Parents could be asked to test their children twice a week as the Government draws up plans for a phased return to the classroom.

Families of secondary school pupils will be asked to administer lateral flow tests at home during term time to ensure outbreaks do not occur in schools, the Telegraph reports.

Schools are only expected to be in charge of testing pupils at the start of each term before handing responsibility over to parents.

The Telegraph adds education unions have now struck a deal with ministers to reopen schools from March 8.

But secondary schools are likely to have a phased return to ensure all pupils can be tested before they get back into the classroom.

It is understood it could take up two weeks from March 8 for some secondary schools to get all students back.

Health minister Helen Whately has confirmed planning is underway to get children back to school but insists the proposals are a “work in progress”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is work being done to look at how testing will help schools come back. But there will be more details set out about that next week.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline his “road map” out of lockdown on Monday after spending the week analysing data on coronavirus cases, deaths and hospital admissions.

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When asked about the Telegraph’s report that parents of secondary school children will be asked to administer rapid flow tests during term time, Ms Whately said: “I’m not going to get drawn into that.”

But she went on: “There is work in progress looking at how testing can support schools to come back.

“There’s already testing going on in schools, where you have children of key workers and teachers in schools at the moment, because schools aren’t completely closed, and there is work going on at the moment about the details of the return to schools, and there will be more said about that next week.”