Thousands of children in Essex will attend school for the first time this year on Monday.

Schools are set to welcome back the majority of pupils as the first step out of lockdown gets underway.

All primary students will be returning on Monday, while secondary schools will be undertaking a ‘staggered’ return to allow for mass testing of staff and children.

Health and education bosses are urging all secondary students to get a Covid test before returning.

Primary pupils do NOT need to be tested. 

A number of special test sites are on offer to secondary students in Southend, while Essex County Council is urging them to use their nearest rapid testing centres before they get back to the classroom.


So here are all the sites in Essex secondary students can get a Covid test before Monday:


  • University Square, Southend-on-Sea (opposite Sainsbury’s) - 7am to 2.30pm
  • St Aidan's Church, The Fairway, Leigh - 7am to 5:30pm
  • Shoebury Youth Centre, Delaware Road, Shoebury - 8am to 6:30pm
  • Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, Eastern Avenue, Southend - 8am to 8pm

Essex County Council areas (all sites open 8am – 8pm)


  • Towngate Theatre, St. Martins Square


  • Witham Town Football Club, Spa Road


  • The Nightingale Centre, Pastoral Way

Castle Point

  • Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, Somnes Avenue


  • Central Baptist Church, Victoria Road South


  • Leisure World, Cowdray Avenue

Epping Forest

  • Theydon Bois Village Hall, Coppice Row


  • Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, College Square


  • West Maldon Community Centre, Sunbury Way


  • The MegaCentre, 7 Brook Road, Rayleigh


  • Long Meadows Community Centre, Long Meadows, Harwich


  • Saffron Walden ECL, 39 Audley Road

County Hall says parents and carers will be sent specific instructions from their child’s school or college about what they need to do and are encouraged to speak to their setting if they have any questions or concerns.

Testing is voluntary and will not be done unless consent has been given.

Bosses say testing is also not a determining factor for whether pupils are able to return.

However, it is something that is being "strongly encouraged" so that potential transmission of the virus in schools is reduced.