Schools could be unsafe because so many teachers cannot get tests, say experts

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Schools could be unsafe because so many teachers cannot get tested.

Schools could be unsafe because so many teachers cannot get tests, say, expert. Children’s education is being disrupted, and schools could be unsafe. Because so many teachers are self-isolating despite them being added to the priority list for Covid-19 testing, education experts warned.


Teaching staff, nursery workers are named, among the government list of essential workers and those prioritized for testing in England.

But many are still demanded to stay at home because they cannot get their hands on a test either for themselves or a family member, teaching groups warned.

Teachers have reported confusion over who is eligible for immediate testing. Patrick Roach, the General Secretary of teaching union NASUWT said.

We continue to receive reports from teachers for delays and problems accessing a test among school staff, within their own families, and among pupils. This is causing serious disruption to education provision and undermining the ability of schools to operate safely.

James Bowen, director of policy for school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Currently there are few signs that the testing system is improving from a schools’ perspective. We are continuing to hear from members where parents and staff are struggling to get tests or quick access to results.


Headteachers warned that putting school staff on the priority list does not help when their family members need a test. Teachers are still forced to stay at home while their children are ill and need a test because no priority is given to them, this calls for government attention.

Last week, one executive head of two primary schools, who wanted to remain anonymous, said they were left without a headteacher for nearly two weeks. Because the headteacher’s son needed a test and could not get one. The executive head had to single-handedly run one school while overseeing the other for two weeks which is not encouraging at all.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said tests need to be available quickly so that the child and member of staff can return to school as soon as possible when the test result is negative.

He said the feedback he has received indicates there has been some improvement in access to COVID tests for staff and pupils, but others continue to experience delays. He said the situation appears to be highly variable.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Ensuring access to tests for all schools and childcare staff is a key priority for our Department and we are currently considering how we can improve all early years settings’ access to testing. READ MORE ON SCHOOL RESUMPTION


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