Union says Government living 'in parallel universe' over schools testing

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, accused the government of living “in a parallel universe” to conduct mass Covid tests in English schools and colleges.

Mr. Barton said, “It challenges them to hire and train a large number of employees and set up test centers in an incredibly short time.

“The announced support is nowhere near sufficient.

“Ministers must remember that schools and colleges are educational, not medical, and they must properly support this testing program.”

However, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson previously told BBC Breakfast he was confident schools will be ready to test students returning to classrooms from Jan. 11.

He said, “There is absolutely no reason schools aren’t ready.”

He said £ 78 million additional funding, equipment like personal protective equipment (PPE) and military support would help them set up mass testing programs.

Mr. Williamson said, “We really want to hold their hands, support them, help them. We’re asking everyone across the country to do some pretty extraordinary things right now. “

Drawing on the experiences of his two school-age daughters during the pandemic, Williamson said, “How much they (children) fail to be out of school, we are taking these extraordinary measures because it is always best to have children in school , if it is possible. “


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