Surge testing will be carried out at four Kirklees schools on Thursday – with students and their families urged to take a PCR test.

Kirklees Council says all pupils and everyone they live with – over the age of 11 – will be asked to take a test in a bid to crackdown on the rising Covid-19 infection rate.

The schools involved are: Salendine Nook High School and Royds Hall Community School in Huddersfield; Spen Valley High School in Liversedge and St John Fisher Academy in Dewsbury.

With the infection rate in Kirklees the fifth highest in the country, the local authority wants to tackle the rising numbers of the Indian variant.

Surge testing started on Wednesday in Savile Town and Thornhill Lees in Dewsbury, two of the district’s hotspot areas.

The council will provide all children and family members with PCR tests which will give more data to track variants as well as allowing cases to be isolated.

Tests will be handed out to children and parents from Thursday and will be returned to the school the following day.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall – pictures by MIKE CLARK, SMALL PHOTOS

Kirklees director of public health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, said: “Testing is a really important way of reducing infection rates. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen rates of infection increasing in younger age groups.

“In particular, these four schools have reported higher levels of Covid-19 cases so we want to offer all pupils, staff and their households PCR testing which will give us more insight into what’s driving the increase and prevent further spread.

“We’ll continue to monitor the data and may introduce surge testing to other schools if necessary.

“I’m really grateful to staff at all the schools for playing their part to deliver this testing and for everything else they have done throughout the pandemic.

“The support of our schools and their staff has been a fundamental part of our fight against this pandemic and they continue to deliver everything asked of them.

“It’s still crucial that all school pupils, and everyone else in Kirklees, continue to take a lateral flow test twice a week to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.”