Schools: Yorkshire headteacher talks COVID testing difficulties
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Headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw spoke of his frustration that only 15 per cent of pupils in a Wakefield school West Yorkshire secondary school accepted to take the lateral flow test as a vast majority deliberately turned down the option. But despite the low proportion of swabs, a staggering 20 per cent still tested positive and were immediately sent home to self-isolate and protect others Mr Kneeshaw revealed. The upset headmaster highlighted that it was “well-communicated” to everyone that on-site Covid testing was required ahead of their return to the classroom in a bid to drive down the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
He revealed that a large number of children, presumably backed by their parents, disregarded the rules and 85 per cent decided to turn up without a valid proof that they had tested negative
Speaking to GB News, Mr Kneeshaw admitted that everyone has grown tired of constant testing.
He said: “Sadly the testing there is disappointing.
“That’s just in the secondary school where I do the testing on return to school.
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“Just around 15 per cent of the students opted in for the test, which is far less than last year.
“It was well-communicated before we finished the term and before the start of the new term this year.
“It was disappointing, so we are asking the question whether the parents and the students are getting fed up with it.
“And on the back of that we had 20 per cent positive tests which is actually more than we expected. “
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Secondary students and staff are encouraged to test themselves twice a week and even regularly in case of an alarming outbreak.
Mr Kneeshaw did not reveal whether non-testing resulted in a student becoming persona non grata inside a school and being denied entry.
He said: The ones who tested positive yes [were sent home].
“They will have to go in self-isolation as a result of that.
“That obviously diminished the number of students in school.
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“But that was more than we expected and higher than the government was saying was prevalently population as a whole but 20 per cent of the ones that were tested did their test positive.”
Today General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders Geoff Barton told BBC Breakfast that the government expects staff sickness to escalate in the upcoming weeks.
It has been revealed that 95% of schools have at least one case of a pupil absent due to Covid related reasons.
And 29% said that at over 10% over their students did not report to school because they had tested positive.
After it was brought to his attention that countless students are refusing to wear masks, Mr Barton warned that ‘this is one way that they stay in education’ and avoid school closures.
He said: “I listened to Becky [a headteacher from Norwich] who reminds us that you come into education not expecting it to be easy, not expecting it to be like this.
“But nevertheless, that moral purpose that we’re going to do it if masks are one way that we can get more young people in school and remind ourselves that young people are playing a really important role in protecting each other and protecting their teachers.
“Not all schools and colleges are open yet and won’t be until Monday so we’re not going to get a proper picture of staff absence until next week.
“There’s a snatched snapshot taken from a small number of primary schools earlier in the week that suggested that might be around 10% of the staff absent.
“The Government itself is planning potentially for 25% of staff.”
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