Self-testing kits arrive at Shropshire school

Staff at a school have received their first batch of government-issued Covid tests they say will be a “great step forward” in returning to normality.

Shelagh Enticknap at Much Wenlock Primary School with the NHS Test and Trace kits for staff to test themselves for coronavirus
Shelagh Enticknap at Much Wenlock Primary School with the NHS Test and Trace kits for staff to test themselves for coronavirus

Much Wenlock Primary School now has enough rapid kits to give to each member of staff a test twice a week for seven weeks.

Sent from the Department of Education, the tests came on Monday and were given to all staff as soon as they arrived.

Carl Litchfield, headteacher, said the kits came at a vital time when the school is seeing almost five times the number of pupils attend than during the first lockdown.

Mr Litchfield said: “This is a great step forward and only a shame it couldn’t be done earlier.

“Members of staff will now have testing twice a week and just having the knowledge that all the staff can get the results the same day and know if anybody has Covid is such a relief.

“It means we can plan things more easily and we’re not waiting until symptoms arrive to find out if a staff member has contracted coronavirus.”

During the first lockdown, the school remained open for about 15 children of key workers per day.

Now, the school has on average 65 to 70 children of key workers per day.

Fearful

“We’ve got roughly a third of all pupils in at the moment, who are children of key workers and vulnerable children,” said Mr Litchfield.

“This is quite a lot compared to the first lockdown and I think there’s a range of reasons for this.

“The government has increased what it classes as an essential worker and also we’ve been able to identify more children classed as vulnerable – this includes students having trouble with remote learning that we’ve then invited in.

“I think during the first lockdown, everything was new and unknown and parents were more fearful of sending their children to school.

“Now the safety measures we have are more known and I think people are a little more used to it.”

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