Yesterday the Government announced a rollout of mass rapid coronavirus testing for all secondary schools and colleges in England from January.
Staff and pupils will have access to weekly lateral flow tests for coronavirus to identify asymptomatic cases. Those who are identified as a close contact of a positive coronavirus case will also be able to access daily testing for seven days, to prevent whole bubbles having to isolate.
The Government confirmed that primary schools will be next to be supported with these rapid tests, but has not yet announced when this will be expanded to early years settings.
Helen Donohoe, Policy Advisor at PACEY comments:
“Early years settings kept their doors open during the pandemic to support the children of key workers whilst putting their own staff and families at risk, yet we are seeing them once again excluded from government support. The Government seems to view the care and education of young children as a ‘nice to have’ whilst directing support towards older pupils, as demonstrated when the Covid Workforce Fund was made available for schools but not for early years staff.
PACEY urges the Department for Education to recognise the vital role of early years provision and support the workforce to deliver this. At the very least, giving registered providers the same access to testing as other parts of the education sector would be a start.”