A school testing programme has been hailed a 'roaring success' after more than 4,000 tests were carried out in nine days.

Ulverston Victoria High School has praised its lateral flow testing programme, which had 'astonishing' support from the community.

More than 4,500 lateral flow tests were carried out across nine days – equal to three tests per pupil – which meant a huge scaling up of the school's testing programme.

Richard Butler, assistant headteacher at UVHS, praised the 'enthusiasm and effectiveness' of those who assisted with the delivery of the programme.

He said: "We hear much in the press about the fragmentation of society and the disappearance of traditional values.

"In Ulverston at least this could not be further from the truth.

"We were instructed by the Government to organise and carry out over 4,500 student lateral flow tests in nine days (three per student).

"This meant a somewhat scaling up of our testing centre and we needed help.

"We appealed to our community hoping to gain the support of 20 or so people – we received over 400 offers of help.

"It is humbling to be part of this community, it was not only the number of people who offered to help, but also the professionalism, enthusiasm and effectiveness of those who came in to work with us

"With over 95 per cent of the student body giving consent to be tested (compared with the national average of 80 per cent), it was a huge task to organise, deliver and report.

"That testing came to an end on Thursday afternoon with not a single positive result.

"This gives us confidence going forward, to concentrate on delivering high quality lessons to our students as we move, we hope, towards more normality, with some of the joy returning to the children’s time at UVHS."

Matthew Hardwick, headteacher of UVHS, added: “It is absolutely amazing to have seen so many people step forward to volunteer at UVHS.

"The sports hall really has felt like a community project and it is astonishing seeing all of this support from the town for the school, especially when there are countless other members of the public volunteering with the roll-out of the vaccine at the health centre and at GSK.

"There is no way that we as a school could have actioned the Government’s demand to do this testing without these fantastic volunteers.

“As a school we would like to say 'thank you' to each and every one of the community volunteers who have helped.

"We should also thank our own members of staff who have volunteered and been trained to administrate, deliver and report on the tests; they have actually been doing this since Christmas for the whole staff body as well as keyworker and vulnerable pupils, testing up to 250 people a week during lunchtimes.

"All in all, a huge effort from both the school and the wider community.”

Students have now been given ‘test at home’ kits to continue the twice-weekly tests and help the NHS monitor the current nature of the coronavirus in the community.