Twice-weekly testing for school kids could be SCRAPPED at the end of this month, Gavin Williamson says

AT HOME testing for schoolchildren could be scrapped from the end of this month, Gavin Williamson declared today.

The education secretary has vowed to review the requirement for parents to swab their kids twice a week.


All secondary school pupils are set to take two tests at school during their first week back in the classroom.

Mums and dads are then being asked to administer lateral flow tests to their children at home for the rest of the month.

Mr Williamson was pressed on whether the policy is necessary given the low threat Covid poses to most children's health.

Tory MP James Cartlidge asked him: "The chance of 12 to 15-year-olds ending up in intensive care with Covid is two in a million.

"Given millions of children are losing school days this week to be tested for Covid, is that still proportionate given that statistic?"

The education secretary told the Commons: "We’ll be reviewing the need for children to be doing home testing at the end of September.

"If there isn’t a requirement to do that we’ll be looking at removing that, but it is important we continue to keep these matters under review."

Covid spike fears

The requirement for staff and teachers to test twice weekly at home will also be reconsidered at the same time.

His remarks come after teaching unions urged schools to keep social distancing and masks in place to stop a new Covid surge.

Scientists fear the return to the classroom could spark a new wave of cases.

Mr Williamson has vowed to "move heaven and earth" to keep schools open throughout the winter.

But he has admitted they could have to close if a fresh outbreak threatens to overwhelm the NHS.

Last week he pleaded with parents not to lower their guard and to go on with testing at home.

He said: “It is important not to get carried away with these new freedoms and throw caution to the wind.

“The last thing we want is for schools to partially close again, or for whole classes of pupils to be at home isolating.

“That should be only the last resort. We need to do everything we can to avoid the levels of disruption we saw last year from the pandemic.”

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