Commenting on the Government’s strategy to tackle Covid-19, as set out by the Secretary of State for Health at today’s Downing Street briefing, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

"It is something of an understatement to say things are going in the 'wrong direction'.  

"Despite the evidence that schools and colleges are one of the main drivers of virus transmission, no additional support or guidance to schools and colleges has been given to ensure students, staff and their families remain as safe as possible.

"Sajid Javid advises the population to wear masks, but he and the Department for Education are ignoring our request that they should be following the control measures in place in Scotland’s schools, such as face coverings in secondary schools and asking pupils who are a very close contact of someone with coronavirus to take a PCR test before they return to school. 

"It’s not right to put responsibility on the people but to refuse simple actions themselves. Yet again, Government is failing to take control of a situation which the health secretary himself predicts could get a good deal worse with case rates rising to 100,000 a day. It is irresponsible not to address the growing concerns."