NEU calls for testing of education staff

The National Education Union calls for testing of education staff to be an urgent priority of the government in its efforts to tackle coronavirus

Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The NEU believes it is absolutely crucial for the efficient and safe functioning of the education service over the coming months that Covid-19 testing is introduced for education staff working in schools. There simply won’t be enough education staff available for work on school sites, if all members with symptoms are forced to self-isolate.

“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 the families of key workers.

“Plans were announced yesterday to step up testing, and clearly healthcare staff will be the priority but we do need to include education staff in these arrangements as a matter of urgency.

“Our school and college leader members are telling us that planning staffing rotas is extraordinarily challenging and the picture is going to change day by day in the coming weeks. We recognise that there are challenges around testing, but it is vital that leaders are offered every tool and tactic available to enable schools to remain open for all the children that need them.”

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