Schools experience staff shortages and chaos due to delays in Covid screening. Some areas also see one-fifth of the teachers infected with the virus.

  • For the beginning of school term, schools were faced with delayed Covid testing 
  • According to one study, coronavirus is the most common cause of illness in teachers.
  • The Headteachers for Schools warned against chaos if supplies were not available.

Some schools were delayed in receiving Covid testing for yesterday’s start to term because one-fifth of the teachers was ill with the virus.

After Christmas break, many pupils returned to school without supplies. Heads warned about chaos.

The Department for Education (DfE), a department that administers tests, gave schools who were short of testing a Friday deadline at 5pm to either order more or wait two weeks.

Covid staff absences added to the problems. Ian Bauckham who is in charge of Ofqual’s exams regulator, Ofqual, suggested schools can suspend subjects such as music because they are facing shortages.

As pupils began their return after Christmas, heads warned of testing chaos as some still had not received supplies (File image)

Heads warned that chaos was possible when students returned to school after Christmas.

Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera in Swansea Valley asked years 7 and 8 for remote learning until January 10. Evelyn Forde of Copthall School in north London stated that 13 teachers were absent, and that four children had tested positive for Covid.

‘Staffing is looking pretty horrendous,’ she added. Steve Chalke founder of Oasis Charitable trust, with 52 schools in England, stated that early indicators indicated 20 percent of his staff might be missing.

All secondary pupils are being tested for Covid this week, but for some the lateral flow tests failed to arrive in time (File image)

This week all secondary students are being tested for Covid. However, some lateral flow tests have not arrived in time for certain pupils (File Image).

Yesterday, it was discovered that secondary schools were segregating pupils who don’t wear masks or do not pass their weekly screening.

Walton High, an academy in Buckinghamshire, said any pupils exempt from wearing face masks ‘will be seated at the back of classrooms at the furthest point from the teacher’. Michelle Currie, executive principal, also told parents that if their child had not yet been vaccinated, this could have ‘consequences’, including that it ‘may limit their career options later in life’, according to The Daily Telegraph.

This week all secondary students are being tested by Covid. Some lateral flow tests were not completed in time for this test.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of heads’ union ASCL, said: ‘It is clearly imperative that schools and colleges have enough test kits to follow the government guidance.’

A DfE spokesman added: ‘A further 17.6 million test kits will be delivered by the end of next week.’