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Students now have the opportunity to take two weekly covid-19 tests. Tests are to be done on both a Sunday and Wednesday night. If you do have a positive result you'll need to inform the school and self-isolate. On this page you'll find out lots of information to help you with the testing process. 

Students under 12 should be tested by an adult.

Students 12+ can self-test and report with adult supervision. The adult may conduct the test as necessary.


Use a separate test kit for each person. You can only use each item in the test kit once. Do no re-use the items. You'll need to report each person's results

If you have problems with your hands or vision, you may need someone to assist you with swabbing the other nostril. If pierced on both side, remove the piercing on one side before swabbing.

If you've had a nosebleed within the last 24 hours, swab the other nostril or wait 24 hours.

Do not eat or drink for at-least 30 minutes before doing the test to reduce the risk or spoiling the test.

If there is a reason you cannot take a throat swab, for example you have a tracheostomy, instead swab both nostrils


It's very important you read the instructions and follow the steps in the correct order. Each test will take 15 minutes to set up and results will be ready after a further 30 minutes.

  1. Prepare your test area and check your test kit contents

  2. Set up your test

  3. Take your swab sample

  4. Process the swab sample

  5. Read your results

  6. Report your results

  7.  Safely Dispose of your test kit

Store the test kit at room temperature or in a cool dry place (2c to 30c). Do not leave in direct sunlight and do not store in a fridge or freezer.

The kit should be used at room temperature (15c to 30c). If the kit has been stored in a cool area (less than 15c), leave it at normal room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Keep the test kit away from children.


Do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes before doing the test to reduce the risk of spoiling the test.

You'll need: a watch (or a clock), tissues, a mirror and either hand sanitiser or soap and warm water. 

  1. Clear, clean and dry a flat surface immediately before starting the test

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, using soap and warm water, or hand sanitiser. This is so that you do not contaminate the test kit. Now dry your hand. If doing more than one test, clean the surface and wash your hands again between each test.

  3. Check the test kit contents. Make sure that nothing is damaged or broken. The test strip in sealed packaging, swab inside sealed wrapper, extraction buffer sachet, extraction tube, extraction tube holder and plastic waste bag.

Do not use the test strip if the sealing packaging is damaged.



  1. Take the test strip out of the sealed packaging and place it onto the cleaned flat surface. Once opened, start the test within 30 minutes. Safely throw away the inner desiccant bag and packaging in your household waste.

  2. Carefully twist or snap open the sachet. Open it away from your face and be careful not to spill any of the liquid.

  3. Open the extraction tube and gently squeeze all of the liquid from the buffer sachet into the tube. Avoid touching the sachet against the tube. Place extraction buffer sachet in the plastic waste bag provided.

  4. Place the filled tube in the extraction tube holder (attached inside the box) to avoid spilling the liquid. You can also use a small cup to hold the tube.

  5. Gently blow your house into a tissue and throw the tissue away in a close bin. If you are testing a child help them to blow their nose. This is so that you get rid of excess mucus.

  6. Wash your hands thoroughly again for 20 seconds using soap and warm water (or use sanitiser). If you're doing this test on another person, you should both wash or sanitise your hands again.

  7. Find the swab in the sealed wrapper in front of you. Identify the soft, fabric tip of the swab.

  8. Peel open the swab packaging only when you are ready to use this for both throat and nose. Never touch the soft, fabric of the swab with your hands.


​Do not touch the tongue, teeth, cheeks, gums, or any other surfaces with the fabric tip of the swab. If it touches anything else, it may spoil your sample. 

Never touch the fabric strip with your hands. 

Taking the sample may cause gagging and minor discomfort, but it should not hurt

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  1. Holding the swab between your fingers, open your mouth wide and rub the fabric tip of the swab over both tonsils (or where they would have been). Do this with firm contact 4 times on each side (use a torch or a mirror to help you do this). Carefully remove the swab from the back of your throat.

  2. Put the same swab gently into one nostril until you feel slight resistance (about 2.5cm up your nose). Roll the swab firm around the inside of the nostril, making 10 complete circles. This may feel uncomfortable. Do not insert the swab any deeper if you feel strong resistance or pain.

  3. Pick up the extraction tube and place the fabric tip of the swab into the extraction tube so it is in the liquid. Press the tip against the edge of the extraction tube for 15 seconds. This is to transfer your sample into the liquid.

  4. Pinch the extraction tube against the swab as you remove it. Make sure you remove all liquid from the soft tip of the swab. Place the swab in the plastic waste bag provided.

  5. Press the cap tightly on to the extraction tube to avoid any leaks.

  6. Gently squeeze the extraction tube to place 2 drops of the liquid onto the specimen well (s) on the test strip. Make sure that you are dropping liquid and not an air bubble. Put the extraction tube in the plastic waste bag along with the swab

  7. Check the time and set a timer if you have one. Wait 30 minutes development time before you read your result is very important. A positive result can appear at any time after 20 minutes, however you must wait for the full 30 minutes to record a negative result as the test line (T) may take this long to appear.


You will see the control line (c) begin to appear after about 4 minutes. You must wait 30 minutes before your result is ready.

Do not leave the test to develop for longer than 30 minutes as this will make the result void. 

Negative Result

One line to C Show the test is negative.

Positive Result

Two lines, one text to C and one next to T, even faint lines, shows the test is positive. You must report this test result to the NHS.

If your test result is positive, you and your household must self-isolate following government guidelines.

Void Results

No lines or one line next to T means the test is void

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You must report your results to the NHS.

Report your result so the NHS can monitor the spread of the virus, support communities across the UK, combat the virus and save lives. You can also find out more about the result and what you need to do.

You need the QR code, or the ID number under it, on the test strip to report you result.

Report online (fastest)


or report by telephone:

Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm to  119 (free from mobiles and landlines)


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Click here for the NHS guide to regular testing for parents with children at nurseries, schools and college.

Click here for the NHS easy guide to the rapid lateral flow test.


How to prepare for the test
How to prepare your test area
How to set up the test
How to take the swab sample
How to process the swab sample
How to read your result
How to report your results