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Unions comment on MHRA refusal to approve Govt plan for daily testing in schools

Covid Test

@cyclingkev @NEU @PaulWhiteman6 @NAHTnews comments on the @MHRAgovuk announcement on Testing in Schools

Commenting on the refusal of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to formally approve the Government’s plan for daily testing in schools, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:    

“The regulator’s decision has hopefully ruled out the Department for Education’s reckless wish to keep close contacts of positive cases in the classroom instead of ensuring they self-isolate as they should do.  We would now welcome discussions with DfE on a programme which is aimed at mass testing solely for identification of asymptomatic cases which would otherwise be missed, rather than at circumventing the self-isolation rules.  

“We have always supported the idea of mass testing in schools as a means to facilitate safe on-site learning, but this has to be consistent with scientific understanding. The DfE used a study into daily lateral flow testing arrangements (1) that were not the same as those proposed for schools. It was obvious from the start that the Department was twisting the science to justify its preferred policy of avoiding necessary self-isolation, risking an increase in the number of cases, not a reduction.”   

Impossible to have confidence in lateral flow tests results administered in schools, says NAHT 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“The government now has serious questions to answer about the use of lateral flow tests in schools. The suggestion that the MHRA have not approved these tests to be used an alternative to self-isolation is alarming, as that is precisely what the government are suggesting schools should do as part of their testing strategy. The government also needs to urgently explain why it took such an approach if the MHRA approval was not in place.

“Once again, the government’s confused approach has made it impossible to have confidence in their plans, and is putting school leaders and their communities in an difficult situation.”

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