Schools will shut without more testing; it’s that simple – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Peter Gruen, chair, the Gorse Academies Trust.

A shortage of testing for Covid-19 is having an adverse impact on schools.
A shortage of testing for Covid-19 is having an adverse impact on schools.

I HAVE been campaigning for weeks that school staff are in the front line and should be acknowledged as key workers.

Sadly what I predicted then is happening now. Children across Leeds are being sent home in “collapsed bubbles” because just one pupil is suspected of having symptoms and awaiting tests.

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As we all know, the testing regime seems to have collapsed and I know of cases where schools are waiting for endless days to get test results.

Is the Government doing enoigh to help schools over Covid testing?

These delays also affect the availability of staff who are having to self-isolate. Before long many more pupils will need to be sent home, due to staff shortages.

Our schools leaders and their staff are justly proud of the fantastic levels of return to schools by pupils. It is the most amazing achievement with so many of our schools recording 95 per cent attendances. Pupils are loving being back with their friends and teachers.

The Government has repeatedly said it really wants schools to remain open and values all the hard work by so many. So please prioritise schools for free and immediate tests, PPE and up to date guidance now.

We are doing all we can. Those of us at the sharp end have seen this coming; if you tell us schools will be last to close down; then if you don’t act now; soon it will be too late. Please help us now.

Boris Johnson's handling of Covid-19 and Brexit continues to be called into question.

From: John Rayner, North Ferriby.

THE Health Secretary has proudly “updated” the House of Commons that over three million Covid tests have now been “completed” (The Yorkshire Post, September 16).

This follows Matt Hancock’s late April claim to have completed over 100,000 tests in one day.

In truth, the April claim was bogus, as some 80,000 of that number was actually represented by home test kits having been merely mailed out. The present claim is equally bogus, since in scientific truth a test is only complete once the result has been obtained.

What the Minister refers to is only the sample gathering stage, the precursor of the actual lab work to perform the test proper, which then yields the result to be returned to the “testee”.

We now recognise the inadequacies within the Covid testing regime, in poor access to “testing centres” (in reality, sample gathering centres), the lack of capacity in labs which actually perform the tests proper, and inordinate delays in results being returned.

Ministers, MPs and indeed media commentators display scientific illiteracy every time they repeat this “terminological inexactitude”, which misleads the public as to the level of progress being made.

From: AW Clarke, Martin Close, Louth.

IT occurs to me that our current Prime Minister is in the wrong job at the wrong time and is designed to be our leader in happier times.

My feeling is that has something of the “paper man” in a gale of wind about him. He seems to have an aversion to bad news (understandably) and casts around to find something upbeat to do or say.

I am afraid that the Opposition leader is probably a more suitable person for the job in that he is very measured and appears to have his “ducks in a row” before entering any argument. In other words, he prepares!

I must admit that I have had reservations about Boris Johnson since before the last election after I read an article by Michael Gove complaining of how difficult it had been to persuade Mr Johnson to get on with preparation for various scenarios which they might encounter during the referendum period.

According to Mr Gove, as I recall, Johnson was extremely difficult to pin down so that he was ready to face the public on any difficulty they might encounter during debates. In other words, he seemed to think he could deal with any problems “on the hoof”. Not appropriate in the current circumstances.

From: Ian Richardson, Railway Street, Beverley.

AS a teacher and father-of- three, I am sadly well used to my opinions falling on deaf ears.

Yet following your coverage of the latest shambles in Covid testing, I can’t resist giving some simple advice to hapless Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock – perhaps in happier times one might be more tolerant of these political Chuckle Brothers.

Stop wasting time using meaningless soundbites; we neither want nor need your moon-shots, Whack-A-Moles or world-leadings. Just do your jobs with industry and integrity.

If that is too much to ask (and I fear it is), resign now, and let others far more worthy of our trust get on with the crucial task of protecting us all.

From: Mr C Allman, Farsley.

I’D like to say the worst thing we have to worry about is not coronavirus, but the selfish people who are going by the rules of thinking about themselves and not anybody else, not even their own families.

I mention Asda who appear to let people into supermarkets who are not wearing a mask.

The law is there and someone should be keeping control. I’m glad I have lived through the best years when people were well mannered and friendly.

From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.

CONGRATULATIONS to Andrew Vine for an accurate and objective piece (The Yorkshire Post, September 15) on the state of government. Having switched from other national papers, his writing without an axe to grind is so welcome.

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James Mitchinson