‘Give Birmingham schools the power to ban untested children’ – plea by city health chief

Head teachers should be given the power to deny admission to children whose families will not get them tested for COVID-19 for the safety of everyone else.

It was a strong message from Birmingham’s Director of Public Health Dr Justin Varney, who earlier this week raised the issue directly with Secretary of State for Education Nadeem Zahvi, he told a gathering of community leaders.

Speaking at a webinar for the city’s voluntary organisations, called ‘Getting the Sector Ready’, he said he had spoken with head teachers, who told him about a “really difficult conversation”, he said. Along with the parents had opposed the testing of children for Covid-19. share of the recommendations surrounding return to school.

Read more: Omicron fears an incredibly difficult fortnight ahead of rise in cases

Some parents forbade their children to take exams, which put the headmaster in trouble.

“I’m really disappointed that their parents are arguing with them about testing, and who have refused to get tested before sending their kids to school. Sometimes it frustrates me,” he said. said.

Education chief Nadim Zhawi, former vaccines minister, urged Birmingham City Council’s public health chief to do more to help school heads deal with ‘test refusal’.

He said he had raised the issue in a meeting with the education secretary both earlier in the week, suggesting directly to Nadim Zahavi that the education department should “empower head teachers and deny them access to those children”. Those who refuse to test who are capable.”

In response, Mr. Jahvi had said, “He will take it away and think about it.”

Secondary schools are advised to test pupils before returning to class after the Christmas break
Secondary schools were advised to test pupils before returning to class after the Christmas break

The Department of Education said: “Schools across the country reopened this week and staff are working tirelessly to ensure that classes are safe for face-to-face learning. Despite the challenges we face, lakhs of students have returned to their friends and teachers.

“School is the best place for the education and well-being of children and young people, which is why face-to-face teaching remains an absolute priority.

“We ask schools to strongly encourage children and youth to get tested regularly. No child or youth should be denied access to education.”

Schools and colleges have been provided with a variety of resources to assist them, including a best practice partnership toolkit drawn from some of our top-performing settings, the spokesperson said.

“Schools know their students best and can decide how to encourage them to wear face coverings and take COVID tests.”

news you can use

The city has six walk-in test sites and two mobile testing vans, offering hundreds of test slots a day; Supported with a network of over 100 community pharmacies offering lateral flow tests, which are also available by mail.

Walk in sites are here:

  • 60 Villa Street, B19 2XS
  • Lifford House Car Park, Starchley B30 3BN
  • South Parade Car Park, Sutton Coldfield B72 1ST
  • Birmingham Uni South Gate Car Park B15 2TU
  • Woodgate Valley Park B32 3QT
  • Alfred Road Car Park B11 4PB

Now around 24,000 tests are being conducted daily across the city.

As a precaution, two weekly tests are recommended for those who are routinely outside at work, studying, shopping or caring for others, as well as before any meeting with large groups or potentially vulnerable people .

Stay up to date with the latest from your Birmingham or West Midlands Street or neighborhood with our Birmingham news email updates.