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Published: Wednesday, 30th December 2020

Mass COVID-19 testing will be available to secondary school children and staff in the Royal Borough of Greenwich before their return to school in January.

Following much uncertainty from the government and calls to abandon schools opening at all next month, the Council has stepped in to put in place a strategy to ensure a safe start to the new term.

Those eligible for the post-Christmas mass testing on 2, 3 and 4 January 2021 are:

  • young people in Year 11 and Year 13 attending school in Royal Greenwich
  • secondary-aged children of critical workers who are returning to school in Royal Greenwich
  • secondary-aged vulnerable children who are returning to school in Royal Greenwich
  • young people attending alternative provisions in Royal Greenwich
  • students attending Shooters Hill College
  • all staff working in secondary schools in Royal Greenwich
  • all staff working at Shooters Hill College.

Book a COVID-19 test for secondary school pupils or staff

Leader of the Council Danny Thorpe said:

“Protecting children, young people and staff in our schools is something I tried to take action on before Christmas by moving to online learning – unfortunately, the government stopped this from happening. We now have the opportunity to bring them back to the classroom in a much safer way. To support this, the Council has decided to make mass testing available to those returning to our secondary schools. We are not aware of any other boroughs planning to offer this service, but we are convinced this is the best way to help secure a safe environment. So, I’m urging parents to have their children ‘take the test’ and prevent the virus from re-entering schools.

We hope this initial mass screening will help to alleviate some of the increasing pressures being piled on our schools – and the Council will be offering support in every way we can to help our young people remain in the classroom or return to it as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please, take the test and keep our schools safe.”

Testing in primary schools is scheduled to start in February when the government will begin to distribute kits to them.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid should follow the government’s guidelines on protecting themselves and others www.gov.uk/coronavirus