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Bury St Edmunds Headteacher takes a Covid test in new school video

A schools partnership has begun Covid-19 testing for staff and those students still attending the school during lockdown.

The Unity Schools Partnership Trust’s secondary, middle and special schools have taken on board national guidance and training materials issued by the Department for Education and can now carry out tests in school.

At Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds, a YouTube video highlighting the school’s Covid testing procedures has been released – including headteacher Ben Jeffery taking a test.

Mr Jeffery said: “We felt it was important to show parents and students our testing procedures and what to expect.

"Obviously we will not be testing as many students as we initially expected, but the testing facility is now up and running for staff and students still attending the school building at this time.

It has been a challenging few weeks and the determination and commitment of my staff, in organising in-school testing and now a comprehensive home schooling package, has been nothing short of fantastic.

The trust schools have been supported by the trade unions and parents have been asked to give their consent for children to be tested.

More than 5,000 parents have replied over the Christmas holiday period with over 99 per cent agreeing for their child to be tested, when their child is able to come to school.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “Our schools had worked incredibly hard to put themselves in a position to begin testing this week.

“While the lockdown has placed a greater emphasis on home schooling, all our schools remain open for keyworker families and vulnerable children.

It has never been more important in this period of anxiety for us to work together and it is amazing to see school leaders, staff, parents and trade unions work together in their determination to start a new testing programme from scratch.

“I applaud Westley Middle School and all our schools for working so hard to have in-school testing up and running during these challenging times.”

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