Testing available for education workers

Priority access to those who feel they have been at risk.

Teachers, nursery and school staff can now be tested for COVID-19 on demand if they are concerned they have been at risk from infection, even if they show no symptoms.

The step has been taken to provide additional reassurance to teachers, nursery and other staff as children and young people return to the classroom and to early learning.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed the move to Parliament and in a letter to the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), and as he published a summary paper from the Chief Medical Officer on the latest science in respect of COVID-19 and schools.

The statement laid out the details of the £135 million of support previously announced for schools, including £80 million to bring additional teachers and staff into Scotland’s classrooms in the new school year. This funding is sufficient for local authorities to recruit approximately 1,400 additional teachers.

Mr Swinney said:

“Ensuring the highest quality education for our young people, in a safe environment, is our absolute priority.

“Thanks to our success in suppressing COVID-19 in Scotland, it is now safe for schools to return. Guidance, informed by the latest scientific advice, sets out the range of measures schools should take to minimise the risk of the spread of the virus.

“We know concerns still exist and I want teachers and staff to not just be safe, but to feel safe, in school and in nursery.

“While clinical advice is clear that testing those with symptoms must be the priority, we are now offering all staff who are concerned they may have been at risk of infection to have access to testing through their employer.

“I hope this additional measure will reassure teachers, nursery and support staff as we return to full-time in classroom education.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020

Summary paper from the Chief Medical Officer


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