North East UK news North East schools reaching 'crisis point' due to Covid-19 testing delays MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Schools across the region have reported having staffing issues and overstretched budgets a matter of weeks into the new academic year
Breaking News ! A network of schools in the North-East has called for government action on coronavirus testing with many schools reaching 'crisis point'. Schools North East, which represents the region's educators, has said it has 'serious concerns' that schools may be forced to close due to issues surrounding testing and staff absence. Dozens of children in the North East have already been sent home to self-isolate after coronavirus cases were confirmed in schools across the region. Several schools have been hit by positive Covid-19 test results, which has led to pupils being told to stay at home for a fortnight. In some cases, schools have fully closed. Feedback from schools across the region to the group has highlighted that delays in Covid-19 testing are causing a huge strain on staffing numbers. Just weeks into the academic year, schools are already reporting stretched budgets as a result of the significant extra costs responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools North East has now written to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson urging him to take action to prevent schools from reaching crisis point. Read More Related Articles Student at Sunderland's Academy 360 secondary school tests positive for coronavirus Read More Related Articles Student from Longbenton High School tests positive for coronavirus The letter reads: "Serious concerns have emerged that could seriously endanger our schools’ efforts to stay open for all of their students. "Many schools are reaching crisis point due to the impact the current situation is having on staffing in particular. "Of critical concern is the fact that our school leaders are being severely hampered by a test and trace system that is simply not effective. The difficulty of obtaining tests for staff has a significant impact on schools that are already stretched by the extra measures they have had to implement. "Delays in testing are causing unnecessary absences, with those unable to access a test out of school for up to three or more days.
. Schools are also 'increasingly frustrated' at the lack of clarity from the government over exams and assessment for the current academic year. The letter reads: "The impact of further local lockdowns and possibility of partial or whole school closures will have a significant further impact on exams and create further disparity across schools. "Schools urgently need to know what form assessments will take and what contingency plans are in place, so as not to further waste precious teaching time." New government figures show nearly nine in 10 pupils have attended schools in England since their full reopening this month. We want to know your views on the current testing system. Is it up to scratch or do you think there is a better way? Have you tried to book a test locally? Have you been directed miles away from home to get one? Let us know in the survey below. Click here if the form doesn't load.
Approximately 88% of state school students were back in class on September 10 – and around 92% of schools were fully open on the same day, according to the Department for Education (DfE) statistics. But Schools North East is demanding teachers be prioritised for testing to ensure children across the region can continue their education in the classroom. Director Chris Zarraga said: "Our schools have worked incredibly hard to ensure a safe return for students and staff despite constantly changing and even contradictory guidance, however delays in the testing system and the lack of availability at local test centres is causing unnecessary staff absence. "If this situation continues schools may be pushed to the point of cancelling classes and even closures. "We support calls from headteachers and organisations such as Worth Less? for the government to take urgent action to ensure our teachers can be prioritised or regularly tested to minimise any further disruption to our students’ learning."
Source = MetiNews.Com