Headteachers have warned that education will “grind to a halt” unless covid testing improves.
Thousands of school leaders have written to the Government warning of “partial rolling closures” of schools and disruption to pupils’ catch up studies because of serious staff shortages.
The delays in covid testing are “severely hampering” schools, according to a network of over 5,000 heads. This blog post takes a look at the crisis in schools.
Schools severely hampered by lack of covid testing
Jules White, organiser of WorthLess?, says that efforts to get pupils back for the autumn term are being seriously undermined.
School leaders’ unions reported receiving calls from at least 400 members who had suspected cases in their schools, after just one week of full reopenings in England.
The test and system is simply not working effectively enough.
It is beyond frustration that we are now seeing teachers and support staff being unable to attend work because they cannot get a test or the results from it are far too slow.
Time after time, schools are doing their utmost to support the national effort and time after time, we are left confounded by a lack of effective support from Government.
Shortages of tests to impact school budget
The head of a rural primary school in Sussex said the shortage of covid tests “is the single issue which will derail the reopening and likely our budget too.”
A high proportion of my staff are also parents of school-aged children. As soon as one of them has any likely symptoms I’ll be losing staff.
The increased supply costs will be a budgetary Armageddon and any plan to try to achieve stability and continuity for a very keen bunch of returning children will be next to impossible to achieve.
What does the education union have to say?
Paul Whiteman, the NAHT’s general secretary, said:
The obvious failure of the covid testing infrastructure puts the sustainable reopening of schools at serious risk and also means the pupils could be missing out on education unnecessarily.
The Government has said that capacity is the highest it has ever been.
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