Regular testing 'vital' for secondary students, says Hackney's deputy mayor

Hackney's deputy Mayor with Hackney students at school.

Cllr Bramble with students from Our Lady's Catholic School in Stamford Hill In October, 2020. (From left) Pictured are Nabeela Mulla, Bezawit Solomon, Weronika Wojciechowska and Enebo. Picture: Corrina Antrobus - Credit: Corrina Antrobus - Credit: Corrina Antrobus

Secondary students returning to school in Hackney, and the rest of England, will be expected to take regular Covid tests as part of new government measures to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Pupils will see a phased or staggered return from March 8, with students initially tested at school before switching to home kits every three to five days. 

Rapid lateral flow tests will be provided via schools and colleges because they give quick results and are small and portable. 

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, deputy mayor of Hackney, said: “Coronavirus has had a huge impact on education, particularly for children whose circumstances mean it is much harder to learn at home.

"This is why it’s so important to get schools open in as safe a way as possible. 

“This also means that it’s vital that students complete their regular testing and isolate with their household if they receive a positive result.

"This is so we can keep as many students at school as possible so they’re able to see friends and carry on learning."  

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Primary school children will also return to school in phases, but will not be tested, whereas all school and nursery staff in the borough will be tested twice a week using home kits. 

Households must self-isolate if their child receives a positive test result.

Masks will be expected to be worn by secondary students and both primary and secondary school staff in corridors and classrooms, unless children are exempt. 

The number of Covid cases in Hackney has reduced significantly from a peak of 2,674 at the start of January to 164 cases in the week beginning February 23. 

Schools are to return to the full curriculum once students are back on site, with government catch up and national tutoring funding used to support students who need additional help. 

Parents can find out more about the return to school and testing in a webinar on March 3 at 5pm using, but they should contact individual schools for more specific information.