Free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing has now ended for most people in England. Testing continues in some high-risk settings and for some in groups considered at high risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19.

In the event of an outbreak local public health teams or the Director of Public Health (DPH) might advise staff, students and pupils in mainstream educational settings to undertake additional testing measures for a short period of time.

You can find general information about testing in Portsmouth on our website.

If your child has symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. See list of symptoms of COVID-19.

If a child has a positive test result, they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three full days after the test. They can then return to school, college or childcare if they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.

Managing the risks of spreading and catching COVID-19 in schools and colleges

Good ventilation, hygiene and encouraging vaccination uptake, as well as following any additional advice from local directors of public health, are the best measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in education settings.


Many classrooms and communal areas in schools are well-ventilated, and schools and colleges are using a range of options to keep air flowing, balancing the need for good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm.

Hand hygiene

Regular handwashing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19. If you need to sneeze or cough, use a tissue to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’


Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones against COVID-19.

Being vaccinated minimises the need for children and young people to have time off school and college and helps them to continue to carry out their hobbies, attend social events and live their lives to the full. It therefore supports their emotional wellbeing and happiness.

Find out more about how to get vaccinated in Portsmouth.

Learning support programmes

If you feel your child needs additional help due to the pandemic, visit the Education Catch-Up Programme website for full details on the programmes and resources available or speak to your child’s school.

The programmes and resources include:

  • Tutoring from the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) for primary school aged children in literacy, numeracy and science. Young people in secondary school can access tuition in English, humanities, maths, modern foreign languages, and science. Speak to your child’s school about eligibility and details.
  • Programmes for 4-16-year-olds like the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, online resources and courses.
  • Specialist provision for supporting students with SEND aged 5-24.
  • Tips, ideas and practical advice for early years, including speech and language support for reception children.
  • Free courses and resources for 16-19-year-olds.

For more information to help your child with their learning, visit The Education Hub.