School leaders are calling for clarity over mass-testing in schools after regulators said daily Covid testing was not an alternative to self-isolation, The Guardian reports.
The newspaper revealed last week that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had not authorised the use of quick-result lateral flow tests to allow students to remain in school instead of sending whole bubbles of students home.
The strategy of daily testing is seen as key to pupils returning safely to school and minimising disruption to learning, but the MHRA says it has not authorised the tests for this purpose.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it did not need approval to use the tests in the way it had planned.
Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told The Guardian: “School leaders and staff are utterly tired of this endless confusion over lateral flow tests, alongside much else that has been landed on their plates during this crisis.
“All they want is clarity about what is the right thing to do, and the reassurance that there is a sound scientific basis for what is proposed. What is obvious is that there are severe misgivings in many quarters about the use of lateral flow tests as an alternative to self-isolation for close contacts of positive cases. We call on the government to provide a clear and unequivocal statement on this matter.”