England’s secondary schools face delayed opening as head teachers call for coronavirus testing of teenagers.
Sadly, students have seen the last two academic years hit by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but this year too could be hit after the Department of Education announced that schools will be able to stagger the dates on which pupils start. This is to allow pupils to be tested for the potentially deadly virus.
New guidelines mean that if children test positive for the coronavirus their close contacts will need to be traced. If they then test positive, they will need to self-isolate. Parents are being warned by the Department of Education that this school year will not be “business as usual”. Many secondary schools will not be able to start lessons properly until the second week of term.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL, the senior leader union, said: “If you have nine million children going back to school, having been mixing through the summer, you can see the need to test them on site.
Steve Charlke, chief executive of academy trust Oasis explained that head teachers have been looking for ways to avoid disruption this academic year.
“This is all the last minute again. Head teachers have called for months for a way of opening schools and keeping them open to avoid a third year of academic disruption to children,” said Charlke.
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