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Commenting on the announcement that the full return to schools for the new term of all secondary pupils is to be delayed by a week during which time the roll out of mass testing of pupils will commence, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The Government’s latest announcement demonstrates that Covid-19 transmission in schools is a major factor in continuing the spread of the virus.

“Delaying the return of some pupils in secondary schools by a week may be of some assistance, but much more action is needed to keep pupils, staff and their families safe.

“The failure of the Government to recognise the very real Coronavirus risks impacting on primary and special schools is a major cause for concern.

“Yet again the Government is announcing significant changes affecting schools with little or no time to prepare before the Christmas closure period.

“The NASUWT has been clear that it is not the responsibility of teachers or school leaders to undertake testing of pupils or employees. The Government has to ensure that it puts into place all the necessary resources needed to deliver the practical and financial support to schools to ensure safety in schools. 

“Alongside the introduction of mass testing, the Government must urgently take further action to ensure that essential Covid-safety measures are securely in place in all schools and colleges to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus amongst pupils and staff.”

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