8.49am EDT08:49 Health workers have been campaigning for a 15% pay rise outside Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral, the hospital which was chosen as the quarantine facility for British citizens flown out of Wuhan at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Birkhenhead MP Mick Whitley joined the protest, saying on social media: “We all clapped
The UK’s biggest education union was not amused by the prime minister’s “mutant algorithm” joke in his address to students today, accusing him of treating the exams fiasco as a “minor passing fad”.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “It is brazen of the prime minister to idly shrug away a disaster that his own government created.
“Parents, students, teachers and heads will be horrified to see the leader of this country treat his own exams fiasco like some minor passing fad.
“The public will not easily forget the emotional rollercoaster of this year’s results season. It is certain to put a long-lasting dent in the government’s reputation on education.”
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English schools to receive just 10 coronavirus testing kits each
Schools in England are to receive just 10 Covid testing kits each ahead of the start of the autumn term next week, the government has revealed.
The kits were part of the government’s attempts to reassure anxious parents and staff that every possible measure was being taken to make the return to school as safe as possible, but the volume of tests available to schools has been described as “completely inadequate”.
Schools will also receive “a small amount” of personal protective equipment including clinical face masks, aprons, gloves, visors and hand sanitiser in a one-off delivery, provided free of charge by the Department of Health and Social Care.
School standards minister Nick Gibb said:
All pupils are returning to school for the start of the autumn term – delivering on our national priority to get all pupils back to the classroom, which is the best place for their education, development and wellbeing.
“This week schools and colleges will begin to receive their first home testing kits as well as personal protective equipment to use in the very rare situations in which it may be required.
“I hope this acts as additional reassurance to parents that schools are ready to welcome children back to school, adding to the growing parental confidence shown in recent opinion polls.”
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “If the government says Covid testing kits will be available in schools then they need to be available in the right volume in order that they can be effectively used. If it’s 10 per school then it’s completely inadequate. The government is losing all credibility.”
According to Department for Education guidance, schools can request more test kits if required but they should only be
offered in exceptional circumstances where an individual may not be able to access a test elsewhere. Students and staff should ordinarily visit a testing site.
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