Coronavirus (COVID-19): test kits for schools and FE providers

Guidance for schools and further education (FE) providers on the initial supply of coronavirus (COVID-19) home testing kits for pupils, teachers and staff.

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This content is no longer current policy and you do not need to follow it.

Applies to England



This guidance is for:

  • mainstream schools
  • special schools
  • alternative provision settings
  • post-16 FE providers
  • FE colleges
  • sixth form colleges
  • other FE providers

All schools and FE providers were sent an initial supply of 10 coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits and since 16 September 2020 have been able to order more.

Test kits should only be offered if you believe an individual may be unable to access testing elsewhere.

Published 26 August 2020
Last updated 2 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated the guidance to remove out of date information and to confirm that the ordering line for schools and FE providers will remain in place for exceptional circumstances.

  2. Updated the test kits for schools and FE providers guidance to reflect the latest advice on confirmatory PCR tests and self-isolation periods for those who test positive for COVID-19.

  3. Update to clarify that when providing PCR test kits to pupils or students under 16, settings must inform parents or guardians. It also clarifies the actions to take following a positive result and confirms that fully vaccinated adults and children will not need to self-isolate as a result of being a close contact but will need to take a PCR test.

  4. Updated to explain when schools and FE providers may provide PCR test kits to staff or students who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how they can order further PCR tests for symptomatic testing.

  5. Changes to the isolation period (from 14 days to 10 days from the day after the individual tested positive) in the positive and negative result sections.

  6. Updated the 'Making an order for additional coronavirus tests' with additional information for schools and FE providers in particularly high risk areas who may be eligible for an additional delivery of test kits.

  7. Updated to provide further information on the distribution of test kits for symptomatic staff and how schools and FE providers can look up their unique organisation number (if they have not received it).

  8. Updated content to confirm that schools and FE providers ordering additional test kits will be provided with one box of 10 kits per 1,000 pupils or students.

  9. Updated information on ordering test kits and clarification of wording for different age group test use.

  10. First published.