According to a report, Parents of students will have to give them rapid lateral flow tests under plans to reopen schools as lockdown is eased
Parents of secondary school pupils within England will be required to test their children for the coronavirus twice a week once schools return, it has been reported.
According to the Daily Telegraph, they will have to use rapid lateral flow tests under government plans to reopen schools as the COVID-19 lockdown is eased.
Asked about this report during an interview on Sky News, care minister Helen Whately did not confirm or deny the story.
“Next week more will be set out about how the return to school is going to work,” she said.
This comes after rapid testing for COVID-19 could enable nightclubs and theatres in the UK to reopen, the Prime Minister has suggested. Boris Johnson has said that rapid testing using lateral flow COVID-19 tests could be used by “those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year”.
Ms Whaley said later during a BBC interview that: “There is work being done to look at how testing will help schools come back. But there will be more details set out about that next week.”
Boris Johnson is due to reveal his plan for easing lockdown on Monday.
The prime minister has said getting pupils back in the classroom is the government’s priority, with 8 March proposed as the earliest possible data on which this could happen.
It is not clear at this stage whether all year groups would go back en masse, or whether there would be a more staggered return.
According to the Telegraph, DfE officials will meet with education unions today to finalise arrangements for mass testing of secondary pupils.
Schools will only oversee one round of testing, when pupils return for the first time, it reported.
This will require some secondaries to stagger the return of year groups in order to carry out the tests, the paper said.
This comes after thousands of UK Amazon workers have received the wrong COVID-19 test results after being given inaccurate information by test and trace. It is understood that 3,853 UK Amazon staff members for the online retail giant received an erroneous result.
The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders union, Geoff Barton, was quoted by the paper as saying: “We think that is a good idea.
“It reinforces the responsibility for families rather than assuming bits of the state, like schools, will carry out the tests.”