Mass asymptomatic testing: schools and colleges

Find out how to administer testing which will begin in January 2021.

These resources have been developed by NHS Test and Trace and are for:

  • local authority-maintained schools - including mainstream, special and pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • academies - including special academies and alternative provision free schools
  • middle schools
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools - including independent special schools and independent alternative provision
  • 16 to 19 academies
  • hospital schools

Testing handbook

Use this handbook to support delivery of rapid testing.

The handbook is part other training materials which will also be available to schools and colleges.

Schools and colleges testing handbook (PDF, 1010KB, 21 pages)

Report problems or request access to further resources

Schools and colleges can report problems relating to:

  • delivery and supply of testing kits
  • asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges that cannot be resolved by the published testing guidance or by calling the DfE coronavirus helpline

To report a problem use the rapid testing contact form.

You’ll need to enter your school’s URN to use this form.

Specialist settings and pupils or students with SEND

Specialist settings will contact parents and students with further information on how testing will be carried out and how to give consent.

There’s separate guidance on asymptomatic testing in specialist settings.

Get daily updates or access to further testing guidance and materials

To request access, use the rapid testing contact form.

You’ll need to enter your school’s URN to use this form.


DfE coronavirus helpline

If you have a query about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to schools and other educational establishments, and children's social care, in England contact our helpline.

Helpline opening hours
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm

If you work in a school or college, have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.

Published 18 December 2020
Last updated 7 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Page updated to reflect latest information.

  2. Removed consent form.

  3. Added an updated version of the 'Testing handbook' which was previously published on another webpage.

  4. First published.