DfE Covid Testing Announcement

Sent in behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Service Achievement & Learning

Dear Colleagues,

The DfE have announced this afternoon that there will be mass testing of staff and students in schools after Christmas. The announcement is here and we understand that messaging is going directly to schools as well. We have spoken to the DfE today and have an assurance that schools will need to take no action regarding this until the new term in January. There is no expectation that testing will start on January 4th, we have been informed that this is the date that further guidance and training will start to be available.

We appreciate that school leaders will want to do the right thing with regard to this announcement, but you should be reassured that there is no action that needs to be taken right now or indeed over the Christmas break. We will be reviewing the ways in which the LA can support this work in time for further communications when schools return in January.

We have drafted a letter below that you may wish to use with parents – please feel free to amend as needed.

Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Dear Parent / Carer,

 The Department for Education have announced that there will be mass testing of staff and students in schools after the Christmas break. This will be initially for secondary schools with the plan for primary schools to deliver this as well from February.

 There will be a period of training and preparation after Christmas. This means that testing will not be starting immediately upon pupils’ return to school.

 We wish to keep you fully informed of this as it develops and as such will be writing to you again in the Spring Term when the government has released full guidance and we are clear as to the delivery of this project.  We will also be asking for your permission to test your child/ren in January, we will not test students under the age of 16 without this.

Kathryn Hathaway

Side by Side Team Leader

Childrens Services

Buckingham Council