OPINION

Covid testing in Brighton and Hove’s secondary schools needs staffing and funding

Posted On 16 Dec 2020 at 1:50 pm

The government needs to confirm funding arrangements for the covid-19 testing programme in secondary schools due to start next month.

I wrote to the government last month calling for schools to have regular access to rapid testing.

So I welcome the fact that they have finally recognised the need for this.

But yesterday’s announcement is putting huge extra pressures on head teachers at the last minute, without any detail about the financial and operational support behind it.

A head teacher recently told me that the wellbeing of head teachers in our city has never been lower.

The pressure they are dealing with is immense and they are seeing demands like never before.

School staff should not be expected to run these tests. Providing testing kits without trained staff to use them is simply not right.

There has also been no concrete information yet about how schools are expected to pay for the delivery of this testing programme.

The government is still failing to recognise how their demands are affecting schools.

We need immediate answers about how this scheme is going to be funded and staffed.

Our schools are under intense financial pressures. It’s vital that they are not forced to divert any more scarce resources away from their core work of delivering the curriculum.

Councillor Hannah Clare is the Green deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council and chairs the Children, Young People and Skills Committee.

  1. Jane K Reply

    No one is interested in testing any more. The council’s priorities should be vaccinations, vaccination, vaccinations and they should be publishing the daily vaccination rates. Frankly, the low priority with only one primary care site in the City currently worries me.

    Even many of those shielding have had enough of restriction. You only need to have a look in the M and S cafe to see the elderly packed in there like sardines to see that.

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