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Supply Teachers: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 163318, tabled on 4 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who is responsible for the provision of lateral flow testing for supply teachers; and what steps he is taking to ensure the ongoing covid-19 testing of supply teachers not directly employed or on an ongoing assignment at a school.

Answered on

12 March 2021

Rapid testing is a vital part of the Government’s plan to supress COVID-19. Since January 2021, we have been delivering the programme of rapid asymptomatic testing for the primary school, secondary school and further education college workforce, and this includes supply teachers and support staff.

The school workforce includes all staff who are school based, including those in maintained nursery schools and schools-based nurseries.

Schools and colleges should offer testing to teaching and non-teaching staff members, such as support staff, clinical practitioners and therapists. Non-permanent members of staff should also be offered testing, such as trainee teachers on placement in school and the supply workforce.

In addition to testing in schools, employment agencies who employ over 50 staff and are registered in England can also register to order tests for employees who cannot work from home: https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.

Lateral flow testing may also be available through local councils. Rapid lateral flow test sites can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site.

The Department has recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March, which includes updated advice on testing. The guidance can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966866/210224_Schools_guidance.pdf.