Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary, said: "It is absolutely crucial for the efficient and safe functioning of the education service that Covid-19 testing is introduced for those working in schools. There simply won't be enough education staff available for work on school sites, if all members with symptoms are forced to self-isolate. 

"Staff need to know whether or not they have the virus so they know whether they can safely come into work and offer crucial support to families of key workers.

"Our school and college leaders are telling us that planning staffing rotas is extraordinarily and it is vital that leaders are offered every help available to enable schools to remain open for children that need them."