Asymptomatic testing: primary and maintained nursery school staff

Information on rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for staff in primary schools, school-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools.

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This guidance has now been updated and included as part of specific guidance for schools and guidance for early years and childcare providers.

Applies to England



This guidance is for all staff working in:

  • local authority maintained primary schools – including special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • primary academies - including special academies and alternative provision free schools
  • junior schools
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent primary schools - including independent special schools and independent alternative provision
  • hospital schools
  • school-based nurseries maintained nursery schools
  • private, voluntary and independent nurseries (from 22 March 2021)

There’s separate guidance on asymptomatic testing for early years settings.

Staff working in all-through schools and middle schools should be tested through the secondary school testing programme.

Published 18 January 2021
Last updated 24 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated the guidance to include information on who should be offered testing, how the testing works, testing pupils and what staff with symptoms or a positive test result need to do.

  2. Added updated information about reporting delivery and test issues using the form, and contacting the helpline for the link which has been shared with primary schools, school-based nurseries, and maintained nursery schools, to access guidance and support materials.

  3. First published.