Twice weekly lateral flow tests vital for pupils says school boss

Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan Lewis (left) is urging parents to remain cautious and test pupils regularly as lockdown restrictions ease. - Credit: Archant

Education chiefs across Cambridgeshire are urging parents to remain cautious and regularly test their children for Covid-19 so the virus “can’t spiral out of control again”. 

Jonathan Lewis, director of education for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has teamed up with headteachers to remind parents of the need to be vigilant as lockdown restrictions were lifted on May 17.

In a letter to parents, Mr Lewis said: “Please make sure everyone in your house aged over 11 is taking two lateral flow (rapid) tests every week and reporting the results.   

“If the rapid test is positive, book a PCR (laboratory) test immediately.  

“There is good support for people who must legally self-isolate if they or their children test positive.” 

The appeal to parents follows a rise in Covid-19 cases in the 0-17 age range, particularly in Peterborough. 

In the letter, Mr Lewis said that testing remains essential for both staff and pupils, and that all test results taken by pupils at home must be reported to the local authority through their school. 

Most Read

From May 17, secondary school students will no longer have to wear face coverings in classrooms and communal areas. 

But schools may choose to enforce the use of face coverings in communal areas for pupils up to the May-June half-term break. 

Staff do not need to wear face coverings in classrooms, but adults, including parents, must wear them in areas such as corridors, staff rooms or school gates where social distancing is not possible. 

Jonathan Lewis director of education Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Jonathan Lewis is urging parents to remain cautious and test pupils regularly as lockdown restrictions ease. - Credit: Peterborough City Council

Jon Lewis said: “There may be some further relaxations in the rules, but the Government has made it clear that the pandemic is not yet over.   

“Locally, people are still being admitted to hospital because of Covid-19 or suffering the effects of ‘long Covid’, so we must take great care to make sure the virus can’t spiral out of control again.” 

“Testing remains essential; it is our key protective measure.” 

Individual schools will be advised to reintroduce face coverings if there is an outbreak in the school or coronavirus rates are high within the local community. 

Headteachers can still request parents dropping off and collecting children that they wear face coverings, even though this may not be mandatory after June 21. 

Face coverings must still be worn by students aged 11 and over on public and school transport.