Testing for the households, childcare or support bubbles of school staff and pupils

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

Government recommends that for children in year 7 and above, face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained; and when moving around communal areas. There are exemptions for some children. These measures will be in place until Easter and kept under review by government.

Find out more about Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own on the website.

Nurseries and primary school children

  • If your child is attending a nursery or primary school they do not need to be regularly tested.
  • Nursery and primary school staff will be taking part in the asymptomatic testing programme to help reduce infection rates and keep everyone safe.
  • Public Health England has advised there are limited public health benefits to testing primary pupils with Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs), this area will continue to be monitored over the coming months.
  • Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

For Newham’s Special Schools:

  • All children and young people should attend their special school, special post-16 provider or alternative provision setting, unless they receive a positive test result or have to self-isolate.
  • We expect that every 16 to 19 student (or 19 to 25 with an EHC plan) undertakes the majority of their planned hours on site.
  • Special post-16 institutions should continue to allow students to attend as per their usual timetable.
  • Your child’s school or college should continue to work together with you to agree an approach that is in your child’s best interests.

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 college to talk them through.