The National Education Union has called for testing of education staff to be made an urgent priority in efforts to tackle Coronavirus.
Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union said:
“It is absolutely crucial for the efficient and safe functioning of the education service that Covid-19 testing is introduced for those working in schools.
“If all education staff with symptoms are forced to self-isolate together with those staff who are ‘vulnerable’ to the disease such as those with diabetes and other conditions, there simply won’t be enough education staff available for work on school sites.
“Moreover, our Joint General Secretaries wrote to the Prime Minister (17th March) raising the assumption that those staff, who are caring for people with ‘vulnerable’ conditions, or who are over 70 should also self-isolate.”
Staff need to know whether they have C19
He went on to say,
“We understand, the government has rightly pledged to prioritise the testing of frontline health staff for Covid-19 amid concerns that vital NHS staff having suspicious symptoms may be prevented from coming into work just because they have a minor cough or cold.
“The threat of similar diminishing staffing levels will occur in education. Staff need to know whether or not they have the virus so they know whether they can safely come into work and offer crucial support to families of key workers.
“School leaders are saying that planning staff rotas is far from straightforward in these extraordinarily challenging times. It is vital that leaders are offered every help available to enable schools to remain open for children that need them.”