Schools 'will be on Covid-19 testing priority list'

Senior Conservative offers assurance after health secretary says that tests will be rationed due to strain on system

Tes Reporter

Coronavirus: Schools will be given priority for tests, says senior Conservative MP Robert Halfon

Schools will be among those at the front of the queue for Covid-19 tests, the chair of the Commons Education Select Committee has said.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon said he understood schools would be included in the government's list of priority groups, after health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Tuesday that tests would need to be rationed due to the current strain on the system.

Mr Hancock said an updated prioritisation list will set out who will be at the front of the queue.

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The news follows calls for the government to prioritise schools for the allocation of tests.

Coronavirus: Schools 'must get tests within 48 hours'

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's World at One programme this afternoon, Mr Halfon said: "As I understand it, schools will be on the priority list.

"Also, the government, the Department for Education need to make a decision – are we going to risk damaging the life chances of our children still further?

"We have got to do everything possible to keep our schools open."

Mr Halfon has called for schools to have access to coronavirus tests within 48 hours. He explained: "If we don’t do this, we won't just have over 300 schools partially closed or fully closed, as we have at the moment – we could have a lot more."

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