Today (Thursday 23 April) the government announced that it plans to add education staff to the list of public sector workers who will be tested for Covid-19.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “This is a welcome step in the right direction. School staff have been on the front line in the national response to Coronavirus. We have been clear from the start that governments across the UK understand they must honour this effort with the appropriate level of support and safety. If testing can be delivered effectively, then it will be welcomed by the education sector.
“It is extremely important that school teams have access to reliable and timely scientific and medical advice and support. We know that social distancing is totally impractical in school settings. Although the safety of children is always the first thing on the minds of school leaders, it is not just about how the virus is dealt with by the young. Transmission from children to adults, teachers, carers and elderly relatives, is of equal concern. Testing plays a crucial role here and where the government asks school teams to subject themselves to risk, it must assess this accurately and clearly state that. Measures to mitigate those risks should be immediately available to schools.”
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