ASCL comment on Covid testing guidance

23/12/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the government guidance published today on rapid Covid tests in schools and colleges. 
 
Commenting on the government guidance published today on rapid Covid tests in schools and colleges, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

The government’s updated guidance on rapid Covid tests doesn’t take us much further forward because it ignores the fact that this plan and timescale are totally unrealistic. 

“It is frankly ludicrous to think that schools and colleges will be able to recruit and train the workforce needed to carry out this testing programme in the 11 days before term
is due to begin on January 4, particularly as it is the Christmas holiday period. 

“The guidance gives an illustrative example of a secondary school with 1,000 pupils and staff needing 13 people working on mass testing. How on earth are schools and colleges supposed to have such workforces in place by the first week of the new term? 


The government seems to be stuck in some sort of parallel universe in which it cannot grasp the huge scale of the task it is asking schools and colleges to carry out. 

“Schools and colleges are very keen for rapid Covid tests to be available to staff and students, but the government’s half-baked plan is simply not deliverable.”