Head teachers, governors and staff have been told they will receive the “full support” of their union or professional body if they decide they cannot carry out the Covid tests. It follows the Government’s announcement of a staggered January return of England’s secondary school and college pupils to help the roll-out of mass testing. But joint advice issued yesterday by education unions and associations said: “Many of our organisations have been actively calling for such tests for some time.
“However it is our view that due to the chaotic and rushed nature of this announcement, the lack of proper guidance and an absence of appropriate support, the Government’s plan in its current form will be inoperable for most schools and colleges.
“The suggestion that schools can safely recruit, train and organise a team of suitable volunteers to staff and run testing stations on their premises by the start of the new term is simply not realistic.”
It added: “Educational staff have once again been put in an impossible position.”
Earlier, Education Secretary GavinWilliamson, left, said the majority of secondary school and college pupils would start the new term online, with face-to-face lessons resuming on January 11.