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GMB tell school staff members not to take part in ‘dangerous testing experiment’

18 Dec 2020
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Billions given to friends of Tory ministers to deliver testing - why must schools scrabble around for volunteers over Christmas holiday?

GMB, the union for school staff, will tell members not to volunteer for the ‘chaotic testing experiment’ until safeguards are put in place.

Under last minute plans announced today, the Government expects schools to enlist volunteers and use the first week of term to test all pupils as they return gradually to classrooms in a staggered way.

GMB has today written to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson making it clear the union will be advising school support staff not to volunteer to become covid-19 testers until such a time as proper safeguards are put in place.

Karen Leonard, GMB National Officer, said:

“Yet again we see chaos at the Department of Education. This is a premature announcement lacking sufficient detail about how on earth schools can turn themselves into mass testing centers over the Christmas holidays.

“The operational guidelines will not be issued until next week, yet schools close today. It’s nonsense.

“At a time when school staff have worked to breaking point throughout the pandemic and staff need a much-deserved break they are now being told get ready to become testing coordinators on their return.

"GMB has written to the Education Secretary today making it clear that we will be advising school support staff not to volunteer to become Covid-19 testers until such a time as proper safeguards are put in place.

“When literally billions of pounds have been handed over to friends of Tory ministers to deliver Covid 19 testing, why are schools being left to scrabble around to find volunteers over the Christmas holidays.”

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