Feedback needed: proposed mass COVID testing in schools in Wales

Feedback needed from members in Wales on a proposed roll-out of mass COVID-19 testing across schools in Wales in January 2021.

Following successful trialling of mass testing in Merthyr and Mountain Ash, there is a proposal to expand this across schools in Wales. 

The trials gained 80% uptake, and all those testing positive using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) were confirmed by PCR (traditional swab test).

  • The military would train the staff to carry out these tests. 
  • They are proposed for all staff, and pupils over 11 (primary school staff would attend local authority premises to carry out the test).
  • The proposal is to select people who are in a bubble, where someone has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • There are obvious benefits in learning quickly who needs to self-isolate, and this would reduce the number of staff and pupils being absent from school.
  • There would be impacts of an added task for school staff, a need to work to skills outside of known competencies, and possibly an impact on availability of school spaces for learning activities.

Your comments needed

Feedback on this proposal is sought by the Education Directorate of the Welsh Government. If you would like to share your thoughts on these proposals, please email Urtha Felda, Voice Community Cymru's Senior Professional Officer Wales/ Uwch Swyddog Proffesiynol Cymru, by Friday 11 December 2020, so she can discuss the issues raised with those developing the scheme. Individuals' names and email addresses will remain confidential.

Update, 14 December 2020 Welsh Government announce plans for serial testing in schools and colleges from January

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