We understand that some parents will have concerns about their children returning to school. The safety of children and young people in Blackpool is a priority for the council.
There is clear evidence that the risk to children from COVID-19 infection is lower than in the general population.
Schools have been working hard to put in place a range of protective measures such as staff and pupils cleaning their hands more often, ensuring good respiratory hygiene (for example, adopting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it' approach with coughs and sneezes) and introducing enhanced cleaning including for frequently touched surfaces.
A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result.
Transmission rates are continually under review and should the need arise for a school year or school to close then plans will be in place for pupils to ensure that they receive an education away from the classroom.
Blackpool Council is helping schools to reopen by offering assistance with risk assessments and support for governance, information on local testing availability, public health advice and other safety measures.
Blackpool Council will be offering support through its Outbreak Management Hub in collaboration with Public Health England to respond to cases that might occur within a school.
If parents have any concerns, then they should contact the individual school directly and have a chat through those worries with the teachers.
Testing for schools
Secondary and college students
Symptom-free testing has now been introduced for secondary school and college students.
Secondary school and college students will take rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week at home, after they have completed 3 initial tests on their return to school/college.
Primary school children
Primary school children will not be regularly tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children, but they will still need to come forward for tests if they have symptoms.
Testing for families and the wider school community
Whole families, households and bubbles with primary school, secondary school and college age children in them can now test themselves twice every week from home.
Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
Getting your tests
You can order home test kits online OR collect tests via a local or regional testing site.
There is no need to book an appointment - you can just drop-in.
Find your local site for collection
You will be able to:
- Collect 2 packs of 7 rapid self-test kits to take home, per individual collecting (up to a maximum of 4 packs e.g. for very large or extended families). The testing regime is twice per week per person.
- Take the tests at home.
- Register the test and record the results at home, using the NHS website or through the 119 call centre for positive, negative and void results.
- If you have a positive self-test result, you will be asked to take a laboratory Covid-19 test to confirm the result by either ordering one online or by booking an appointment to attend a local test site.
Symptom-free testing is voluntary, but it can help give you peace of mind and protect families and schools.
Anybody in a household or bubble with someone who goes to school will be able to pick up 2 packs of 7 test kits just by giving their name and contact details when they visit a collection site.
Blackpool residents can currently collect kits from the Yeadon Way testing site: Get local site collection times
From Monday 22 March, you can also collect test kits from any of Blackpool's symptom-free testing sessions at local hubs: Get details of symptom-free testing hub venues and times
If you cannot collect tests from a test site, order rapid test kits online.