School COVID Testing

Posted on 19th March, 2021


As children return to school, Birmingham's Children's Trust released the following guidance (PDF): 

"In light of the current pandemic, lateral flow tests for children and young people in schools and college settings are currently being rolled out as part of the Government’s drive to contain the virus. However, these tests are not compulsory and when it comes to children and young people, their consent or that of their parent(s)/carer(s), is required."


"Lateral flow tests in the context of this guidance comes under routine medical treatment"


"A child should always be encouraged to tell their parent(s)/carer(s) about the decisions they make when it comes to medical interventions .. If they do not want to do this ... The Gillick competency applies if a young person under the age of 16 years wishes to receive treatment without their parent(s)/carer(s), or in some cases, knowledge ... The Fraser ruling applies specifically to vulnerable children. The general rule about consent is that this should be given unconditionally and with full understanding." (An explanation & PDF)

Government Guidance, updated today 19MAR21, states that, "Upon returning to [secondary] school or college, pupils and students will be asked to take their: 

  • first 3 tests at their place of study under the supervision of a trained operator
  • fourth test themselves using a home test kit"
  • "Pupils and students will then continue taking twice-weekly tests using a home test kit provided by their school or college. They should report all results to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed, either online or by telephone, as set out in the home test kit instructions...."

"A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus. But this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you should keep following all coronavirus advice including:

  • regular handwashing
  • social distancing
  • wearing a face covering where recommended

"If anyone tests positive or gets coronavirus symptoms, they should:

  • self-isolate immediately
  • get a PCR test to confirm the result
  • [NB. Sir Patrick Vallance said , "... PCR is very, very sensitive, they can pick up very low levels of virus, which may not even be infectious" )
  • follow the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Pupils, students and staff should also tell their school or college if they test positive.

"The government also states that: "The following people in England will have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing made available to them:

  • secondary school pupils and college students
  • staff of primary and secondary schools, nurseries and colleges
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of early years children, nursery children, primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of staff of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and colleges
  • anyone who works in an occupation related to a childcare provider, school, nursery or college, and their household, childcare and support bubbles
  • Children of primary school age or younger will not be asked to test at this time."

"The tests ... give results in 30 minutes" (PDF)

How long will our children be subjected to these types of emotional, psychological, physical, and potentially harmful, 'medical' interventions?


What are the harms, and where is the evidence of effectiveness, especially for children? Videos:

NB. John Penrose MP wrote in Aug 20:

  • Q6. "It's not clear on what grounds a school could actually enforce a blanket rule requiring pupils to wear face masks, short of new legislation being passed ..."
  • (See current Govt Face Coverings in Education e.g. page 4 "This is guidance, not mandatory activity ...." and page 5 ".. we recommend..." (MAR2021)
  • Q2. It seems that a formal medical and/or COVID19 impact assessment has not, and does not, need to be undertaken by the government until after a year has passed? When will the public have access to this information?
  • See previous blog

On Monday MPs debated the impact of COVID19 on Education ... "MIND showed that 73% of those at school feel as though their mental health has deteriorated over the past year. ...the anxiety that many young people feel at the moment is already very significant" (See blog)



See also:

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